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You Before Anyone Else

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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.

400 pages, Paperback

First published August 2, 2016

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About the author

Julie Cross

34 books1,693 followers
Julie Cross is a NYT and USA Today bestselling author of New Adult and Young Adult fiction, including the Tempest series, a young adult science fiction trilogy which includes Tempest, Vortex, Timestorm (St. Martin's Press). She's also the author of Letters to Nowhere series, Whatever Life Throws at You, Third Degree, Halfway Perfect, and many more!

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5 stars
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 179 reviews
Profile Image for Rose.
417 reviews589 followers
July 7, 2016
I don't get it.
I just don't.


How do you go from the beginning of a beautifully crafted romance to... this.

/ / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / /

It begins with a girl, Finley, and a boy, Eddie. Both are models (aka gorgeous).
Finely is trying to become edgier.
Eddie is hiding something.

They meet at a party in an apartment building where models from a certain agency stay at.. both are in weird places in their lives, and end up having a one-night stand. *cue awkward morning afters, screaming French moms, and way too many run-ins*

I felt a bit disconnected in the beginning, but soon both characters grew on me. It was definitely more of a friends-with-benefits type relationship, but I really enjoyed their conversations. Eddie was a charmer, laid-back, etc. and somehow really meshed well with Finley, who could sometimes be a little uptight. I loved how they opened up to each other about their insecurities, their seemingly unachievable goals, and eventually their secrets.

The number of stairs between her floor and mine: 82
The number of jobs I’ve done without her: 9
The number of times I’ve “bumped” into her: 7
The number of times that was accidental: 1

It was all going so well, until

At around 60%, the story went from cute, funny romance... to lawyers, internal conflict (a lot of it), and a relationship I wasn't rooting for anymore. The 3 stars are for the 'before' and I'm taking off 2 stars for the 'after'.

"Have you done that 'How Mean Am I Really?' quiz I gave you a while back? I think it's time for another self-assessment."

There are just certain things I really can't tolerate in books and that was one of them. If you don't mind that kind of stuff, I would highly recommend. Eddie was extremely lovable, Finley had such great character development, and all the secondary characters really added to the story. Parts of this just didn't work for me, you know?

And thank you so much to Netgalley, and of course Sourcebooks for the ARC.

Profile Image for Dali.
1,797 reviews456 followers
August 7, 2016
Fun, flirty, endearing and touching. Not what I was expecting but I completely enjoyed this story about self-discovery and breaking the mold.
Eddie picks up a lock of my hair. Slowly, he slides it between his fingers. “You’re not my type either. Too pretty. Too nice. Too smart. Too perfect. I’d hate to go after someone I could actually fall for…”

Finley has a goal no one knows about. To achieve it she needs big bucks and therefore better contracts which usually go to edgier, rebellious models and not the selfless, goody goody ones like her. Trying to get out of her comfort zone she decides to have a fling with a fun, yummylicious stranger. As it turns out though, he’s the newest model at her agency who’ll be living in her same building. Can she resist the attraction she feels toward Eddie? After she finds out he’s keeping secrets of his own, will she still feel the same way about him?

Eddie Wells’ confident, carefree façade couldn’t be further from the truth. He’s taken a job no one knows about because he needs the money to refocus his life which he’s not exactly sure what direction will take. And just the tip of the iceberg of secrets he’s keeping. But in the meantime, he’d love nothing more than to spend time with the smart, beautiful, down to earth girl who makes his feel calm but only wants a one night stand. Can he convince Finley to at least give him a chance to enjoy the now? Will spending time with her make him open up and reveal all his troubles? When the time comes, will he be able to give her up?
My head clouds with a million thoughts – “Who are you Eddie Wells? What is your story? Why does it seem like you have so much to tell? And why is your mouth so easy to stare at?”

I was invited to read this title because I read and enjoyed Julie Cross and Mark Perini’s previous book Halfway Perfect and I’m incredibly thankful for the invite. I liked You Before Everyone Else immensely, which really doesn’t come as a surprise because I’ve read other books by Julie. I will say this though, given the blurb I was expecting a light, fun r about models. What I got was certainly fun, but also endearing characters whose stories pulled at my heart strings.
“Neither of my parents have ever cooked a meal for me. I have no memory of being hugged by them. Ever. They’ve never taken me to the zoo or the park…”

The characterization is fantastic. Both Eddie and Fin feel real and relateable. They’ve both had difficult pasts but neither are boggled down but them. They’re both trying to be better people despite their histories and striving to find their place in the world and in each other’s lives. Finley is totally a goody-two-shoes who tries to help her father, her brother’s, Eddie, everyone really. She’s selfless and ignoring what she’s really wanted to do all her life. I loved how, with Eddie’s help, she found her confidence and made herself a priority.

Eddie was totally adorable. He’s completely lost, a stray, as Finley’s roommate called him. But he’s incredibly sweet, strong and determined to be better than his father, his family. Just be better and try to do the right thing. My heart broke for the total lack of warmth and support he had but applauded his bravery and loved that he found his place in Finley’s life.

There is of course a good dose of delicious chemistry and great banter between Eddie and Fin, however this is a new adult book and their sexy times are mostly delectable make out sessions which fade to black. Something I liked because then the focus is on the actual relationship between them.

I loved the dynamic between them which was strong and sweet, tentative and yet intense. The way they accept and support each other is lovely. If they put what they truly want on a map, their paths barely cross because modeling to them is a means to an end. Yet they don’t try to change the other, but rather try to fit as best as possible their lives to one another. Which included Fin’s incredibly adorable twin brothers and amazing dad.

I absolutely have to give a shout out to Fin’s father, Sam. He’s loving and supportive, really cool and understanding. He wants what’s best for his daughter but isn’t imposing in any way. The completely opposite to Eddie’s family.

You Before Everyone Else hits all the right New Adult marks about barely being old enough to vote, not old enough to drink and still having tough adult choices to make and finding oneself. The pace was terrific, I desperately wanted to know Eddie’s secrets and then wanted to know how everything would unfold and was so glad that the ending was a very realistic and happy.

Even though this book isn’t marked as a series, I loved having Alex, Eve and Evana from “Halfway Perfect” back, playing pivotal roles in the story. You Before Everyone Else is a YA standalone book, told from both points of view with a happy ending.

4.5 stars

* I was given an ARC of this book courtesy of the authors via NetGalley. The excerpts are from that copy. *

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Profile Image for Drew.
449 reviews504 followers
September 25, 2016
“Why is your mouth so easy to stare at? And why do I want to kiss you so badly?”

Cue another young adult romance that is so desperately trying to follow the path of every new adult book, complete with casual sex, a good girl falling for a bad boy, and a hidden past… ooh, I'm so intrigued. No, I'm actually not, because I've read this exact same scenario way too many times.

As if there aren't enough of these books. Honestly, I wouldn't mind this type of story, even though it's unbelievably predictable, if it were actually well written with believable, fleshed-out characters. The problem with You Before Anyone Else was that the main characters were so dull and I was utterly uninterested in their romance.

For starters, I couldn't tell the point of views apart. I never would have guessed that this book was written by two different authors. Eddie and Finley's narratives sounded exactly the same. They're both hot, gorgeous models in New York who hook up after a party one night, then coincidentally find themselves running into each other… over and over again. Before they know it they're caught up in one another's lives and personal drama. Yawn.

I don't think I even have to specify what type of romance this is: Corny, eye roll–worthy lines, an insecure relationship fueled by jealousy and ex-girlfriends, angsty backstories, traumatic flashbacks in italics… you know, the usual.

When the big secret about Eddie's hidden past was let out (which you can guess in an instant if you've ever read anything from the NA genre), it was supposed to be some game changer for Eddie and Finley's relationship, but I didn't care one bit about it. It just felt like the authors were trying to spice up the boring romance with some excitement. Hmm, Eddie and Finley aren't doing much besides kissing and trading cheesy dialogue? Let's add a plot twist!

I couldn't have cared less about these characters or their situation.

“So is this how it’s gonna be?” I touch my forehead to hers. “I do something for you, and then you do something for me?”
“Pretty sure that’s how it works,” she says with a nod.
Profile Image for Dilushani Jayalath.
907 reviews158 followers
September 25, 2021
Another YA (is this even considered YA?) from my shelves done. I’m slowly but surely trying to finish all those untouched YA novel left collecting dust. It’s taking up quite the bit of energy but I’m doing it nonetheless.

First and foremost, I really don’t care about 18 year olds going through a tough time while modeling and turning up at parties thrown by Alexander Wang while having not one by two trust funds left to them by their parents and grandparents. Really how tough can their lives get? They go ahead and get high and make one mistake and then their lives are ruined for the sake of a plot for the book. I’m sorry if I come out sounding like a judgemental hippie but there was nothing this book offered to me other than an addition to my growing dislike to YA novels which focuses on nonsensical plots that are driven to give all the problems in the world to kids who seemed to find the right thing to do at the right time. Nope. Life isn’t like that and I don’t want it painted that way. I feel like I’m rebelling against the upper class from my middle class status but this simply isn’t a theme I like. This little bit that I have said about the book is more than enough for anyone to understand the lack of stars that I’ve given to the book. Also the state of my half-heartedly written review. I was so bored I did not even want to put thoughts into this review and just typed off whatever that came to my head. I am just going to base adios and sign off this mess of a review.
July 23, 2016
This book kind of blew me away. From beginning to end I was consumed. The first half of this story is a sweet, refreshing YA romance that pulled me right in. Eddie and Finley's dynamic is everything I love about watching young love blossom. It's intense but sweet, uncertain but profound, and it's unexpectedly sexy without being overt. The build and the chemistry and the banter between all of the characters was just perfection. I didn't expect to be so immersed, so captivated by this story. I didn't expect to fall so deeply in love with Finley and Eddie, with their drastically different stories, their captivating personalities, with the unpredictable journeys they'd both embark upon in this book.

I also didn't expect the course of events that took place in the second half of the book. What an unexpected, emotionally taxing turn this story took. It was beautiful and raw and painful and joyful. It's a ride that hurt to take but was so worth it. Where the first half of this story left me breathless over the sheer romanticism within those pages, the second half stole my breath for entirely different reasons. This storyline is heavy and I loved every bit of where the authors took these characters. Through all of it, it always felt so true, so authentic, so consistently honest. Everything from the smart dialogue to the honest human reactions by every single character within this unforgettable cast felt so right.

I hadn't read much YA over the last few years but I've been making it a point to do so and this story just reminded me why I love it so much, why I need to read more of it. I love the innocence and the vulnerability that exists in YA stories, I adore the feelings you can only really get from stories like this. But I also think there's something wonderful about the writing in YA, the manner in which these authors crafted every thought, every emotion, every mannerism so exquisitely. I just loved it. I loved everything about You Before Anyone Else. This is a story that will stay with you. I'm profoundly sad as I write this that this story is over. It'll definitely be a book I return to again and again.
Profile Image for Nemo (The ☾Moonlight☾ Library).
626 reviews302 followers
June 7, 2018

Model Finley needs to shed her ‘good girl’ image, so she takes in mysterious newcomer Eddie for a one night stand. But the two can’t seem to stay away from each other, and as their relationship grows, Eddie’s secrets threaten to tear them apart.


This book straddles the line between YA and NA. The characters are eighteen but are facing some Very Grown Up Problems as well as some regular teen issues such as work and family. Finley’s trying to change her image, so she keeps dismissing Eddie – mostly as shallow and arrogant, although she later admits he’s never displayed either of those properties. Eddie just keeps surprising her, latching on to her tragedy-laced family and bonding with her adorable twin brothers. Finley may be a model but her first love is dance, and she I slowly reintroduced to that world through her modelling work. Eddie, meanwhile, has to deal with a family that has disowned him for a mistake he made before the book started.


I quite liked both Finley and Eddie. I vaguely remember Finley from the Eve and Adam’s story where she did a shoot with Adam. It was nice to see this whole developed backstory for her and I loved her love of dance and how her uniqueness in being a model and the daughter of a dancer really made her shine when the lights were fixed on her just so. I loved her developing friendship with Eve and her strong family ties.
Despite Finley trying to frame Eddie as a useless lump of a boy, I quickly grew to like him as he ingratiated his way into Finley’s life. I liked how he stood up for her brothers and even developed a bond with her dad. I didn’t expect the twist that I won’t spoil – I thought the actions he was making up for were something else, so I was pleasantly surprised at his actions throughout the book. I will just say that I didn’t like that he fought so hard for his beliefs throughout the book only to end up compromising them at the end. While it seems Finley may have also compromised on her goals, I think hers made more sense.


I liked the shifting points of view. It was nice to see both characters from each other’s perspectives. The writing was quite contemporary and I liked the kind of behind-the-scenes stuff of the modelling world, too. I think my favourite part was when Eve was photographing Finlay and Eddie. It’s not easy to use words to describe the beauty in professional photography, but I got very strong mental images of the photographs and I’d really love to see someone recreate them.


The pacing was really good, I felt like I reached halfway almost without noticing. It dropped off a little in the second half of the book once we found out Eddie’s secret, and to be honest it didn’t quite pick back up to its original pace. I found the climax a little underwhelming and I’ve already mentioned I wasn’t satisfied with Eddie’s final decision.


Similar to Anything to Have You by Paige Harbison, I don’t quite get the reference of the title. You Before Anyone Else – neither Finley nor Eddie make this promise to anyone: they don’t put each other first, and they don’t put their families first. They really do what is best for themselves, with little sacrifice. However, I love these modelling books! So long as Cross and Perini keep writing them, I’ll keep reading them.

I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Profile Image for Cristina (My Tiny Obsessions).
470 reviews96 followers
July 21, 2016
Read full review HERE


I am so glad that I requested this book, seriously, so so glad! First I would like to talk a bit about the book’s genre. While I requested it under Teens & YA, I have to say that for me this book is more a New Adult book than anything else.

With that out of the way, I loved this one! The writing is great, and I really liked how it flowed between the two POVs and how distinct Eddie and Fin’s voices were. I’ve read enough YA/NA dual POVs books to know that doesn’t always happen, so I was so glad that it went without a hitch here.

I don’t know exactly what I was expecting when I read the blurb, but Eddie and Finley were way better characters and way more developed than I thought possible. I found them both such strong people, who had to face some terrible things and tried to be better because of that. I really liked how Finley tried to help everyone and be there for her brothers and father, even if she put herself last in the process, and I loved how she little by little made herself a priority. And Eddie, I loved Eddie, he’s just such a great guy. I really liked that he was doing what he thought was the right thing, and I totally understood why he did it. He was fierce. He was strong enough to leave everything behind for what he thought was the best, that takes guts. Also, YAY for a gorgeous and privileged guy who is not cocky or decided, or a huge player.

I have to say, the relationship between Eddie and Finley is probably one of my favorites ever. It’s amazing how they are 100% acceptive of each other, and while they wanted what was best for the other one, they never judge or tried to change, or did anything other than support one another 110%. And another amazing thing was how it there’s never really a conflict between them, not really.

That’s one of the most amazing things about this book: it’s not really about the romance. It’s about both of them doing what is right for THEM – as Fin doing something for herself, and Eddie doing what is best for him (etc). Their relationship is just an added bonus. A support system. A family.

Speaking of family, I’m IN LOVE with Fin’s family. Seriously, she has the best dad. Sam is amazing, I don’t even have enough words to express how amazing he is. He’s supportive of her, but still pushes her to be her best self, he doesn’t judge anything she does, or who she associates with. And best of all, when she brings Eddie into their lives, he welcomes him, and becomes the support that Eddie needs as well… AMAZING! Then there’s the twins, and Eddie taking care of the twins, and my heart soaring reading this, because he’s perfect with those little guys… *sigh*.

I struggled with one of the main issues of this book, and I have to admit that it made me cry. But I think the resolution was perfect, and I was so glad that Eddie and Finley got what they wanted and needed.

I highly recommend this book, it’s such a beautiful story that balances teen and adult problems, and how to be yourself in a world where you’re expected to be anything but. This book has an amazing love story, a great family and great friendships. Read it!
Profile Image for Beth .
290 reviews215 followers
June 16, 2016
This book is adorable. I would say it's on the high end of YA. I've read some New Adult that was on par with this, so it's geared towards the older crowd of YA. Not saying a 14 year old couldn't read it or that it's super mature, but there are Grown Up Problems(tm) in this book.

Writing this review is difficult because talking about my favourite part of the book would be a huge spoiler. So I will talk about it without talking about it.

Somehow, lately, I've read three different books set with this trope. And I love it more and more every time. It's a trope that I had never seen before and I hope to all the gods that it becomes a Thing. In both YA and New Adult. It's important. It's needed. It's very close to my heart for personal. I know, this is so confusing because I can't even talk about it.

This book is great though. The writing is awesome. The dual perspectives are never confusing. The humor is right up my alley. It's like someone sat Julie Cross down and said "these are all the things that Beth likes in books, so make sure it's included" and it was.

From the synopsis, we know that there is going to be a huge plot twist. And I think Cross went about it perfectly. The lead up to it was amazing. I couldn't put this book down because I just needed to know what was going on. And then of course when I did find out what was going on, I just HAD to find out how it was going to be resolved.

This isn't an "edge of your seat" type of book, but it definitely kept me interested up until the very last word. I'm sad that this is a standalone because I could read 200 books with Finley and Eddie as the love interests. They are so adorable. OTP forever.

Profile Image for Katja (Life and Other Disasters).
375 reviews72 followers
June 21, 2016
**I was provided with an eArc via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review!**

I was really excited when I got approved for this arc and I am even more happy that it held up to the hype I made for it myself. You Before Anyone Else is one of those books that kind of defy a certain categorization. On the one hand it is definitely YA – Finley and Eddie are around 18 years old, their romance is hot with sparks flying rather quickly but it is never explicit or anything like that. Then again, it also deals with NA issues – both of them are already out of school, working and living on their own or at least without parental supervision of any kind. They have do deal with problems that both teenagers and new adults have to face, the tiresome task of really narrowing down what you want to do with the rest of your life. So, I couldn’t put it in one genre for sure, but I enjoyed how it blurred the lines for both.

Finley and Eddie are such great main protagonists. They were often way more grown up than I thought they might be and they handled every twist and turn that life threw their way with responsibility and care. I would like to talk about those more, but that would spoil parts of the story. Let’s just say they are both family people and that was adorable. I think the blurb makes it seem like at least one of them is shallow or reckless, but that’s just not true and their love is the cutest. It starts out as real instant attraction, but definitely not love (because we all know how much insta-love sucks). From there on it builds to a sort of friendship and just then to even more, with the teasing and attraction being a constant companion and source of fun. In general, this book is really funny! I loved that about it.

It was sort of astounding to me how casually they were talking about castings for various well known designers and for whom they had already shot campaigns. I don’t read all that many model books and when it’s about actors, the people are mostly made up, so this kind of made me gush sometimes and I am not even that much into fashion. The whole atmosphere was really fun and different from my usual reads. I get that modeling wasn’t their ultimate life goal, but it was still cool to get a glimpse of that world.

I very much enjoyed how everything tied together in the end! It was a real happy ending, maybe an idealistic one in some parts but at the same time they made realistic choices. I know that sounds contradictory, but the book made you hopeful that dreams can come true, but that life isn’t the easiest thing to handle at the same time and needs constant work. So, that balance was great!

Fazit: 4/5 stars! It’s not a book that will keep you on the edge of your seat, but you will laugh and feel with Finley and Eddie as they try to figure out their life!
Profile Image for zainab.
268 reviews149 followers
July 21, 2016
**I was provided with an eArc via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review**

The book started off really good but then it became a torture and I was really close to dnf-ing it.

No, I don't hate this book but this book is dragged.. a lot. It's 400 pages long and I think that the authors (It's written by two authors) could wind up the story in 200 or maximum 300 pages. I got bored of reading this book and that's one of the reasons why it took me 3-4 days to finish it.


I don't like Finley's character. She's too perfect and flawless for me to like her. Quoting the NetGalley synopsis She's "The supportive friend, the reliable daughter, the doting big-sister" I know the reasons but it's way too much. I mean, she's a too-sweet and too-kind friend who never gets angry or mad and it's way too unrealistic. I have been reading books for a long time and I like reading about characters that have flaws and are fighting their inner demons and I know she wants to open her mother's studio (no, it's not a spoiler) but other than that, there's nothing. She feels like a blank character and I couldn't connect with her.

The good thing about this book is the character development. This book has a really good character development. I'm not lying when I say that I started to like Finley at the end of the book. Her character developed a lot and I'm really glad that it did! And Eddie's character felt real. He kept struggling with himself and he kept fighting his family for what he felt was right for him.

The writing was okay. I have already said that the authors could wind up the book in 200 pages and it kinda felt like the book was dragged. I took a lot of break from this book and thankfully when I went back to it, it didn't feel that bad. I'm satisfied with how the book ended.

I would also like to mention that this book is neither a YA or NA but it's somewhere in between.

I would only recommend you this book if you're really into romantic novels. I'm not into romance books much and that's why I didn't like/enjoy this book a lot.
Profile Image for Amanda.
160 reviews76 followers
July 8, 2016
You Before Anyone Else was such a cute story! At first I was skeptical because I thought the storyline and characters would not be relatable but it definitely exceeded my expectations! We have our main characters Finley, a good girl who moves to NYC to pursue a modeling career and Eddie, a boy who lies to his family to get away from the rich lifestyle and start his life on his own. Finley and Eddie meet at party and after some time and getting to know each other decide to turn their friendship into something more. The love feels real, genuine and you see how they bring out the best in one another. Finley introduces Eddie to her family who ends up adoring him, tells him things she's never told anyone and we get to see how they each interact with each other at work, outside of work and back at home. Finley begins to find her love for dancing again and has to decide what she wants for her future while Eddie has figure out a decision that will change his life. Another thing I loved about this story is that 50% of it was based in my home state. I always love and will always love books that are based in Connecticut because it really brings the story to life. It's a whole new mindset when you can actually visualize what the towns and places look like. I grew up doing dance so I enjoyed seeing Finley find her love for it all over again. The story flew together very well and I couldn't put it down. Definitely a cute beach and summer read. Thank you to NetGalley and Sourcebooks Fire for this copy!
Profile Image for Patty .
818 reviews370 followers
August 18, 2016
**I received an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review**

** 3.5 stars **

Full review will be posted on August 3 2016.
Profile Image for Roxanne.
794 reviews52 followers
September 17, 2016
My thanks to Sourcebooks Fire via Netgalley for the free review copy in exchange for my honest opinion.

It's been awhile since I read the first book in this series, but I remember really liking it and that's why I requested "You Before Anyone Else". This installment did not disappoint - the strong chemistry between the two main characters, the pacing that flows seamlessly throughout the book, and the glimpses we get into the world of modeling are some of the things I loved about the first book, and they were all present here as well.

Cross and Perini have given us two fabulous main characters here. Finley and Eddie are both working through some pretty serious stuff, so neither of them are looking for a long term relationship. In fact, when they first hook up, it's with the understanding that it will be a "one night stand". But, surprise surprise! They actually end up really liking each other, and a strong friendship develops. The more time they spend together, the more they come to rely and trust in each other, and I think that's probably what I enjoyed the most - the building of a beautiful friendship.

I also really liked how both Finley and Eddie realize modeling is not a long term career for them. Finley is modeling to save money so she can reopen her mom's dance studio, and Eddie sees modeling as a very short term solution to his homeless status. He has a goal in mind that I won't divulge for fear of spoiling anything, but modeling seems like the best source of income to keep him in Manhattan, which is where he needs to be for the moment. I found Eddie's attitude towards modeling quite humorous! He really didn't like getting made up to have his photo taken, but he was just so good at it! Finley and her roommates couldn't get over how he could become so accomplished without even really trying.

I looooved Finley's family! Her dad was just awesome, and her little brothers were super cute! I thought every moment involving these three characters was a great one, with nothing over the top or extraneous. So many books in this genre get family dynamics so wrong, with either tons of cheesy moments that make me roll my eyes, or a villainous family member who has no redeeming qualities. I suppose Eddie's parents could fall into that latter category, but even though they were terrible, I think they were realistically portrayed.

The ending was, again, realistic. I'm happy with the way things turned out, 'nuff said. I really hope to see updates on these characters in future books of the series, the same way Eve and Alex appeared in this book. Finley and Alex are a wonderful couple, and I'd love to see more of them!

My rating: 3.5 stars
Profile Image for Penni .
42 reviews11 followers
May 27, 2016
I really enjoyed reading this so much so that I refused to put it down except maybe to eat and watch The Flash season finale. I just had to know what they were both hiding and what was going to happen between the two. At first I did not like how each chapter had a heading of either EDDIE or FINLEY, but they quickly became a non-factor the more I read. I liked how the authors introduced bother characters and how they introduced either to one another. The flow of the story was well written as well and the way everything was revealed did not seem rushed nor did it seem drawn out. The big secret Eddie is keeping was evident once one of the characters was introduced, but story behind the mishap and his logic for wanting better was not expected. The finale of the story may be a little quick or tossed together, but I think it did the story justice and left the happy ending resonance.

Looking for a good love story between two young adults? Love happy endings? Love romance? I think you’ll enjoy this book and I doubt that you will want to put it down once you begin.
Profile Image for Mary.
994 reviews426 followers
July 31, 2016
First of all, I think the summary of YBAE does the book a gross disservice because it's really deceptive. Indeed, Eddie has a big secret, HUGE, but the summary makes such a big deal about Eddie and Finley's modeling, and it's really a tiny part of the book. The first 20% of the book was frustrating. It seemed shallow and not well developed with little action plot-wise and little information character-wise, but I was pleasantly surprised when Julie and Mark really delved into their characters. I even cried, and that's always a good thing.
Profile Image for Cocktails and Books.
4,089 reviews314 followers
September 15, 2016
This review was originally posted on Cocktails and Books

There was so much about YOU BEFORE ANYONE ELSE  that I loved.  The characters, the storyline and even the backdrop for this story were perfect.  But what I loved most about this book were Finley and Eddie.  Their unmistakable draw to each other.  The uncanny way they knew when the other needed them, even when they were trying to stay away.  It was remarkable that two people so young could know exactly what they wanted from the other...even when they didn't know what they wanted from themselves.

Finley and Eddie find themselves, at the tender age of 18, trying to breakaway.  Eddie from his controlling family, desperate to have something that is his.  And Finley, desperate to make money to re-open the one place that always brought her happiness...her parents' dance studio.  They both turn to modeling and suddenly are running in the same circles, living in the same building and finding themselves drawn to each other.

Both these characters have pieces of them that are broken, but Eddie is by far the wrose off of the two of them.  Modeling for him is a way to runaway from his family and the nightmare that has been his life for several months.  Typecast as a "bad boy" by the modeling agencies, Eddie is anything but.  He's thoughtful, sweet and determined to do the right thing no matter what the cost.  When Eddie's full story is revealed, it's hard to not admire a kid who was so willing to stand up for what he wanted, even if that meant leaving the comforts he had known before behind.

Finley was instantly likable and as we got to know her, we understand why she carried the burdens that she did.  But as she carried those burdens, she also forgot what it was that she loved before her world fell apart.  It took Eddie's belief in her, his gentle pushing and a good friend with a camera to show Finley that she could follow her dream and still achieve the goal she set out for herself.

This was such a great story and it's one I know I'll be telling people to read.  The book is charming and sticks with you well after you turned to the last page.

Be a #ModelCitizen and Enter to Win!


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Julie Cross and Mark Perini, along with Tasty Book Tours, are celebrating those who have taken the steps in Breaking the Mold on society’s expectations, like Finley, the heroine from YOU BEFORE ANYONE ELSE!  We are looking for anyone who would like to share their story and be entered to win a 2017 Erin Condren Life Planner!


Head over to fb.me/TastyBookTours and leave a comment with your story.  Feel free to share picture of your journey and use #breakingthemold at the end of your comment!

Entries must be in by 11:59pm, Aug 15th, 2016.  No purchase necessary to enter.  If under 12 years old, you must have approval by a guardian to enter.   

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Julie Cross is a NYT and USA Today bestselling author of New Adult and Young Adult fiction, including the Tempest series, a young adult science fiction trilogy which includes Tempest, Vortex, Timestorm (St. Martin’s Press).

She’s also the author of Letters to Nowhere series, Whatever Life Throws at You, Third Degree, Halfway Perfect, and many more to come!

Julie lives in Central Illinois with her husband and three children. She’s a former gymnast, longtime gymnastics fan, coach, and former Gymnastics Program Director with the YMCA.

She’s a lover of books, devouring several novels a week, especially in the young adult and new adult genres.

Outside of her reading and writing credibility’s, Julie Cross is a committed–but not talented–long distance runner, creator of imaginary beach vacations, Midwest bipolar weather survivor, expired CPR certification card holder, as well as a ponytail and gym shoe addict.


Mark Perini is a New York City based author debuting his first YA novel, Halfway Perfect. Additionally, Mark is a featured author in the NA anthology, Fifty First Times.

Mark began his career as an international fashion model when he was 18 years old, while simultaneously obtaining a business degree from Seton Hall University. He has a passion for traveling the world, and he’s made a blood pact with friends to see all seven ancient wonders of the world before he’s thirty. Four down three to go.


Don't miss the companion novel


Profile Image for Carlene Inspired.
930 reviews243 followers
May 29, 2023
This was a surprising win for me; a beautiful story about finding oneself, loving oneself, and learning how to let others in. A coming-of-age new adult romance that is realistic, relatable, and really good! ha, I had to keep the R's up.

Finley is dependable, even as a model with all the opportunity to be the wild, fun girl, she just isn't. She loves what she loves and if that makes her cute, that's her. She's there for her friends, her siblings, and her dad at any time. A one-night stand to shake things up is all it is, but then she gets to know Eddie and discovers that her life has room for one more. Eddie is stubborn, mysterious, and handsome as all get out. Somehow, cute Finley gets to him and she opens a world of possibility for him. He doesn't have to be the rich screw up, he can be more, and its more he wants. Together they explore who they are as individuals and who they could potentially be together.
Profile Image for Trisha.
4,639 reviews161 followers
March 22, 2017
"Life gets in the way."

I really enjoyed this one. Alternating POV, this is the story of Eddie and Finley. They meet at a party in the midst of the modeling world chaos. But they are both at a weird crossroad. Each has their own struggles and have enough drama. Neither of them have the time for a relationship but how can you avoid each other when you both model and keep getting thrown together.

The chemistry is there, even if they don't have the time for it.

I really appreciated that this story wasn't like a lot of the other New Adult stories. Each character had depth and personality (and neither of them were all pure and innocent, which was a nice change too!) I liked the twists and turns and the slow burn after that one night. Their relationship was wonderful to read. I loved this one.
Profile Image for Madison.
1,065 reviews59 followers
June 7, 2016
Consider this a standing ovation. This book was a million times better than I expected. I fell totally in love with the story, with the romance, with all of the characters, but most especially with Eddie and Finley.

Okay, so there is the summary for this book and then there is what I consider to be a whole story underneath that. In the book's summary, Finley is a model who is trying to break out of her 'good girl' shell. And yes, that's true, but Finley is also the girl who loves and supports her family and who is using modelling to fund her dreams. Eddie is, at the start, portrayed as the 'bad boy' with plenty of deep, dark secrets. And yes, Eddie has a shady past and plenty of secrets, but he is one of the most genuine, caring male protagonists I have read. It is hard to say more without giving anything away, and I think it is better to know less about this story, but please don't take the summary at face value. There is so much more to this story.

While I liked Halfway Perfect, it is nowhere close to how much I enjoyed reading You Before Anyone Else. I couldn't wipe the smile off my face. I love Finley and Eddie's interactions. Their light, teasing banter, the deeper, halting conversations as they slowly get to know each other and begin to trust each other enough to share their secrets, and the fiery passion that sparks between them and is so hard for them to ignore.

Eddie is charming and sweet, funny and is so good with Fin's two young brothers. Swoon. But while his secrets are pretty big reveals and there are many consequences to work out, I loved how he and Finley work things out together.

Family plays a huge part in this book. While Halfway Perfect took an exposed look at the world of modelling, this is a book about family, romance and finding that thing that makes you who you are, with modelling and New York as the perfect backdrop to that story.

I'm pushing this into the mature end of young adult fiction, even new adult, because of the content but more because of the characters' mind sets and stages in life. That said, it is one of the best new adult books I've read - sensual without unnecessary details, and the perfect balance between romance and self-discovery and considering future life choices.

The alternating chapters flow together seamlessly, but provide a difference in voice between Finley and Eddie. I love Julie Cross and Mark Perini's pairing as authors and can't wait to read what they produce next.

The publishers provided a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Find more reviews on my blog Madison's Library.
Profile Image for Lauren.
185 reviews48 followers
August 4, 2016
You Before Anyone Else is a lovely, quick contemporary YA with such important messages. It's about family and learning when it is okay to do things for yourself and for others. It;s about becoming responsible in a way.

The setting is certainly different to anything else I've read. The majority of the story is set in apartments belonging to a model agency in New York. Therefore, all the tenants are very young and not always the most responsible. It's actually a bit like high school without the classes. But this ties in well with both Finley and Eddies's stories. Finley has been modelling for years to raise money for college and Eddie falls into modelling whilst running from his family.

I liked both Finley and Eddie. They were mature and responsible enough to not be annoying, yet they still act like regular 18-year-olds (albeit the modelling). They also meshed together really well and their relationship is very cute. And I loved that they didn't get too caught up in their relationship and still focused on their own personal goals. They weren't blinded by love and their romance is actually quite a slow burner compared to other contemporary YAs.

The story is told from the alternating perspectives of both Finley and Eddie which is great as we can see both sides of their story and how each of their choices affects each other. I would say Eddie's twist is slightly predictable, however, they way it is executed is certainly unique and shows amazing character growth from both Eddie and Finley. The story is logical as is the ending and I honestly don't think it could have ended in a better way. Finley and Eddie are left with the best of both worlds in a sense.

I enjoyed You Before Anyone Else. It is definitely a book that I would probably recommend to teens and fans of YA contemporaries. Given the chance, I would definitely read both Julie Cross and Mark Perini again.

I received a copy of You Before Anyone Else via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

This review and many more can be found at My Expanding Bookshelf.
Profile Image for Paula  Phillips.
4,838 reviews294 followers
August 11, 2016
The world of modelling can be a difficult one , some people have the skills and looks to pull it off whereas others will never have the chance. For two people, this world is just a temporary fix and a way to achieve their actual goals in life. Modelling is a stepping stone to get to where they want to end up and they have been blessed with the looks and body to pull it off. For Finley, all she ever wanted to be was a dancer ballerina like her mother until tragedy hit which left her brothers and her motherless and their father in a wheelchair. This caused her parent's dance studio to be shut down and now Finley with her earnings as a model wants to re-open the studio and become a dance teacher. Finley could be so much more as she is so talented, can she be swayed that putting off being a dance teacher is a good thing ? Eddie Wells was a rich boy trust-fund baby who screwed up majorly and now with a decision to make that will change the rest of his life, he is needing to make some money fast and luckily he has the body and means to become a model and he's pretty good at it too. When the pair meet it's at a party where Finley is looking to shed her good girl image and one thing leads to another and the pair find themselves wanting to be around each other more and it looks like they are both good and bad influences on one another. What will happen though when Eddie's life as a model is the fantasy and reality - what he has left behind starts to sink in and eventually collide with the new life he has created ? Will Finley and Eddie be able to put themselves first or will they discover that sometimes in life - family is what is most important - no matter what they are like or who they are , you can never fully turn your back or walk away from family - as decisions and your family can always haunt you. You Before Anyone Else spoke to me as growing up, I have always supported my family and I try to put myself first but I keep getting sucked back in as like Finley , I find myself caring too much about my family and their well-being.
Profile Image for Jen.
1,871 reviews159 followers
June 1, 2016
This is a very sweet story - a bit predictable but with really likable characters and a story that sucks you in. I read this in just a couple of sittings - it would have been one if I hadn't had to stop and do something else.

It's written from dual POV's, alternating chapters. And it works because there's no break in the continuity; every chapter picks up right where the last one left off, even in the middle of a scene. This really works to the advantage of the story in that it kept me interested enough to not want to put the book down.

There are other books/stories out there just like this one. But this can stand right up there with the best of them. Whether it's two talented writers or two good writers and good editing, doesn't matter. It's still a good, well-written book.

This may be categorised as New Adult. While that may have some bearing in terms of the actions of the characters and the subject matter, it's really more Young Adult in my opinion. The issues addressed here are far more prevalent in the young adult world and the protagonists are only eighteen years old. They're in more mature situations, living in a decidedly more mature world facing mature decisions. The way the characters handle these is probably optimistic at best - but if nothing else it shows real young adults how a situation can be handled with maturity. And being a great example goes a long way in my view of this type of story.

There is one character I really liked because of the way he was portrayed. Sam, Finley's dad, is written as a supportive, progressive parent who lends perspective and a decidedly cool factor to the story. So often adults are the villains in these kinds of books - but here, Sam is a wonderful addition.

This book is the second in a series that I hope continues with the quality of writing that this one has. Even better - I hope it comes out as an audiobook with a great narrator!
Profile Image for Joli.
422 reviews138 followers
August 5, 2016
I've wanted to read a book by Julie Cross for quite a while now, ever since her books were recommended to me by Heather at The Turning Pages, and YOU BEFORE ANYONE ELSE is a great one to start with.

This book had my attention from the very beginning and kept it throughout. I enjoyed the dual narrative, reading the story from both Finley and Eddie's perspectives.

I loved the playfulness between Finley and Eddie. Together they seemed young (because they are) and carefree, but they both are carrying heavy weights. They are sweet and open and affectionate and I thought honest, UNTIL I found out about Eddie's secret. I knew it had to be something huge, but I was caught off guard and didn't see it coming at all. I enjoyed the surprise of it all because it made me immediately question if these two people who have obviously fallen for each other will be able to work out it. Oh, the DRAMA. I love it!

What I liked:
*Finley's interactions with her family. Her father is a great character - he's a hip, realistic dad.
*The apartment atmosphere. Many people brought together from different walks of life bringing with them a variety of experiences.
*French Mama!
*Finley - it's OK to be the sweet girl

A Favorite Quote:

"You're allowed to feel overwhelmed." I flash a grin. "I have that effect on women." - By itself, this makes Eddie seem cocky, but it is part of his charm. He's really unsure at times, but this shows his playfulness. I admit, I was charmed by him from this moment on.

The storytelling by Cross and Perini is seamless and I'm looking forward to reading more from these authors. The companion novel, Halfway Perfect, is already in my TBR pile!
Profile Image for Shannon.
619 reviews39 followers
June 24, 2016
New York City model Finley is trying to shed her good girl image so she decides to give Eddie a go. Finley is fed up with hearing the same thing at castings and auditions; that she needs to get rid of her "good girl persona". Eddie on the other hand is shallow and predictable, but in the end, feels just as lost in his world as Finley does in hers. Finley is drawn to Eddie's intensity, but Eddie is hiding something and when it comes to light, both loving and leaving Finley will become much harder.

Overall I enjoyed this book and like the author's writing style. We get to know both of the main characters quite well and although there is a plot twist, the author ties everything together pretty well by the end of the book. I would say this is perhaps at the higher end of young adult because of some of the content. This is the first book I have read by the author and thought that overall it was well written and will do well in the young adult romance genre. Thank you to Sourcebooks Fire for sending me an advanced reading copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Elizabeth.
393 reviews33 followers
September 4, 2016
Julie Cross is an expert at creating storylines that are unlike any other I've read. The story ties in romance, a bit of comedy and some serious issues all in one and does a great job with it. Mark's background in modeling really helps the authenticity of the story shine through as well.

Most of the time when I cry while reading a book, it's because of an illness or a death or a super cute moment between characters. But this was different. There were tears when Eddie was making tough decisions at the end and when Finley finally decided what to do about dance and when Eddie held his little boy for the first time. And this is coming from someone who's never been estate company about kids.

Overall, it was a great read and definitely one you should pick up when it comes out! Finley and Eddie and thrown together but find a way to m are it work. And no matter the circumstances or hardships, always find a way back home.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Todd DiAngelo.
4 reviews
April 12, 2016
First let me start with how I got to this book. I absolutely loved Tempest, there was something about Holly and Jackson that I couldn't get enough of. Then I read Whatever Life Throws at You and I absolutely love that books too. So I decided to give this book a go from NetGalley. This book was such a happy surprise for me! I didn't think I was interested in modeling at all but this book has changed my opinion (mind you all I knew beforehand was what I could glean from Zoolander and Project Runway reruns.) The whole industry is fascinating to me now. I absolutely love Finley and Eddie I think they are perfect together, I don't want to spoil too much here but ultimately not everything is as it seems on the surface! Dun...Dun...Dun...I'll let you guys be the judge but, I loved it! Can't wait for a sequel!
Profile Image for Britney.
28 reviews3 followers
August 8, 2016
I really enjoyed this book! I received it as an ARC from NetGalley and thought that it was going to be a light YA romance type of book and was pleasantly surprised to find it was more than that. This story has the romance but also some soul searching for the characters. I feel like this would be a good book club book because of the discussions that could stem from it.

My full review is posted at: rhanebowreads.wix.com/rhanebowreads
Profile Image for Deniz.
1,145 reviews100 followers
October 31, 2018

It's cute, yet deep. I love Eddie!! I enjoyed the romance, the huge issues and the writing- but it felt a bit long wound at time. Still beautiful unique story.
Profile Image for Ashley.
Author 1 book17 followers
August 12, 2016
This book was everything I loved about contemporary. It was harsh, realistic, emotional and redeemable.
Full review to come.
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