Title: You Before Anyone Else by Julie Cross & Mark Perini
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Genre: Contemporary, Young Adult/New Adult, Romance
Length: 400 pages
Book Rating: B+
Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley
Everything she wants. Everything he needs.
The supportive friend, the reliable daughter, the doting big-sister: Finley is used to being the glue that holds everyone together. But while her sweet demeanor makes her the perfect confidant, her wholesome look isn’t landing her the high paying modeling jobs, which are what Finley needs if she is going to reopen her mother’s dance studio.
Enter Eddie. He’s intense and driven, not to mention the life of every party, and he completely charms Finley. The last thing she wants is another commitment to stand in the way of her dreams, but when she’s with Eddie, their chemistry takes over and she can let go of her responsibilities and just be. After all, what’s so wrong about putting herself first once and a while?
Except Eddie is hiding a secret. A big secret. And when it surfaces, he and Finley are going to have to choose between their love for each other and everything else…
You Before Anyone Else by Julie Cross & Mark Perini is an absolutely delightful young adult/new adult romance that has a substantive plot, a sweet love story and charming characters.
Eddie Wells stumbles onto a modeling career just as he is trying to make some much needed improvements to his life. He never takes himself or his photo gigs too seriously and this blasé attitude makes him an instant sensation so he scores some pretty impressive modeling jobs. There is much more to Eddie than meets the eye and it is impossible not to like him as he tries to leave behind his troubled past while at the same time attempting to make a serious decision that will forever change his life. He is a likable, sympathetic character that is impossible not to root for as he stands up to his wealthy family and refuses to acquiesce to his father’s self-serving demands.
Finley Belton is frustrated by her inability to get more modeling jobs because she is viewed as sweet rather than edgy. Like Eddie, modeling is just a stepping stone to help her achieve her goal of making enough money to re-open her family’s ballet studio. Devoted to her father and two younger brothers, Finley is a kind-hearted, compassionate young woman who unexpectedly finds herself revisiting an old dream when she begins dancing again. Torn between her desire to stay close to home, she is unexpectedly conflicted about which dream she should pursue. Adding to Finley’s confusion is her unexpected romance with Eddie.
Eddie and Finley’s relationship begins as an out of character one night stand. Trying to change her image and shake up her boring routine, Finley meets Eddie at party and eventually invites him to her place. Neither of them typically indulge in hookups so the morning after is quite awkward for both Finley and Eddie. As their paths continue to cross, their discomfort slowly evolves into a reluctant friendship that gradually becomes a summer romance. While Finley is aware of some of Eddie’s secrets, she has no idea what precipitated his split from his family. Just as their romance deepens into a real relationship, Eddie’s past collides with his present and he finally reveals the troubling truth about himself and his family. Their lighthearted, fun romance now takes a serious turn as both Finley and Eddie try to make important decisions about their future both as a couple and as individuals.
Written in alternating points of view, You Before Anyone Else by Julie Cross & Mark Perini is an engaging novel that beautifully blends romance with true to life, relatable subject matter. The characters are wonderfully developed and although flawed, they are sympathetic and easy to like. The dialogue is snappy with plenty of laugh out loud humor. The plot is unique and compelling with elements that are common to both young adult and new adult genres. An all around fantastic read that I highly recommend to readers of all ages.