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Whatever Life Throws at You

by Julie Cross

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1115217,051 (3.61)None
"Seventeen-year-old Annie Lucas is too young to remember her dad's glory days as a pitcher for the Yankees. So when her father is offered a coaching position with the Kansas City Royals, Annie is intrigued to see the baseball side of her dad. Of course, knowing he'll be a mentor to hot young rookie pitcher, Jason Brody, certainly makes it more enticing. After an awkward first meeting with "Brody" involving very little clothing and a much-too-personal locker room interview, Annie's convinced she knows Brody's type: arrogant, self-involved, bossy. As her dad grows closer to the pitching phenom, the friction between Brody and Annie increases. But when opening day arrives and it looks like both her dad and Brody may lose their dream jobs, Annie steps up and offers support. She and Brody call a truce that grows into friendship--and beyond. Falling for a rising star who's quickly reaching a level that involves rabid female fans is not what Annie would call smart, except suddenly she's getting hints that maybe this crush isn't one-sided after all. Could someone like Brody actually fall for a girl like her?"--Publisher website.… (more)
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Showing 5 of 5
( )
  Glire | Jun 22, 2016 |
Review
Most people who are around me know that I'm not a big fan of baseball, but the blurb sucked me in. I read this book in one night because I couldn't put it down.

 

I love Annie. She hasn't been brought up like the other baseball families, and is thrown into this completely new world. She takes everything in stride, and makes some pretty bonehead decsions. I admire her for owning up to some of the decisions. She doesn't cower, but she hates disappointing her dad. She' a good kid, and has had to deal with a lot for her age. I adore Jason Brody. He's witty, and wants to better himself. Ther may be more to his bad boy attitude than meets the eye.

 

I think my favorite thing about this book is that Annie and Jason become friends. They have a pretty solid friendship, and I think that helps the romance be more believable. I also love the supprt system Annie comes to have after moving to Kansas City.

 

I still don't really have words for this book, and I read it a few weeks ago. I will tell you this, make sure you have easy access to Google translator, but there is definitely some Spanish swooniness going on. ( )
  BookishThings | Mar 23, 2016 |
Annie Lucas’ father has just been offered an amazing opportunity as the new pitching coach for the Kansas City Royals which is how she ends up in Missouri at an all girls private school. There she focuses on track: winning meets, breaking records, and getting noticed by college scouts. Jason Brody, the new Royals’ rookie pitcher, somewhat blindsides her when she realizes that she has actual feelings for him. But he has a sketchy past, a playboy image, and is obviously off limits—because he’s a major league baseball player and all. As their friendship turns into something more, the two of them try to find a way to make things work despite all that keeps getting in their way.

I honestly finished this in about two days. I loved so many things about this book: the plot, the characters, the writing. Just everything! The relationship that Annie has with her father is something I’ve always craved with my own. They are just so sweet, caring and protective of each other. Annie’s relationship with Brody is also well written. Their relationship slowly progressives from a very close friendship which I liked. It was a gradual shift and there were a lot of scenes where they take the time to actually get to know each other; they share secrets and pretty much talk about anything and everything. I hate when romance is one of the biggest aspects of the plot yet it is rushed and ends up being lackluster. Luckily this was not the case because their love seems very genuine.

I loved Annie and Brody together, but individually they are also great characters. Annie is driven and sassy. I felt that she was pretty mature despite that being one of her biggest insecurities. And despite his sordid past, Brody is hardworking, patient, and loving. He has completely changed his life around in such a short amount of time which is admirable. I felt sorry for him at times because of how young and alone he seems; he just wants someone to acknowledge that he isn’t a terrible person and be accepted by his teammates.

There is a bit of sexual content, so be aware if that is something you are not comfortable with. (I would definitely categorize this as more NA than YA.) I found it particularly refreshing because it was not super graphic, but it added to their relationship and made it that much more real. Those scenes honestly made me love Brody that much more. ( )
  joanab951 | Jun 15, 2015 |
For more reviews, gifs, Cover Snark and more, visit A Reader of Fictions.

Julie Cross hits the feels out of the park with Whatever Life Throws at You. She doesn’t pitch a perfect game, but it was a thrilling one to watch. Sure, she walks a batter in at the end, but it was an awesome game nonetheless. Okay, that’s about all the baseball references that I can manage. Did I sports well? Ahem. Whatever Life Throws at You is a swoony young adult/new adult romance with sportiness and family feels.

For the first 150 pages or so, I wasn’t entirely sure about this book. I was very much unsure about the romance, since Brody was womanizing it up with his new fame. I wasn’t sure if there was any chemistry there either. Well, there was. Damn but Julie Cross can write a good ship. Honestly, I’m surprised that Cross convinced me to ship a nineteen-year-old baseball player with a high school student, but she did.

For one thing, the romance occurs really slowly. Jason Brody and Annie Lucas become friends first. They run together (why anyone would want to run I don’t know), study together, and share secrets. Though there’s a new adult feel to the book, the romance isn’t tawdry, creepy, or hyper dramatic. The sexy scenes aren’t super graphic, but they are fairly plentiful. Until the relationship really takes off, I wasn’t sure, but they have such a great dynamic and treat each other really well. Plus, View Spoiler » It’s also really great that Annie has her own sport (running) that she’s amazing at and that both her dad and Brody are super supportive.

Even better than the ship perhaps are the family feels. Annie has an amazing relationship with her father, Jim. I love it even more for the things that don’t make their relationship perfect. When Annie gets caught with a fake ID, he yells at her, grounds her, and then comforts her because she begins crying over a boy; That scene really encapsulates the great connection between the two. Dads and daughters fight, but the love is always going to overwhelm anything else. Though more fraught with pain, I also loved the handling of Annie’s relationships with her mother and grandmother.

My favorite secondary character is Savannah, the team’s publicist, and I totally ship her with Annie’s dad. Aside from her, though, the secondary characters didn’t get quite as much development as I prefer. Lenny, for example, doesn’t really change much throughout Whatever Life Throws at You, aside from what’s hinted at in the epilogue.

In fact, I really could have done without that epilogue. While it’s nice to see how well people are doing, it throws a lot of stuff at the reader really quickly. For one thing, I think it’s a bit overly optimistic in terms of baseball: View Spoiler » Plus, even though I do like Brody and Annie together, I could do without all of the marriage talk, considering that she just graduated high school. I really don’t like my YA contemporary novels to end with marriage on the table, but that’s a personal preference.

I’m sad to have to say this, but Whatever Life Throws at You had quite a few editing mistakes. I noted a lot of errors, though I didn’t keep a list. The most egregious one was from page 277 where Lenny says “Emersion is the only true way to truly grasp a foreign language,” when obviously that was meant to be “immersion.”

Whatever Life Throws at You is my third Julie Cross novel, and it’s been the third success. At this point, it’s official that Julie Cross books will be going on my to-read list, particularly if they’re contemporary romances, because she can bring the swoon. ( )
  A_Reader_of_Fictions | Mar 20, 2015 |
This is my first time reading a book by Julie Cross, and after hearing about how wonderful her and her books are, my expectations were pretty high. And she delivered beautifully!
First, can we just swoon over the beautiful black and white cover with a touch of yellow - I love this color combo! Next, it isn't easy to balance a story that covers so many important life changing moments - new love, "career" choices, family decisions and personal growth, all while doing it in the public eye. There is a lot to take in, and the author gives us all the details we need to watch it all unfold...

Annie is a 17-year-old that is doing well in school, loves to run and hopes to get a scholarship through track soon. She lives with her dad, a retired baseball player and cancer survivor, and helps take care of her maternal grandmother, who has Alzheimer's.
When her father gets the offered a position to coach in the major leagues, Annie knows that this is an opportunity for her father that he cannot say no to. Baseball was his life, he left due to his illness and didn't return because of it. And when he tried to make a comeback of sorts, Annie's mother left, and he decided to stay home with Annie to give her the most stable life that he could manage for her. Annie knows that this will be good for him, he deserves this and wants him to be happy. She convinces her dad that this is not only a good opportunity for him, but for the entire family.
Within a weeks time, Annie finds herself in a new city. They're now living in a bigger home, there's a nurse to help take care of grandma and Annie will be attending one of the best private schools that offers one of the highest ranking track teams in the state. Annie is a bit out of her element here, but is determined to not only make the best of it, but to take advantage of all the good things that are finally happening to her and her little family.

And then Brody happens.

How Annie and Brody meet is hilarious and memorable. From the moment these two say their first few words to each other, I knew that their story was going to be fun to follow. The initial love/hate relationship is right now target. The friendship then blossoming into something possibly more. The immaturity they both display and learn from. The tug and pull they both do. Everything that they go through, say and end up with was so realistic and relatable. The age difference and the fact that they're both in such different places in their lives really creates a lot of problems for their relationship. Trust is a huge factor. And acceptance is key. In the end, I really did not know where they were going to end up. Together or now, they're both really strong and determined characters, and I loved that even though they'd have their moments, in the end, they both thought of others before themselves.

I have to admit - at first I was a bit disappointed that the author did not go into more details regarding Brody's past and family. We are told what he did, what happened and this is just it. Nothing really happens for him. It made me sad. But, I understand that in reality that this is the way things go for some people, unfortunately. And it made my heart ache for him just a bit more.

Another part that I have to point out is the amazing family dynamic that the author created - absolutely beautiful. The father-daughter relationship was so spot on and refreshing. It was so nice to see such a strong bond between them. With Annie's mother breezing in and out of their lives so much, her father did everything for her and supports her in everything that she does. And Annie admiration for him was so sweet and heart melting. They had many moments that made me get all tear-eyed.

Contemporary fans, especially those who love baseball, will really enjoy Annie and Brody's story. I hope we get to see more of them - even if it is just a cameo appearance in another story. I'd love to see them in their future...

*An eARC was sent to me for an honest review. All thoughts are my own. ( )
  thebumblegirl | Nov 18, 2014 |
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"Seventeen-year-old Annie Lucas is too young to remember her dad's glory days as a pitcher for the Yankees. So when her father is offered a coaching position with the Kansas City Royals, Annie is intrigued to see the baseball side of her dad. Of course, knowing he'll be a mentor to hot young rookie pitcher, Jason Brody, certainly makes it more enticing. After an awkward first meeting with "Brody" involving very little clothing and a much-too-personal locker room interview, Annie's convinced she knows Brody's type: arrogant, self-involved, bossy. As her dad grows closer to the pitching phenom, the friction between Brody and Annie increases. But when opening day arrives and it looks like both her dad and Brody may lose their dream jobs, Annie steps up and offers support. She and Brody call a truce that grows into friendship--and beyond. Falling for a rising star who's quickly reaching a level that involves rabid female fans is not what Annie would call smart, except suddenly she's getting hints that maybe this crush isn't one-sided after all. Could someone like Brody actually fall for a girl like her?"--Publisher website.

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