Blog Tour Review: Before Takeoff by Adi Alsaid

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Unlike anything I’ve read before

Thank you so much to TBR and Beyond Tours and Adi Alsaid for allowing me to be part of this experience and also providing me with a complimentary eARC and media kit!

Book Information

Genre: YA Literary Romance
Publishing Date: June 7, 2022

The Sun Is Also a Star meets Jumanji when two teens meet and fall in love during a layover-gone-wrong at the Atlanta airport in this thrilling new novel from the author of Let’s Get Lost!

James and Michelle find themselves in the Atlanta airport on a layover. They couldn’t be more different, but seemingly interminable delays draw them both to a mysterious flashing green light–and each other.

Where James is passive, Michelle is anything but. And she quickly discovers that the flashing green light is actually… a button. Which she presses. Which may or may not unwittingly break the rules of the universe–at least as those rules apply to Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta.

Before they can figure up from down, strange, impossible things start happening: snowstorms form inside the B terminal; jungles sprout up in the C terminal; and earthquakes split the ground apart in between. And no matter how hard they try, it seems no one can find a way in or out of the airport. James and Michelle team up to find their families and either escape the airport, or put an end to its chaos–before it’s too late. 

Content and Trigger Warnings

For a list of warnings, tropes, and representation for this book, check out its page on

About the Author

Born and raised in Mexico City, Adi Alsaid is the author of several young adult novels including Let’s Get LostWe Didn’t Ask For This, and North of Happy, a Kirkus Best Book nominee. He’s also the editor of Come On In: 15 stories of immigration and finding home. He currently lives in Chicago with his wife and two cats, where he occasionally spills hot sauce on things (and cats).

Author Links:

Review (no spoilers)

If you’d like to follow along with the rest of the tour, you can find the tour schedule here.

Hello again! Forgive me if this review is shorter than usual but my cat is literally lying on my arms right now and is PURRING as she jostles around while I’m attempting to type 🙄.

Before Takeoff is unlike anything I’ve read before, and I’ve read a good amount of books. I usually don’t like when books are promoted as “blah meets blah“, but “The Sun is Also a Star meets Jumanji” is the perfect way to describe this.

The story takes place over 24 hours and follows two teenagers (Michelle and James) as they fall for each other in an airport where completely nonsensical disasters have begun taking place. Machines explode, glass shatters, all forms of external communication are mysteriously cut off, and all of the airport exits suddenly disappear. It doesn’t take long for the humans to form factions, all trying to deal with the escalating chaos in the ways they deem fit. Michelle and James find themselves unable to find their families and set out on trying to figure out what is causing this so they can stop it before it’s too late.

Nothing made sense in this book and, honestly, that was the best part. The story does drag a little in the middle, but it was a lot of fun trying to guess at what could possibly happen next. Throughout the novel, Alsaid points out several flaws (and strengths) of human nature. We see some humans band together, while others take their frustrations out on each other. In the end I was left to ponder the following question: does the good in the world—in humanity—outweigh the bad?

I recommend this book to anyone who thinks the blurb sounds interesting as I had a blast reading it. You can pick it up at any of the links above.

3 thoughts on “Blog Tour Review: Before Takeoff by Adi Alsaid

  1. Gina June 10, 2022 / 6:07 pm

    Very intriguing review, Jenny.


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