Cover Image: Before I Saw You

Before I Saw You

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Member Reviews

I loved this book so much! The story is so heartfelt and beautiful. 2 people on a recovery ward in hospital, both been through a terrible trauma, both struggling to come to terms with the new path their life is going to take. 

I feel like I've just made this book sound quite depressing but it really isn't. It does tug at your heartstrings now and again, I ended it with tears in my eyes. But it's actually really uplifting and hopeful, warm and funny and just so sweet. 

The characters are what made the story for me. I fell in love with them and felt truly connected to them. And not just Alfie and Alice, the main character, but also the side characters, Sarah, Mr P and Nurse Angles. They all add so much to the story and make it a really well rounded novel. 

This is a book I wouldn't hesitate to recommend to people. It handles the trauma Alfie and Alice are facing really well and their recovery journey I think was really realistic (although their hospital seemed a lot nicer than any I've ever been in!). I think a lot of people will love this one and I've already seen lots of great reviews for it!
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This was an uplifting, warm and cute story about two people who are completely different but come together because of their current situations. Alfie is learning how to walk and continue his life after having his leg amputated and Alice is trying to come to terms that her body no longer feels like it used to and everything in her life has changed due to an office fire. 

I loved the banter in this book! The sarcastic comments and the sniping were honestly what kept me reading this one. Alfie is upbeat, optimistic and just a fun character in comparison to Alice who is closed off, independent and career driven. On paper the two shouldn't even get along but slowly they start to open up to each other and it was so nice to see their friendship blossom, even if they hadn't seen each other. 

However, this book did feel like it dragged at times and the ending left me feeling unsatisfied. I wanted more, I wanted to know what happened with Alice and Alfie and what their future holds. I was left with more questions then answered so would have been satisfied if there had been one more chapter to tie off loose ends. 

Thank you to Random House UK and NetGalley for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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Alfie and Alice meet in neighbouring hospital beds where they are both recovering from serious accidents. One key difference... they have never seen one another.

I really enjoyed the setting for this story which felt like a refreshing twist in that both characters were not battling demons having escaped to a beautiful country or place, but we're instead doing so facing the grim reality in a hospital ward. This immediately made it feel more like a drama than a romance novel, and it seems to walk that line throughout.

Switching pov between the two main characters really worked to give us an insight into them, their thinking and their feelings and established a cheeky and cute dynamic quite early on.

There's a lot of time developing the relationship between Alice and Alfie which is great and the pace is slow as it follows their respective roads to recovery which makes sense.  As readers we don't really get a sense of how much time passes overall and I think that also works well for the setting and reflecting how these two characters would feel as patients on the ward.

Some spoilers ahead...

Once we start preparing for these two characters to leave the hospital however, and in the events leading up to this, the pace appears to pick up quite significantly and in a way that felt rushed.

Alice seems to get out of hospital after her second operation really quickly despite the severity of what happens and we don't hear much about her recovery path - does she have counselling? How is she managing her wounds, does she need hospital check ups? None of this is mentioned for Alice despite us hearing a bit more about Alfie's recovery both physically and mentally outside of the hospital environment and that feels like a gap in the narrative.

We hear that Alice gets a payout in just a couple of paragraphs but nothing of the detail or how it was possible for her to mentally go through with a legal case given she is struggling to just go downstairs and ask for her post. Her best friend's husband was mentioned as someone who could support her through this, so I feel like the foundation was there for this to have been better explained towards the end of the book.

Also, Alice is so keen on hearing from Alfie when she wakes in hospital to find him gone, that when she gets home she is literally distracting herself from thinking of him, yet she completely forgets the present he left for her?

This latter point leads to the post at which the book ends which for me feels too abrupt and almost a halfway or three quarter of the way point. I wanted to know more about what happened on their journey of self love, and their blossoming love and we're just left hanging a bit here which is a bit disappointing.

Despite this, it was still an enjoyable read with likeable characters and really great character development. I particularly liked the underlying message around love blooming through emotional connection rather than physical aesthetic. I just wanted a bit more towards the end.

Thank you to  Random House UK, Transworld and NetGalley for my ARC.
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This was a lovely, heartwarming story! I just adored it and found myself just in love with the whole book. I found it an easy read because it just sped by for me, I didn’t want to stop and I found  the writing to flow so smoothly.  The characters are so interesting, both the main and supporting characters. It’s an emotional read, it really will break you at points, but it’s a story of hope, recovery and healing. Please read this, you won’t regret it 

Thanks to netgalley and the publisher for a free copy for an honest opinion
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3 stars for this book

There was some parts of the book which i wanted to like place it down as the pace of this book is slightly slow to read.

It was an emotional and heartbreaking read but i have to say this it was rather cute the fact that Alice and Alfie slept together . Like would you do that if you are with an stranger. That's rather amazing! They both met in the hospital during their rehab Alfie was learning to walk as his legs gave way during an accident. Alice on the other hand is a very shy quiet person who did not like to share her thoughts with anyone
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This book was such a nice surprise! I went into it with no expectations whatsoever, but I think it's such an undiscovered gem that I haven't heard anyone talking about it and I think it deserves more love. I really enjoyed the dynamic straight away; not just the back and forth between Alice and Alfie but all the other patients on the ward too. The whole concept of these patients and nurses becoming a 'found family' for both the main characters, but more so for Alice, was lovely and something I really like reading about. Overall the pacing of the story was good; I did find myself flagging a bit towards the end before the resolution, but Alice opening up seemed to come at the right time, as did Alfie's growth and coming to terms with things. The whole time while reading it I thought it would make a great film - this doesn't normally happen for me so someone should buy the rights up quickly! Excited to see what Houghton has in store next.
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Alice Gunnersley wakes up in St Francis Hospital. As the traumatic fragments of her memory begin to slot back together, Alice remembers the office building where she spent the majority of her life working in flames and has no idea how she made it out. A few days into her hospital stay, she is moved to the Moira Gladstone ward, a room full of longer term patients in rehabilitation. Horrified by her injuries, Alice vows to stay silent but this is made increasingly difficult by the non-stop chatter of her cubicle neighbour Alfie, who lost his leg as well as his two best friends, in a car crash. While Alice is adamant that nobody is allowed to see her and her ruined looks, bubbly and optimistic Alfie is trying his absolute hardest to break through the walls (and hospital curtain) that surround her...

This was a lovely, heartwarming story! I found it a super easy read and thought the writing flowed really well. The author has created some really interesting characters other than the main ones such as Mr Peterson, an elderly gentleman who is also a resident on the ward and Nurse Angles aka Mother Angel - the most wonderful and compassionate nurse who has nothing but love to give to her patients. 

Although the romance elements of the story are predictable, there are also some pretty dark moments that add levels of suspense throughout. The story is mainly set in the hospital ward and therefore most of the book is various conversations and not a lot of action but I didn’t mind this at all and enjoyed the build-up of Alice and Alfie’s friendship interspersed with the snippets of the fun side characters. I was a bit disappointed with the ending and wish it didn’t end so abruptly - I would have quite liked some more detail there but overall it was a nice and easy read!
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I really liked the dual pov and I've found every character to be understandable. I could empathize with her and her relationship with her mother, so I was a little triggered but it was over soon. For the rest, a nice book but nothing more.
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An emotionally charged, heartbreaking and moving story that moved me and kept me reading.
I loved Alfie and Alice and their slow burning story. They are both well developed and interesting characters.
The plot is well written and slow burning, you have to be patient and will be hooked by this story.
It's the first book i read by this author and won't surely be the last.
Strongly recommended.
Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for this ARC, all opinions are mine
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This book is a bit of an emotional rollercoaster but without the speed that usually comes with a rollercoaster. A few people have called it a slow burn but it wasn't for me. I was hooked quite quickly, not that I could devour it all in a day, but it was easy to invest in the stories and paths that were crossing. I genuinely wanted to see good happen for them. 

It is a *heavily* character based story, of which the characters are on their own journeys of surviving trauma, and ultimately healing in all the ways possible. If you like a book which revolves around people, their interactions and internal monologues almost, then this will work for you. 

Did I believe the romance, yes, actually, it was sweet and filled me with hope for them. Am I glad it wasn't the defining storyline? Also yes. BUT...Did I feel the ending needed to hit more of a romantic tick box? Yes, I needed more. But, on the other hand I can see why it didn't. I don't think this story is meant to be one of romantic love but actually that of self love.
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I adored this book! A really great slow-burn (pun not intended) romantic kinda story, but mainly looking at friendship, family, and finding your inner strength I suppose to get through a very difficult situation. It's about forming connections with complete strangers during hard times, and that maybe you can fall in love with someone without ever seeing them. 

I've included the blurb in the swipe, but essentially Alfie and Alice are both in hospital on the same ward, following life-altering accidents. To begin with, Alice doesn't want to be seen and isn't keen to communicate but after a while her walls begins to come down and her bed-neighbour, Alfie, becomes a source of comfort and friendship for the high-strung businesswoman.

I loved that the story was told from both protagonists' perspectives, meaning we aren't biased towards a particular character- we can both see and be them. The story was also decorated with an excellent cast of supporting characters who all had a purpose and were full of such life. Nurse Angles, the strict but extremely kind head nurse was a particular favourite of mine and for some reason I can imagine Sister Michaels from Derry Girls playing her? 

Overall an honest, likeable story with a unique set up, excellent slow-burn romantic elements and some really emotional bits, too. I did sob a few times!
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Emotional and moving and kind of not what you'd expect from a book that appears from its cover to be a chick lit romance novel.  It's not and it's still good.
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This is a lovely book. Alice and Alfie are a few feet apart in hospital but have never seen each other. Alice was in a terrible accident and doesn't want to be seen by anyone.. She hides behind the bed curtains. But Alfie gets under her skin and becomes an important part of her recovery. With characters that stay with you and an uplifting storyline, I was hooked.
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I loved 'Before I Saw You' so much. This book surprised me a lot, I knew I'd enjoy it but didn't expect to enjoy it as much as I actually did. It is definitely a book that will stick with me for a long time.

I absolutely adored every single character in this book and loved seeing the friendships between all of them. I loved seeing the growing friendship between Alice and Alfie happening throughout the book and seeing their feelings for each other blossom. I loved how Alfie and Alice were kind of opposites, as Alfie was cheerful and positive whereas Alice was quite grumpy and negative, but the friendship between them still worked and you couldn't help but root for them. I also adored Mr Peterson and his friendship with Alfie and how they were always teasing and bantering with each other. 

This book covered so many important topics, such as mental health, dealing with loss and coping with trauma. I thought that these topics were dealt with well and liked how the characters were able to get help for all of these things. 

I loved the story and the writing so much. I flew through this book so quickly and did not want to put it down because I was enjoying it so much. 

If you love character driven stories, with lots of humour and wonderful friendships, whilst also covering important topics such as mental health, then you should definitely read 'Before I Saw You'. I can't wait to read other books by Emily Houghton because I enjoyed this one so much. 

Thank you to Bantem Press for providing me with an advance copy of this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
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Overall rating- 3.5/5

First of all I would like to say that this is not typically a romance book and the story goes much deeper than that. I liked the plot, the characters were relatable and at times I felt emotional reading it. This is more of a women's fiction with a touch of romance. As I said the story goes deeper than that. But I didn't enjoy it that much. It was good read and I like the author's style of storytelling and I would definitely keep an eye for more books in the future but to put it simply, it was not my cup of tea. Not bad but not overly good either. But the cover is definitely good. I loved it.
A huge thanks to the publishers and NetGalley for the advance e-reader copy and a chance to review it.
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Die Idee war besser als die Umsetzung. Kann man lesen, muss man aber nicht. Ich bin gespannt, wie das Buch bei den Leser*innen ankommen wird!
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The general premise for this book is really interesting, and offered plenty of opportunity for character development throughout. Alice Gunnersley was badly injured in an office fire, and is staying in hospital for rehabilitation. In the bed next to her is Alfie Mack who has had a leg amputated after being in a very bad car crash. It is a dual perspective narrative which works really well between them.

Alfie is chatty and cheerful, whereas Alice is introverted and fiercely independent. This contrast is really interesting and creates a great dynamic between the two of them. On the surface, they're both fine but they are both in physical and emotional pain and they are able to bond over that and draw it out of each other. Most characters are good and likeable (except Alice’s mother) and there is a wonderful wonderful camaraderie on the ward with Alfie. It was a wonderfully sweet and cheesy story of healing, and it was very easy to read.

In places it was a little predictable and slow paced, and the ending felt a little rushed to me. But despite this, it was a quick and enjoyable read.

Thank you to NetGalley arc, in echange for an honest review
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Alice & Alfie meet each other while in the hospital, recovering from injuries. 
Alice refuses to let anyone, other than the staff, see her, but she does talk to Alfie, who is in the bed next to her. 

I really enjoyed Alfie's character. I felt more connected to him than Alice, I was more invested in his journey than hers, yet I felt as if the story was centred on Alice. 
I am disappointed in the way the story evolved. I quickly got over Alice's internal dialogue and started to think that Alfie deserved more. 
The author did a great job of tackling some difficult topic, and I like the fresh plot. I would have liked to see more romance in it, and the ending felt abrupt and rushed. 

The banter from Alfie pushed this book up to 3.75 stars (rounded up).
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This story was one of the more heartbreaking ones to read. Alfieand Alice meet in a rehab ward in the hospital as they've both been badly injured.
The story was slow paced but we got to see the characters open up to us and each other.
It was a truly original story, an interesting change from the usual contemporary romance storylines.
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I thought that the book was ok but nothing beyond that.  Many thanks to Netgalley and the Gallery books for sending me an ARC copy in exchange for a review.

The book is basically about two people who meet in hospital as patients. It's a little unrealistic especially as most hospitals have single sex rooms.  Both of their injuries are pretty horrid as well.

What I did like about this book is that I thought that it was an original story but I found that it dragged in parts.
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