Before They Find Us by Michelle A. Hansen
Publication date: November 2013
Genres: Romantic Thriller, Young Adult
I’m going to make you wish you were dead.
Just a text. Seventeen-year-old Rebecca Hales tries not to worry. Probably a wrong number. Not really meant for her, and definitely not related to the crime she witnessed six years ago. Right?
Then two states away, a bomb goes off in her best friend’s locker. Soon Ryan is labeled a terrorist and runs to the safest place he knows—Rebecca’s house in small-town Wyoming. It doesn’t take long for the FBI to show up asking questions. Rebecca lies, of course, and says she hasn’t seen him.
Now she’s neck-deep in it with him, whatever “it” is. The only way out is to return to Vegas, where Ryan is a wanted man. The city of lies and illusion tests Rebecca’s wits as she struggles to find the person who framed Ryan and why.
Is Rebecca’s text linked to the bombing? And what does it have to do with a six year old murder? Rebecca needs to find out before she loses Ryan—and her own life.
Book Review ~ ‘Before They Find Us’ by Michelle A. Hansen ~ 5 Stars!
Well wow! This was one stunner of a book! I was intrigued from the start with ‘Before They Find Us.’
The premise of terrorism and bombing in a young adult book drew me in and I was excited and apprehensive to see how this story would be carried out with young protagonists. I was amazed by how well the author kept the suspense throughout the novel. I was concerned that I wouldn’t feel as worried about the outcome of the story because it was aimed at young adults, and therefore couldn’t end too sadly, but I was blown away by how original the storyline was, making me second guess how it could end at every turn, and how I sat on the edge of my seat throughout, biting my lip and reading late into the night to see what happened to the characters I had come to care about so much.
I loved Rebecca from the start. I loved the strength she had, despite the pain associated with her past. I felt for her and how isolated she was all for doing the right thing and identifying a suspect in a crime she witnessed at a young age. It really hit home how small town politics and family status can have so much power, and I felt bereaved for Rebecca for the loss she had experienced all for doing the right thing.
The storyline was paced perfectly, and I loved all the detective work that Rebecca did to help clear her best friend Ryan’s name after a bomb goes off in his school locker and he goes on the run. I adored the relationship that the two had, with their close friendship infused with humour and light flirting as well as close intimate moments that make romance seem possible between them. I loved the devotion that Rebecca had for Ryan, even when she has her own worries when she receives threatening texts. Her complete faith in his innocence and the way she gave up her own life and safety for him was inspiring and had me so invested in both characters.
The story was thrilling and the suspense was balanced perfectly throughout. I couldn’t put my kindle down when I entered the last third of the book, I was so engrossed in the story which is something I haven’t experienced with young adult books for a while now. This book restored my faith in many book in the same genre and I commend the author for her incredible job in writing such a serious and emotional story whilst keeping it faithful to the genre it was created for.
On a last note, the extra features of the mobile phone photos was a great touch and made me feel as though I was actually interacting in the story and not just reading it. Brilliant job!
5 Stars and a definite recommended read.
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Michelle A. Hansen
Michelle A. Hansen was raised in southeastern Washington. She earned her bachelor of arts degree in English teaching from Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, and taught high school English for six years.
Michelle loves Pepsi and Doritos more than chocolate. She loves summertime and hates to be cold. She has had three near-death experiences. She’s addicted to office supplies and has an irrationally large stash of pens and notebooks.