Friday, September 26, 2014

Whatever Life Throws At You by Julie Cross

Source: Received an eBook copy in exchange for a fair and honest review.

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…,%201

Available October 7, 2014 from Entangled Teen

The Review...

This is not my first Julie Cross book so I expected a great story and I wasn't disappointed. She is a master at crafting a story with depth and a genuine feel.

The characters ring true.  Ann is dealing with a lot in her life.  She wants to take state in track and she doesn't want her absent mom to come back and toy with her Dad's feelings.  So she jumps on board for the move to Missouri even if it's seriously cold there and a certain hot pitcher makes her a little interesting.  The thing about Ann is that she's making sacrifices for her Dad and their families emotional well being.  She supports him and helps him.  But she's still a teen too.   She makes mistakes and wants what teenage girls want. I loved her and cheered for her.

Jason is a nineteen year old without a high school diploma and some secrets in his past.  This is a huge chance for him to dig out of what life has thrown him.  He has heart.  He has raw talent.  He wants to improve and is willing to work.  But things are not going to come easily for him.  And there's so much more to Jason.  The more I learned about those secrets and his past, the more I loved him.  Still a teen himself, he has his flaws.  Real.  He's so real.

The story revolves around baseball.  I love my sports in stories.  While I'm not a huge baseball fan, I do like it.  I prefer to read about it in books than to watch it in real life.  There's just something about a baseball player that appeals to me as the hero.

The title to this book really does a good job of explaining the story.  Life loves to make things difficult.  Baseball can have all the same stress as life and come down to one decision.  And that clearly rings true for the characters in this book.  I enjoyed that it wasn't just a love story surrounded by baseball but the problems this family faced were real.  An absent mother, a Grams that has some issues, a father with a disability and trying to grow up and figure out who you are - all these things are dealt with.  It's life.  And life just doesn't make things easy.

I haven't read as much YA as I used to but I'm glad I picked this one up.  It was the authors name that drew me to it.  But there is also some cross-over appeal to the NA genre.  Ann sits in the upper YA world while Jason is barely part of the NA world.  It's an interesting mix that has it's own unique curve balls.

If you enjoy YA or NA mixed with some depth of story and character, then this one is one you should definitely read.


About the Author...

Julie Cross 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. She’s also 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.

The original cover...

I love this cover - these two standing on the pitchers mount.  I love the new cover too.  What do you think?


  1. Oh I think I'll have to check out Julie Cross books! I haven't read anything by her but judging by your review? She sounds really great! Thanks for the review! Looking forward to more by you :)
    Book Maniac Reviews

  2. I love books with baseball players! Thanks for the review.