Ashley Elizabeth's "Before I Tell You" is a stunning debut!

 HUGE thank you and hugs & kisses to Wordsmith Publicity, who sent me this book in exchange for an honest review. You guys rock! 

When I found out that this was Ashley Elizabeth's first novel, I was shocked. Honestly. Because this book was so phenomenal, I thought that she had at least written before. 

First, let me give you a quick overview. This book follows our lovely female MC, Natalie (who I'll get more into later) and this big, deep, dark secret she's keeping that's eating her alive.

Enter Nathan, the world's best book boyfriend.

Together, they work through their own personal traumas, and fall in love along the way. Isn't that beautiful?

Now, I will say that this book comes with some heavy topics. Before you read, please be aware that this book contains topics such as:

- abuse

- sexual assault

- suicide

Similar to when I read The Way I Used to Be, this book absolutely wrecked me. After I finished it, I really had no words to describe how I felt. I had no words to encapsulate the way this book made me feel. 

It is one of the most heartbreakingly beautiful books I've ever read. At times, I wanted to chuck my kindle across the room, because I would get so mad on Natalie's behalf, or on Nathan's behalf. There were times when I wanted to pull Natalie out of the story entirely so that I could hug her. She spent a lot of the book dealing with the aftermath of her trauma a year before, and it broke my heart every single page.

Now, I usually hate to compare books, but reading this book, I couldn't help but think of The Way I Used to Be. It wasn't that they were written the same, but the content was similar. And like in TWIUTB, Before I Tell You was the most gut-wrenching, raw portrayal of what it's like to live after a sexual assault. It made me cry, it made me sick, and it made me feel. And that's really what a good book is supposed to do, isn't it?

Now, let me just talk about Nathan for a second. He was, in my opinion, one of the best book boyfriends I've ever met (and I've met a lot). I mean, he had notes on his phone on how to help his girlfriend who had anxiety. Like, isn't that just so perfect? Nathan had his own trauma, which made me want to squeeze him so tight & protect him from everything. But, despite all that, he still took care of Natalie, which broke my heart & put it back together. 

To be completely honest with you, I could've finished this book in a day. It was one of those books that I just wanted to keep reading, that I didn't want to put down. Not only was it so heart-wrenching, the romance aspect was fantastic. This book was equal parts sweet & spicy, and it was a second-chance romance, which, obviously, I adore. 

I am still at a loss for words regarding this book, but this is the best I can do. I seriously think everyone should check this one out. 

all my love,

gab <3