Series: Starstruck #2
Publisher: Self Published on August 25, 2014
Reading Challenges: 2014 Standalone Reading Challenge
Amazon • Goodreads
Sometimes, you have to get lost to find yourself...
When her rock star boyfriend breaks things off out of the blue, Alyssa applies to hit reality TV show Deserted and to her shock she gets through. Abandoned on a remote island with a bunch of strangers and none of the luxuries she’s become accustomed to, it’s not long before an undeniable attraction to the mysterious Joshua starts complicating things even further.
Joshua's different to everyone she's ever known - a traveller, a man with no plan, a world away from the celebrity life she's left behind. As a series of challenges test their wits and weaknesses, things start heating up in paradise, but in a game designed to break people down, it soon becomes clear that Joshua is hiding a painful secret - one he won’t risk anyone finding out.
Struggling to know where she belongs, Alyssa will have to choose - a life she once loved that wants her back, or a brand new reality that heartbreakingly may just have its limits.
Check out my review of Before He Was Famous (Starstruck #1)
“Joshua smiles, runs his finger round the rim of the coconut. ‘Some people are summer, and some people are winter,’ he says softly after a moment, but I’m just looking at the ocean now, trying not to fall.’”
I absolutely adored book one and I wanted to read Alyssa, Chloe’s best friend’s, story.
Before He Was Gone had a plot that I haven’t seen in a book thus far. It centered around a reality TV show, Deserted, where a group has to survive on a deserted island and people get voted off until the last person standing wins the one million dollar prize. I had seen commercials for tv shows like this but it was so interesting to actually read the story of the players. It definitely did not lack excitement and I was glued to the book the entire read.
Alyssa was the main character in this novel. Her story doesn’t start too well, with her boyfriend (the drummer in Noah Lockton’s band) breaking things off. Alyssa decides that she needs a change and applies for Deserted. She wasn’t your typical character. She reminded me of Katniss with her strength and determination to win. She was relatable and funny and an overall appealing character to read.
Joshua was somewhat of an enigma in this novel. He was mysterious in all facets. He was hiding something and that kept me wondering about him until the end. He was really closed off in this novel so it was hard to form a really strong opinion on him. From what I did see, though, he was pretty tough and a good leader. I wish we would have been able to see more of his personality in the novel, though.
The attraction in between Joshua and Alyssa was instantaneous, even from before they were left on the island. However, it didn’t develop very quickly. There were stolen glances and lots of tension, but a romance between the two of them could have put their personal game at risk. In addition to that, Joshua was shut closed like a safe and that didn’t help for an emotional connection. But the connection was there and you could feel the tension. They also had a friendly relationship which, in my opinion, made their eventual romantic relationship more real.
As I mentioned before, the setting of this novel was a reality tv show set on a deserted island. The world building was great and I actually felt like I could have been watching a tv show. It was unlike anything that I’ve read before and it blew me away.
Before He Was Gone was just as amazing as Wick’s first novel in the series, Before He Was Famous. With great characters and a unique plot line that I’ve never seen before, this book kept me hooked from beginning to end.