Saturday, October 11, 2014

Stay the Night - My Review of WHATEVER LIFE THROWS AT YOU by Julie Cross

Title: Whatever Life Throws At You
Author: Julie Cross
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Publication Date:10/7/2014

Life loves a good curveball…

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?

Julie Cross Bio:

Julie Cross lives in Central Illinois with her husband and three children. She’s a former gymnast and longtime gymnastics fan, coach, and former gymnastics program WHATEVER LIFE THROWS AT YOUctor with the YMCA. She’s a lover of books, devouring several novels a week, especially in the young adult and new adult genres. Outside of her reading and writing credentials, Julie is a committed—but not talented—long-distance runner, creator of imaginary beach vacations, Midwest bipolar-weather survivor, and expired CPR certification card holder, as well as a ponytail and gym-shoe addict.


Having never read Julie Cross before, I was unsure what I was getting myself into with the story, but I have come to love and trust Entangled Publishing.  

As mentioned above, Annie Lucas is a high school senior and meets Jason Brody when her father becomes the pitching coach for "Brody's" very first shot at Major League Baseball.  Brody, a 19 year old rookie is out to prove that he has what the Royals need, hoping they offer him a more permanent contract.  To do that, he has to keep his nose clean and not cause any embarrassment to the team and the team's owner.

Annie hopes the new move to Missouri will finally allow her dad to put her mother behind him.  Annie is tired of watching her mother disappear over and over again, leaving her father just a shell of the man he should be.  Her father, whose own temporary coaching position with the Royals is contingent on making something spectacular of Jason Brody and also includes Annie not pissing off the team's owner.

Jason and Annie begin to help each other out, him with her track season training, and her with his pursuit of his G.E.D.  They start off very distrustful of each other, but quickly discover an unexpected ally in a strange new place.

Annie and Brody's relationship is one of great camaraderie. I love the inside jokes and teasing that happens with these two.  Even more, is the way they subtly support one another and offer encouragement in exactly the way that is needed.  And then you have the way Brody drops little spicy lines on her.  He speaks to her in Spanish often.  And the things he says will make your knees melt and your toes curl.

Whatever Life Throws at You is filled with amazing characters and a truly touching story.  Annie's relationship with her father will make you cry.  Her interactions with her grandmother will have you bursting out laughing and scaring the people around you.  And that is just scratching the surface.  Each character is so well sketched that you feel like you know them as well as you know your closest friends.

If you are looking for a mature Young Adult book with depth and heat, then you should definitely give Whatever Life Throws At You a chance.

4 out of 5 stars for me.

Stay the Night - Zedd ft Hayley Williams

There was a whole lot of 'will they or won't they' in this book and this song just seemed to speak to the decisions they were making.

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