Friday, September 20, 2013

Release Day / Before by Melissa Pearl

(A Betwixt Novella #0.5) (Betwixt Series)

WARNING: This book is intended for mature teen readers due to coarse language and mature content.

Book Description:

Dale Finnigan is a teenage rebel; he lives for parties, girls and joy riding in stolen cars. In spite of his uptight parents' constant warnings and lectures, he continues to run wild. His crazy lifestyle is the only way he can live and feel free…until his reckless behavior takes him down a path where there is no going back.

In this prequel to BETWIXT, find out who Dale Finnigan was before he became known as “scar-face”—the unassuming hero everyone underestimates.


The car horn sounded like a trumpet, making me laugh hysterically. Hugh was anything but subtle. Jamming my feet into my Converse shoes, I tie the laces in a hurry and rush for the door.

"Where are you going?"

My mother, one of the shortest people I know, tries to block my way. I gently nudge her aside as I zip up my hoody. "I'm going out," I mumble.

"No you're not. It's Friday night. You have youth group. Your father is expecting to see you there."

"Well he's going to be disappointed...again. How many times do I have to tell you guys I'm not interested? I don't want to sound snarky, but I can't help it. I hate youth group. I hate church. I hate that my minister is my dad who is constantly harping on about it and forcing me to go to stuff that is as boring as hell. It's bad enough they force me to the Sunday morning snore-fest each week. I decided a few months ago, that my parents could stop stealing my Friday nights as well. I used to sneak out after youth group all the time, but it was getting tiring. The last few months of just skipping it have been much easier, although I could do without the arguments.”

"Dale, stop." 

I don't bother holding in my sigh as I pause by the front door. My mother's voice, usually so soft and sweet has taken on a hard edge. It's been doing that a lot lately.

"You know the rules."

Do I ever!

"You must attend youth group. How do you think it looks to the parishioners when their own minister's son doesn't even show up?"

"I don't care how it looks." I spin around to face her. "I don't care what any of those people think. I'm not here to impress them. I never asked to be a minister's kid."


"No! I'm going out." 

Her expression crests with sadness before bunching into a tight frown.

I race out the door before she can stop me. Her voice chases me down the path all the way to Hugh's car. I slam the door shut, trying to block out the, "Dale, you get back here right now!" 

"Go, man, go!" 

Hugh nods and screeches away from the curb, but not fast enough for me to miss the tears welling in my mother's eyes. I shouldn't have looked back.

I hate that. Why does she have to go crying about it and making me feel bad? Maybe if her and Dad would stop lumping so many rules on me, and actually listen to what I had to say, I wouldn't have to cause her so much pain. This had been brewing for years, mostly without me knowing it, but at the end of my freshman year I just snapped. I couldn't play the role anymore. I refused to keep following the rules I thought were stupid. They weren't doing it because they loved me, they were just worried about what the damn church goers thought. It was all about appearances to them. I refused to follow some religion I wasn't even sure I believed in. Hypocrites were the worst kind of sinners, and I wasn't going to be lumped in with them.

No, I had chosen to swing to the complete opposite side of the spectrum. Having spent a lifetime living by the letter of the law, I was now doing my best to live as far from the law as possible. 


Before by Melissa Pearl is a novella in the Betwixt Series. It is an awesome book that had my attention from the very beginning. 

Dale Finnigan is a rebellious 15 year old young man who still lives with his parents. His parents have these rules that they expect him to follow. The rules are there to protect him from ruining his life. Dale doesn’t like it at all so he decides that he is going to do whatever he wants to do no matter what his parents say. 

Dale’s rebellious journey has begun. His parents are trying so hard to keep him from doing bad things that will get him into trouble but no matter what they do or say it doesn’t help. He is out of control and going down a dangerous path. He is sneaking out, drinking, smoking, partying and hanging out with wrong friends who are influencing him to do bad things. One evening he gets caught doing something illegal and has to pay for the consequences of his actions. You figured that he would have learned from what he did but he didn’t. Something really bad happens that changes everything in Dale’s life. Will he be able to change his life around and get back on the right path?

Through out the book I can feel the emotions of what Dale was feeling towards his parents and his life.

Melissa Pearl has done an amazing job. In this book she explains the real life experience of a rebellious teenager. I haven’t read Betwixt, the first book in the series yet so I am really looking forward to going back and reading it. This is a must read so I definitely recommend my friends to check this awesome book out. 

I give this awesome book 5 Dandies!!

Author Bio

“I used to be a full time teacher (11-13 year olds) then I became a full time mother. During that time I also found my passion for writing. Over the last ten years I have been studying the craft and putting myself out there. 

My first trilogy came out in November, 2011. It has been a wild ride swimming in this indie river and I have loved so much of it. I have learned so many amazing things and met so many great people. It has totally solidified the fact I want to be a writer for as long as I possibly can!

I now have five books published and am working on a new YA Fantasy trilogy for 2013. I am having so much fun with it and can't wait to share it with everybody. 

I am from New Zealand, but am currently living in China with my husband and two sons. It has been a culture shock, but it's pretty cool living in such a different country.” ~Melissa Pearl

Add Before to your TBR list on GOODREADS!

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1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much for the fantastic review. I'm so glad you enjoyed it :)


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