I suppose you already know how I’m a knocked-out-romantic-hopeless reader. I didn’t want to read those sad novels that make you cringe, and cry, and weep at the peak of the climax except that I want to read it. I didn’t want to feel the pain some characters go through but I want to cry and weep with them as well. I am torn in between reading these kinds of novels. How do I know if a book is that ‘kind’ of novel? Well, google. Goodreads. Book reviews. They’re everywhere and I even got friends spoiling me with tidbits of information. But with this book, I only got Goodreads reviews telling me what to expect.
One day in my life, as I listened to my professor in literature talk about various Filipino novelists, I found myself opening my mobile data and search for each one of them. I’ve found gems of different genre from the list of authors she gave us. Then when I got home, I researched thoroughly and that’s when I stumbled across Samantha Sotto’s book, Before Ever After. I listed about three books and presented it to the class for some references on what book we are going to read for our final paper. Most of which are fiction. I then presented the book’s synopsis and reviews that I got from the said site. My blockmates voted for her book. I even relayed false information saying that the book can be bought for 235php (around $4-$5) because that’s what the local bookstore’s website’s price. When we checked it out, it was for 400php++ ($6). We opted to get the eBook instead. (I have the ebook copy. So… if you’re looking for it you can email me.)
The book resembles something that would knock me out dead but I read it anyway. The first part was kind of shaky for me, as well as for my blockmates. They were ahead of me because they started reading the day after our getting the copy of the ebook. I remember (vaguely) it was around Wednesday morning when I finally opened the book and started reading. It was okay… but as I flip through the pages and read more of it, I got lost together with the characters. A big factor was the fact that the detour was around Europe! And Shelley was from London. How dreamy is that for me, right? As much as I want to spoil you in this review, I probably won’t. I can’t. I don’t have the right to do that with this brilliant book. I need you to read this book word by word. I want you to get lost the way I did and let Max take him with you. Well, most especially, you will become Shelley.
Before Ever After is a book I’d probably read again after reading two novels different. I even promised myself I will read it again before doing that final paper in Literature I. This book made me feel so many emotions at once. I wanted to cry, you know, but I didn’t because that would hurt my eyes and then eventually I’ll have to stop reading so I used every energy I could muster to prevent myself from crying over this book. I wanted to shout at everyone who tried talking to me while reading. I don’t need distractions! Lucky for me, I had enough time to spare during my trips to and from school. I literally went from being a lovesick teenager to a mature wife who longed for her husband. I can’t quite put into words how this book made me feel. It’s a roller coaster ride, up until the last page of the book—the Epilogue.I highly suggest you read this book. If you’re having a hard time finding a copy, try checking it out in amazon. The best part is!!! There is a sequel in Samantha Sotto’s website and you can subscribe to her to get it. It’s the best thing ever. I am currently waiting for her next book’s launch. I hope you all have a great time reading this too. This is a good book, I promise to all of you. And it makes me sad that their story is already finished. When I asked Sotto, if there will be more of Max and Shelley, she said… “no plans for now, but who knows? *wink emoticon*” And I’m holding on to that… Ms. Samantha ♥
“We change at least one person’s life just by being born.”
“Look at it, luv. It is the closest we can come to grasping what time really means. It moves on whether you wind it or not. It doesn’t have a snooze button you can hit to bargain for an extra five minutes. The earth turns, the sun rises and sets, and there is absolutely nothing you or I can do about it.”
“Should we hurry back to the town house because your watch says so or should we linger as long as we can in the second where we stand?”
“Sex is easy. All they really need is a few good thrusts. But when they kiss, they open themselves up and let you in. And that, my dear, makes some men’s balls shrink to the size of raisins.”
“‘But how could coming home make things worse?’ ‘You can’t return to a place that no longer exists, luv.'”
“As the body rots, so does the cage that traps us in our worldly concerns. When my legs became too weak to carry my body, I stopped pacing with worry. When my fingers became twisted, I stopped pointing blame. When I lost my sight, I stopped seeing illusions. It may be dark in the pot that I am simmering in, but I can see more clearly than I have ever seen in my life.”
“Life, I imagine, looks very different when you’re standing at the very edge of it. I wouldn’t know how I’d feel or what I’d do if I suddenly found out that I was dying.”
“I was nearly done with my short but respectable list. But now,’ Jonathan said, “my list has grown quite long. Afternoon tea, quiet walks, rainy mornings—nothing I haven’t done before, but everything I need to do now with my Rose as many times as I can, while I can.”
“All marriages ended in one of two ways: spouses died or love did.”
“And I know that the time will come when her voice won’t be as crystal clear in my head. But even when every detail has dulled, I know that I’ll always have something that not even time can take away. Pain.”
“At the end of the hallway was the room she had fled from a lifetime ago.”