You Before Anyone Else

By: Julie Cross and Mark Perini

Add to your GoodReads shelf

Buy Links:   Amazon | B & N | Google | iTunes 

Rafflecopter Giveaway (Win a $25.00 B&N Gift Card and a Signed Copy of YOU BEFORE ANYONE ELSE)

You Before Anyone Else was a decent YA contemporary novel. Being contemporary it wasn’t a fast paced read like I’m use to. I really haven’t read to many contemporary books in the YA book field. You Before Anyone Else starts off as a sweet YA romance.  The story line unfolded at a nice rate and I was pretty good up till the point where for me the story fell apart and left me a bit frustrated that it took that turn. Over all I liked it OK and passed it on to my high school-er.

You Before Anyone Else by Julie Cross and Mark Perini

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

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 in 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…

Excerpt:

FINLEY: “What are you so afraid of?” Summer asks.

I take a sip of the beer Dima brought me a few minutes ago. “Oh, I don’t know, addiction, overdose, puking on some innocent victim’s shoes, random drug testing by the agency…”

Summer laughs. “Drug testing on models? Yeah, that’ll be the day.”

Okay, so maybe I just don’t want to do it. Even if I should be in my so-called experimental phase.

I wouldn’t exactly label myself a rule follower, but I guess I’m just cautious. I haven’t always been this way. Not that I’ve done drugs, but before high school, I was all about ballet. Let’s just say I had a rep for being the sassy troublemaker. My mom being my ballet teacher may have had something to do with my behavior. My fingers immediately move to the cross dangling from my neck—I’ve only removed it a couple of times over the last four years. Somehow, it’s always warmer than my hands.

I debate texting my dad to ask him if he’s done coke or molly. He’d probably tell me. But I wouldn’t want to freak him out. Seems like a conversation better reserved for a weekend visit instead of late on a Friday night when I could be too far gone to help, for all he knows.

I glance around the room and finally spot someone I know: my friend Alex and his girlfriend Eve. Alex and I did a big Calvin Klein shoot last year, and Eve was the photographer’s assistant. Actually, Eve used to be a model too, another preteen/teen phenom like Elana, who headlined that CK shoot along with Alex. My part had been fairly small, and still, that was my biggest job ever.

“Have you met Alex?”

Summer shrugs, grabs two more shots of vodka, and hands me one. “Like I would remember.”

I down the shot quickly and prepare to talk to Alex and Eve. Maybe they’ve done drugs and can advise me. But my buzzing phone distracts me. I pull it out of my purse and glance at the new text.

JASON: Yeah, it’s so weird to be home again. But I missed it.

My stomach flip-flops. He replied to my text. Hours later, but still…this could mean—

“Oh lord, you’re pathetic.” Summer is leaned toward me, reading over my shoulder. “That’s probably enough for you to live off of for another six months or so, right?”

I glare at her and shove the phone back into my purse.

“No comeback? Wonder why…” She pretends to be in deep thought. “He said he missed it. Not you. Cut the fucking cord already. It’s not healthy.”

If only it were that easy. When you’re in a relationship with someone for four years, you get so comfortable with that person. It’s daunting to start all over again.

I make my way across the room to see Alex and Eve, who are leaning against the back of the couch, more absorbed in each other than anything else.

“I heard Elana’s back from France?” Alex asks me, keeping his voice low.

“Yep, her and her mom. I think her mom is driving her crazy, but that’s to be expected. French Mama is driving me crazy too.”

They both laugh at the mention of French Mama, but I can’t take credit for that title. Summer made it up.

“I can’t believe her parents let her come back to New York,” Eve says.

Alex smiles at her. “You’re just upset that they’re here and not in France where we can hit them up for lodging.”

My gaze travels back and forth between the two of them. “You guys are going to France? Are you going for Fashion Week?”

Eve shakes her head. “Nope. I did the Prada shoot, and I’m done for good. Got tuition for next year covered.”

Even though Eve had supposedly quit modeling a few years ago, she pulled a one-last-job stunt last spring to cover her tuition at Columbia. She’s a photography student with a lot of experience under her belt.

“We’re doing the cheap travel, backpacking in Europe but without actual backpacks thing,” Alex explains.

Across the room, another beer pong player is being requested. This could possibly be the most adventurous thing I’m willing to do here. I turn to Alex and Eve again. “Well, good luck in Europe. I’m gonna go play beer pong.”

“Hey.” I grab Dima’s shirt sleeve. “You need another player?”

He looks me over, deliberating. “Sure. Be the new guy’s partner.”

“The new guy?” I glance around. What does that even mean? New to the party, like he just walked in? I’ve been here fifteen minutes.

“He’s new to the agency,” Dima says. “First casting, and he books some big job.”

“So we hate him then, right?” I joke. I turn around to head toward the game table and run right into a guy about my age with wild, dark curly hair and designer jeans.

“This guy,” Dima says to me and then turns to the new guy. “Got you a partner. Finley. She lives in the agency apartment downstairs.”

They exchange a look that says I’ve been mentioned before. I’m not liking that too much, but usually, I don’t come to these parties. Instead, I bang on the door at two in the morning to tell them to

stop thumping around like elephants. Maybe I got a bad rep.

While we wait for Dima to find a partner, I snatch two beers from a nearby cooler and offer one up to New Guy. “So, Dima said you’re new, but he didn’t say where you’re from.”

“Uh…the Midwest.”

“The Midwest.” Okay. Someone doesn’t want to get personal. “Like Wisconsin or like Chicago?”

“Chicago…well, not in Chicago, but around it, you know?” he says.

“Right.” I pop open my can and take a drink. “What’s your name? I’m sorry, I don’t think Dima said…”

“Eddie.” He lifts his gaze again. “Eddie Wells. And you’re Finley Belton, the girl who lives downstairs.”

Summer breezes past me but stops when she spots me holding the beer pong ball. “Beer pong? Oh, you wild animal…grrrr.” She holds up her tiger paws and growls at me.

I give her the finger and then turn back to Eddie. “I’m one of the girls who live downstairs.”

“One is too bitchy, one is too underage, and one is nice,” he recites, most likely quoting Dima.

This is exactly what I’m trying to escape tonight. “Dima called me the baby bear?” I’m secretly hoping he catches my reference to Goldilocks.

“No,” Eddie says. “He called you Finley Belton, but I added the nice part, because you brought me a beer. And it is just right, not to mention you’re talking to me instead of staring and whispering to other people about me.”

Points for his fairy tale knowledge, and I’m sure the whispering is the result of whatever big job he’s landed. Too many models at this party.

Eve tries to be Dima’s partner, but he refuses and tells Alex to play with him. Eve opens her mouth to protest, but Dima holds up a hand. “Don’t even. I know your type. You’ll engineer some fancy trick shots. No Ivy League players showing me up. I got a rep to protect.”

“Fine,” Eve snaps. “I’ll just stand here and look pretty. And I’m definitely rooting for Fin and…” She gestures toward the new guy.

“Eddie,” I fill in for her. “Eddie from Chicago.”

“Eddie from Chicago,” Eve repeats. “Good luck.”

Summer returns and stands beside Eve, both leaning against the back of the love seat.

“Fin makes a great partner,” Summer says to Eddie. “She knits. Lots of finger dexterity.”

I shoot her a glare and will my face not to heat up. So not cool.

thank you netgalley, tasty tours, Julie Cross and Mark Perini, and Sourcebooks Fire for allowing me to read You Before Anyone Else. All thoughts and opinions are my own and not influenced by the free book. 

The Truth About Us

by Janet Gurtler
Published by Sourcebooks Fire

 

The Truth About Us was a really good book. Kinda a reverse Cinderella but with a more in depth story. Flynn who I have to say I really enjoyed his character is a kid that is also the man of the house now. He’s had a rough life and he has some walls built up but you can tell he has a heart of gold.  He takes care of his little brother Kyle. They are not made of money and live paycheck to paycheck so he isn’t your typical teenage boy. However he has fallen and hard for Jess. Jess is a spoiled girl who really I didn’t like much in the beginning but by the end of the book I liked the way Jess was acting. She had matured working at the soup kitchen and learning that life was not always about her. Wilf is the sweet loving grandfather figure that really the fatherly type figure to these 3 kids and he is just what they need, and they are just what he needed.

This is a good contemporary fiction that handles many issues that come up in the book is a realistic manner. There was only one thing I didn’t like the ending wrapped up to fast I wanted it to last a little longer, I wasn’t ready for it to end.That being said I still loved the book and the ending. I just wish it could have gone on for a few more chapters. You will laugh out loud, you will get mad at Jess and Flynn and some of the other characters, and they will make you smile! Grab a copy of The Truth About Us for your YA reader (or for you) for some fun .

summary: The truth is that Jess knows she screwed up. She’s made mistakes, betrayed her best friend, and now she’s paying for it. Her dad is making her spend the whole summer volunteering at the local soup kitchen.

The Summer After You and Me

by Jennifer Salvato Doktorski
 
 
The Summer After You and Me was a wonderful fast read. I enjoyed every minute of it. The cast of characters from Lucy, Liam, Conner, and more are likable and relate-able. The story is well developed with the normal teen drama we all have in our teen years. The back story of Superstorm Sandy is very well developed and intertwined throughout the book. I loved that Lucy and Liam the twin siblings had moments of being very close only to have a big blowout sibling fight. So many books don’t do sibling fights and rivalry as well as Jennifer Salvato Doktorski has! Lucy’s love of marine life was fun to read about and I loved the tidbits of information at the beginning of each chapter. 
This is the first book I’ve read by Jennifer Salvato Doktorski and I will be seeing if my library has her other 2 books. Since I enjoyed this one so much. Between the characters, location and some great lines that had me thinking Yes she totally writes teen girls perfectly. I loved Lucy’s friends and family, and the dynamics of them and how they bounced off of each other. The Summer After You and Me is about love: both lost and found again, family, rebuilding after a tragedy, friendship: both lost and found again, siblings, and growing up and finding oneself and capturing those moments. 
summary: Will it be a summer of fresh starts or second chances?

For Lucy, the Jersey Shore isn’t just the perfect summer escape, it’s home. As a local girls, she knows not to get attached to the tourists. They breeze in during Memorial Day weekend, crowding her coastal town and stealing moonlight kisses, only to pack up their beach umbrellas and empty promises on Labor Day. Still she can’t help but crush on charming Connor Malloy. His family spends every summer next door, and she longs for their friendship to turn into something deeper. Then Superstorm Sandy sweeps up the coast, bringing Lucy and Connor together for a few intense hours. Except nothing is the same in the wake of the storm, and Lucy is left to pick up the pieces of her broken heart and her broken home. Time may heal all wounds, but with Memorial Day approaching and Connor returning, Lucy’s summer is sure to be filled with fireworks.