Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Review: Before Ever After by Samantha Sotto

It's funny how you hear about books and authors. I can't recall how I ran into Samantha Sotto on the blog circuit-- we must have been involved in some blogfest together. She had lived in the Netherlands like me, and so I enjoyed seeing what she had to say.

I liked her blog, followed it, and we commented back and forth on each other's blogs. At the time, I remember her book was available for pre-order. Then it published, and it was neat to watch all of that unfold. She was jetting around, visiting book clubs and going on signings, having interviews and magazine shoots.

I ordered her book  Before Ever After without even knowing what it was about. It came and like SO many books, it found a place on my waiting shelf. Based on the title alone I thought it was a fairy tale-themed book.

Check out this gorgeous cover.

This November I pledged to read some of the books on my shelf that were written by "blog friends", and Samantha's was the first I grabbed.

People. I'm telling you. You should treat yourself to this book. If you forced me to sum it up in one word it would be magical... no exhilarating... no, I change my mind, it's surprising... no, delectable.

Okay, I can't sum it up in one word.

Here's a little blurb based on the cover copy (these are not spoilers, I PROMISE)

Shelley's husband Max dies tragically, leaving her widowed at a young age. Three years later a young man appears on her doorstep who looks nearly identical to her lost husband. He claims to be Max's grandson, and takes her on a journey to the Philippines to attempt to track down his grandfather and her husband, who Shelley knows to be dead.

And it is SO much more than that.  Samantha's book is beautifully written, with a plot that carries you through time and around the world. I love to try to crack the plots of books before I finish them, but this book really was an enigma wrapped up in a mystery, surrounded by a puzzle. The clues were all there, but it wasn't possible to bring them together until the very end. And when it all came together, it was logical (in its own way), satisfying, and just worked perfectly.

I can't say more without spoiling it. I can say that I HIGHLY recommend this book.

It will have you itching to visit Europe (but only on a tour with Max), ready to fall in love, and dying for baked eggs.



  1. Sounds awesome, Kat! I'll add it to my list. :)

  2. What a cover- and a cool summary, too. I'm adding this to my list!

  3. I've heard so much buzz about this book, and that cover is gorgeous. GORGEOUS. I'll definitely be checking it out. Thanks!

  4. That is a beautiful cover, and the story sounds fantastic. Thanks for putting this one on my radar, Kat!

  5. I think I saw something about this in Shelf Awareness a while back, and thought I'd like it--thanks for jogging my memory! Looks awesome. And that cover is gorgeous.

  6. Um, yeah - this sounds DELIGHTFUL!!! Must check it out!

  7. Thanks for the recommendation! I've been looking for something to read that isn't YA, and this totally fits the bill.

  8. Aww....thank you for the lovely review, Kat! So happy you enjoyed the book! :)

  9. This is on my TBR list--I love the premise and the direction. Just as Lo Hughes wrote--something that isn't YA.

  10. Wow, sold. I hadn't heard about this one, so a double thank you. It sounds... I'll take delectable!

  11. Thanks for all the great comments!

    I hope you guys read it and let me know about it, because I'm dying to discuss the ending with someone!!!

  12. My TBR list is out of control. I seem to get all my book recs from Twitter now by the way, and from book reviews on blogs.

  13. That cover is beyond gorgeous! And the story sounds awesome. It's on my list! Thanks for the review! You're good at this and I trust your judgment.


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