Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Whatever Life Throws at You by Julie Cross

Title: Whatever Life Throws at You
Author: Julie Cross
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Release Date: October 7, 2014
Source: Purchased
Buy the Book: Amazon / Book Depository / Indigo
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 had 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 think 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…

There is nothing I love more than a sweet contemporary with a kick-ass girl and swoon-worthy guy. I'm always on the lookout for just that kind of story. So when I heard about Julie Cross' Whatever Life Throws at You, I knew it was going to be right up my alley. And it totally was and I just tore through this book.

Annie Lucas was perfectly happy staying in Arizona. She went to school, kicked ass in track and even had a scholarship lined up for college even though she had a year left of high school. But when her dad gets the opportunity to get back to professional baseball as a pitching coach, she knows she can't stand in his way. Even if it means moving across the country to Kansas City, Missouri. When she gets there, the first person Annie meets is Jason Brody, the completely off-limits new rookie pitcher for the Kansas City Royals. Annie couldn't be farther from the type of women Brody is usually seen with. But you can't fight attraction, even if it could result in her dad killing them both. 

Whatever Life Throws At You is a book I randomly came across a while back. It sounded like something that I would enjoy so I promptly added it to my Goodreads "to read" shelf, like I do for dozens of other books. But then I saw someone tweeting about it last week and was reminded it of it. I quickly checked and it was available for my e-reader so I figured, why not? Honestly, I couldn't be happier about that random decision. I loved every page of this story. It didn't take long for me to get caught up in Annie and Brody's story. It was just so fun and happy and sweet. It was just a great romance read that was perfect for the mood I was in at the time. But I also loved the sport element that was present throughout the story. Whether it was seeing the behind the scenes of a professional baseball team or being at Annie's track meets, I just loved how sports were integral to this story. At times, it even felt like baseball was a character in the book. But not enough of one to overshadow the actual characters who, FYI, I loved.

If there's one sport I can relate to, it's running. All through middle and high school I ran cross-country and track competitively. So right off the bat (baseball pun not intended), I could relate to that aspect of Annie's character. But beyond that, I loved Annie's drive, how she wasn't afraid to go for what she wanted, even if it sometimes meant she acted before thinking things all the way through. Annie was just an all around great character and I loved getting to read this story from her perspective. And there's nothing I enjoyed more than seeing her interact with Jason Brody. If you haven't already met Jason Brody, you are missing out. I'll be the first to admit that I didn't exactly think much of him at first. He very much came across as that stereotype you have of a young professional athlete. But once the layers started being pulled back, I just loved him more and more. Let's just say that I would happily let him whisper to me in Spanish to calm me down in the middle of a tornado warning. And needless to say that I loved seeing Annie and Brody's relationship go from friendship to something more.

Julie Cross's Whatever Life Throws At You is a fun and adorable contemporary romance, perfect for sports lovers. It was exactly what I was in the mood for when I read it, and I would strongly encourage you to do the same. Odds are, you won't regret it.

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