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Netflix’s ‘CHEER’ Meets ‘GIRL, INTERRUPTED’ in YA Debut


ST. PAUL, MN, June 24, 2021 – Flux, an imprint of North Star Editions, Inc. (NSE) is excited to announce the  September 14 release of Before We Were Blue by E.J. Schwartz. Before We Were Blue is a YA contemporary written in dual POV. In a treatment center for their eating disorders, former cheer-lebrity Shoshana and headstrong rebel Rowan develop an overwhelming bond. Ultimately, they will have to make a choice: get healthy on their own—or stay sick together. 

More about Before We Were Blue

Get healthy on their own—or stay sick together?  

At Recovery and Relief, a treatment center for girls with eating disorders, the first thing Shoshana Winnick does is attach herself to vibrant but troubled Rowan Parish. Shoshana—a cheerleader on a hit reality TV show—was admitted for starving herself to ensure her growth spurt didn’t ruin her infamous tumbling skills. Rowan, on the other hand, has known anorexia her entire life,  thanks to her mother’s “chew and spit” guidance. Through the drudgery and drama of treatment life,  Shoshana and Rowan develop a fierce intimacy—and for Rowan, a budding infatuation, that neither  girl expects. 

As “Gray Girls,” patients in the center’s Gray plan, Shoshana and Rowan are constantly under the  nurses’ watchful eyes. They dream of being Blue, when they will enjoy more freedom and the  knowledge that their days at the center are numbered. But going home means separating and  returning to all the challenges they left behind. The closer Shoshana and Rowan become, the more  they cling to each other—and their destructive patterns. Ultimately, the girls will have to choose:  their recovery or their relationship. 

Advanced Praise for Before We Were Blue 

“With an unflinching and taut accuracy, E.J. Schwartz writes the darkest truths of girlhood, of the  unique intimacy that binds young women as they grow into themselves.” —Diana Clarke, author of  Thin Girls 

“An addictive and transcendent debut.” —Nina de Gramont, author of Gossip of the Starlings and  The Christie Affair 

“A startlingly frank, deeply compassionate story about the complicated journey of living with eating  disorders.” —Adam Sass, award-winning author of Surrender Your Sons 

“A dazzling, gritty, and unforgettable debut.” —Melody Moezzi, author of The Rumi Prescription -more-

About the author 

E.J. Schwartz is a recent graduate from the MFA program at the University of North Carolina  Wilmington. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times, Barrelhouse, and Necessary Fiction,  among others. She was born and raised in Scotch Plains, New Jersey. Before We Were Blue is her  first novel. 

ARCs of Before We Were Blue are available digitally on NetGalley and Edelweiss+ or by  contacting

Before We Were Blue by E. J. Schwartz 

Ages 14-18 / ISBN 978-1-63583-069-9 / $11.99 paperback original / 352 pages / Publication date: September 14, 2021

For more information contact: Taylor Kohn,, 651-424-4626 

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