You Before Anyone Else
Julie Cross & Mark Perini
This book can be downloaded and read in iBooks on your Mac or iOS device.
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…
“Halfway Perfect reaches deep into inner truths while stripping away the shine of outer beauty.” —New York Times bestselling author Jay Crownover
Easy to relate to, the story is a solid afternoon read.
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.
I received an eArc copy of the title from the publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.
It was ok
For the most part, this was pretty well written. However, it didn’t flow as smoothly as I would have expected. Sometimes I felt like it was glaringly obvious that it was two authors trying to meld their styles. It broke my concentration every once in a while, but for the most part, it’s not something that, if it were my only concern, would keep me from recommending the book.
The story was well plotted and I didn’t feel like there were any holes. I liked Eddie and Finley as people, their banter was cute and witty. At times, I felt like the characters weren’t fully developed as they could have been though.
The premise was certainly cute and spending time in the world of music and performance gave the book a fun spin. I was enjoying the book quite a bit until I found out Eddie’s secret. It was a huge twist in the story, but not in a particularly good way. It’s hard to respond to it without giving it away, but the reality of the secret, the incredibly serious nature, it made it hard for me to swallow that Eddie and Finley could come back from that. Especially at their age.
I’m really quite torn on this book, the flaws I see re simply my opinion and if you are vacillating about reading it, I’d recommend you give it a shot.