Sunday, March 15, 2015

4 Star Book Review | Whatever Life Throws at You by Julie Cross

by Julie Cross
Published: October 7th, 2014
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Sports
Borrowed from the Library
Purchase: Amazon
Life loves a good curveball…

Seventeen-year-old Annie Lucas's life is completely upended the moment her dad returns to the major leagues as the new pitching coach for the Kansas City Royals. Now she's living in Missouri (too cold), attending an all-girls school (no boys), and navigating the strange world of professional sports. But Annie has dreams of her own—most of which involve placing first at every track meet…and one starring the Royals' super-hot rookie pitcher.

But nineteen-year-old Jason Brody is completely, utterly, and totally off-limits. Besides, her dad would kill them both several times over. Not to mention Brody has something of a past, and his fan club is filled with C-cupped models, not smart-mouthed high school “brats” who can run the pants off every player on the team. Annie has enough on her plate without taking their friendship to the next level. The last thing she should be doing is falling in love.

But baseball isn't just a game. It's life. And sometimes, it can break your heart…

Cover Review:

What I like most about the cover of Whatever Life Throws At You is that it incorporates both the baseball and romance sides of the story. The couple, which represent Annie and Brody, are kissing on the baseball field of the stadium. This embrace actually reminds me of a scene toward the end of the book, the only difference is the clothes they are wearing.

I also like that a gray-tone was used instead of a full-color cover. I think it may have been overwhelming, whereas the way it is here it's more toned down and softer.

Even the tagline on the front cover shows both aspects of the story. "Sometimes you throw the heat. Sometimes you just feel it..." Baseball, love, and life are all the same thing in this book.

Book Review:

Annie is a 17 year old high school student who goes through a lot of life changes and choice is a short amount of time. First off, she has a terrible relationship with her mother, almost bordering on hatred for the way she treats her father, so when the opportunity for them to move to Missouri for her father to be the pitching coach for the Royals comes along, she's desperate to convince him to accept and get him out of her gold-digging mother's reach.

When they get there, she starts at a new all-girls school, joins a new track team, makes new friends, and meets the new rookie pitcher her father will be working with (and he's only wearing a towel at the time). So there are a lot of changes going on in her life with the move, and a lot of choices she needs to make for her future. Because of all this, Whatever Life Throws At You has the feel of a New Adult book, but I'm going to keep it in the YA age group since Annie is still in high school for most of this book.

Now, I know nothing about baseball except that there's a ball, a bat, and nine innings, so I'm not even going to try to pretend like I do. What I enjoyed most about this book was the romance and relationships. Annie and Brody has quite a few obstacles in their way to being able to be together without hiding that they are. The biggest obstacle, though, is Annie's father. He's very protective of his little girl, and when he finds out about them having been together for almost a year (I think) behind his back, he's not happy.

The romance between Annie and Brody happened in a really natural way. It wasn't rushed. It wasn't instant. It was perfect. It was steamy. It made me swoon. I also liked how both Annie and Brody has issues with love. She's reluctant to love at all, seeing how it has hurt her father over the years. And Brody can't even say "I love you." So I liked how each had their own personal obstacles to overcome, as well as the obstacles that they had to face together. Oh, and I loved the last scene on the baseball field!

Annie's relationships with her father and grandmother were really endearing and sweet. I loved how protective Annie is of them both and does what she can to protect them from her mother. Annie and her father have one of the best father-daughter relationships I have ever read in a book.

There are other secondary characters that I loved and hated. I loved Annie's new bestie Lenny. She's really cool and smart but she also feels like her parents don't love her. I really didn't like the Royals' owner, he's a real jerk. And Annie's mother only cares about digging her claws into Annie's father and later ripping them out. Not to mention, she's also way irresponsible. I'm just glad that she was finally put in her place.


I gave Whatever Life Throws At You a 4 STAR rating. Even though I'm not really a baseball fan and know nothing about the game, I loved this book. More for the romance and character relationships than the sports. Annie and Brody are steamy! And I loved her relationship with her father and grandmother. This book has a really natural and seamless flow to the story and everything happens in its own time, nothing is rushed.

Author Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

I'm the International Bestselling author of the Tempest series, a young adult science fiction trilogy which includes Tempest, Vortex, and the final installment, Timestorm. I'm also the author of the Letters to Nowhere series, a mature young adult romance set in the world of elite gymnastics, as well as several forthcoming young adult and new adult novels with publishers like Entangled, Sourcebooks, HarperCollins, Random House, and St. Martin's Press/Thomas Dunne Books.

I live in Central Illinois with my husband and three children. I'm a former gymnast, longtime gymnastics fan, coach, and former Gymnastics Program Director with the YMCA. I'm a lover of books, devouring several novels a week, especially in the young adult and new adult genres. Outside of my reading and writing credibility, I'm 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.


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