Book Review: Whatever Life Throws at You by Julie Cross

January 7, 2015 New Adult Book Reviews 4 ★★★

Book Review: Whatever Life Throws at You by Julie CrossTitle: Whatever Life Throws at You by Julie Cross
Published by: Entangled Teen on October 7, 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Sports & Games, Young Adult
Source: NetGalley
Format: eARC
Pages: 320
Click it: Goodreads | 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…

I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Also by this author: Tempest, Vortex, Fifty First Times (A New Adult Anthology), Timestorm

One Line: Jason Brody pitched a curveball to my heart!

In My Opinion: Worth a try!

After seeing all the rave reviews, I was really hoping this book would knock it out of the park for me. Unfortunately, while I did enjoy it overall, it didn’t win me over like I expected. The first half of the book was pretty slow and I was honestly bored through most of it. Yes, I liked getting to know Brody and Annie, but nothing much happens in the way of actually moving their story along. I was seriously considering DNFing it. But, I stuck it out and I’m glad I did, because the second half was great. There was definitely that one scene that I wasn’t happy with, but besides that, I really liked how things played out for the couple. I’ve never been a big fan of baseball either, but Cross made it interesting and reading about those games was intense.

Brody was the best part of the book. I have to say that he doesn’t seem like your typical nineteen-year-old with the way he acts and the things he says to Annie, but it worked for him. He is very charming, talented, and hot; it’s hard not to fall for a guy like that. And he has a troubled past that he’s trying to make amends for. You can’t help but want to hug the guy. I like how patient and understanding he was with Annie, especially during those immature or irrational times. And that ending? So sweet! What I wouldn’t give to have had this book in dual POVs.

However, I have to honestly say that I really didn’t like Annie at all. She was okay at the beginning, but she ended up being a bit too immature for my taste, especially considering her age, which was 17 going on 18. I just didn’t like the way she handled the whole situation regarding her dad and her relationship with Brody. It felt very unrealistic to me, considering teens nowadays and I thought Cross was building her character up to be this girl who would come into her own and be all mature and independent. I guess that kind of happens at the very end, but that one part just before the end messed her up for me overall.

I did, however, like her relationship with her dad. They had a special bond and I liked that they not only respected each other, but genuinely liked each other. I hated her mother and could appreciate her disdain for the whole situation. She handled all of that a lot better than I would have.

As for their relationship as a whole, I genuinely liked it, except for that climactic part involving Annie’s decision. I liked their slow-building, friends-turned-loves romance, even though it was a bit boring at the beginning. I could tell Cross was making it out to be a deep, meaningful relationship between two people who truly understood and respected each other, which was another reason I couldn’t get on board with Annie when things got rough. Aside from that, they were great.

So yes, I liked some parts of this book and I’m glad I gave it a chance, but this definitely wasn’t a winner for me. It was too much of a mismatch between mature and immature moments by the characters at all the wrong times and things just didn’t flow well for me. I also didn’t care for how crazy people acted when they found out Annie and Brody were dating. Their age difference was hardly anything to scoff at, but it was made into such a big deal. Granted, Annie is a bit naive for her age so I could see the hesitation, but still. Anyways, I’d say YA Contemporary Romance readers should still give this a try and judge themselves, but just don’t expect some amazing romance. It’s a decent teen romance with some realistic intimate moments and a lot of baseball-related scenes thrown in for good measure. If that sounds up your alley, then by all means!

About Julie Cross

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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4 Responses to “Book Review: Whatever Life Throws at You by Julie Cross”

  1. Melanie (YA Midnight Reads)

    I’ve heard a lot about Julie Cross’ novels and I’ve been wanting to read Tempest for AGES now! I never knew she had other books too (SHAME ON YOU MEL) Anyway I am all for contemporary reads and with a great father-daughter relationship? HECK YEAHS.

    Lovely review, Vi <33
    Melanie (YA Midnight Reads) recently posted…Blog Tour: HellholeMy Profile

    • Vi

      Yeah, I enjoyed this one at times, its def a different kind of NA read. I really liked her Tempest series though so I hope you get a chance to read that.

  2. Jess @My Reading Dress

    OOOH it’s always hard when the first half is dull but the second half is a winner. I always get tempted by the thought of DNFing but I’m glad that I stick with things, most of the time, because when they surprise me, they really do it well! Aaah but I’m not really a big fan of realistic contemporary romance, tbh. I just like fluff, it’s the only contemporary that I can stand when it comes to YA, unfortunately. Thank you for the honest review, Vi! x
    Jess @My Reading Dress recently posted…Seeking Saturday’s Read #20: Birthdays, Books and the Gift That Is Chris PineMy Profile

    • Vi

      Me too! I get curious and wonder if it’ll ever get better and then I’m like, “I wanna know what happens at the end, even if the rest of the book is boring”, lol. That’s why I’ve only DNFed a handful of books. I need to work on doing it more though bc I just don’t have the time to waste on boring books anymore. Yeah, I love the fluff every now and then, too.

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