Last May I read Halfway Perfect from this writing duo which surprised me with their ability to add depth and darkness to the story without becoming maudlin. Returning to the blog with another release is Julie Cross & Mark Perini. Please read on for my review and excerpt, check out the tour stops to see what other readers thought and don’t forget to enter the tour wide giveaway where you could win a Signed Copy of YOU BEFORE ANYONE ELSE & a $25.00 B&N Gift Card. AND be sure to check out the additional giveaway – details below!
You Before Anyone Else
A story that straddles the line between YA and NA – it felt more to me like a YA with characters thrown into adulthood a bit too fast, or trying to be ‘grown up’ when they weren’t quite emotionally ready for it. Still, acceptable for the 16 and older crowd I would expect. As in Halfway Perfect, Cross and Perini are dealing with models and modeling, and for this story- rich in family dramas, budding romance and growth, it works quite well.
Finley is a model without the ‘edge’ or experience of others: even her agency has commented on her squeaky clean reputation. In an effort to improve her marketability, she pushes her own boundaries and engages with Eddie, the prototypical devil-may-care edgy boy, for one night.
Eddie is still in the finding himself mode, but his choices have left him without family support or connection, and he’s really floundering a bit. He likes Finley, and doesn’t want to accept her not seeing him again. So he appears. Everywhere. Friendly and mostly non-threatening. And Finley is at heart, sweet and kind, and is intrigued so their relationship starts at square one and one-half, as friends.
Dual narration takes this story into a deeper perspective as we see the characters’ true feelings and concerns, and their actual desires. Finley’s first love is dance, but her family and particularly the twins, need what help she can provide with her modeling. A series of family tragedies means that her life was never entirely simple, carefree or worry free: but she is surprisingly well-adjusted and determined to find a way to make everything work. Eddie comes from money, but his secrets lead to the reasons for the estrangement, and just may be a deal breaker for Finley.
Characters are well developed, the twists are striking and the story is engaging, if not completely gripping. Most striking is the demonstrated insecurities and issues that Finley and Eddie deal with: both more adult situations and expected typical self-doubts and insecurities. Easy to relate to, the story is a solid afternoon read.
Title: You Before Anyone Else
Author: Julie Cross, Mark Perini
Genre: Contemporary YA Romance
Published by: Sourcebooks Fire
Published on: 2 August 2016
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Heat: Get Your Copy: Amazon ♦ iTunes ♦ Kobo ♦ Book Depository ♦ Google
Bestselling author Julie Cross teams up with international model Mark Perini to create You Before Anyone Else, a poignant and authentic contemporary YA novel and companion to Halfway Perfect
Model Finley needs someone to help her shed her "good girl" persona, so she'll try Eddie on for size.
New York City model Finley is fed up with hearing the same feedback at castings: she needs to take some serious action to wipe the "good girl" stamp from her resume if she wants to launch to stardom.
Enter Eddie Wells. He's shallow, predictable…and just as lost as Finley feels. Deep down, Finley is drawn to Eddie's bravado, his intensity. Except Eddie is hiding something. A big something. And when it surfaces, both loving and leaving Finley will become so much harder.
A copy of this title was provided via Publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.
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