Whatever Life Throws At You

Whatever Life Throws At YouWhatever Life Throws At You
By: Julie Cross
Pages: 373
Publication Date: October 7, 2014
Publisher: Entangled: Teen

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Synopsis

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…


Words cannot describe how much I love this book! From the very beginning I knew I would enjoy it because I love sports and I love cute romances but I was blown away by how amazing this book was. I became really invested into Annie’s life, dreams, and relationships so much so that I finished reading this book in one sitting. The main reason that I enjoyed thFullSizeRendere novel so much was because it touched on all aspects of a teenager’s life which made it very relatable. In some novels the author will focus on either a main character’s romance only or just their life goals but Julie Cross was able to effectively talk about every aspect of all of the character’s lives. It is so much more than a love story as there are many life lessons I learned. Mostly I was able to connect with the lessons about working hard to accomplish your dreams. Annie wasn’t about to let anything stop her from being the best she could be. Her life was very balanced but not perfect. Julie Cross didn’t pretend that her characters were perfect which contributed to the realness of emotion in the book. Despite all the “feels” and emotional life lessons, Whatever Life Throws At You, is hilarious. The witty banter and fun-loving scenes had me laughing out loud and wishing I was either Annie or at least best friends with her. Annie has an attitude and isn’t afraid to use it, and I mean that in the best way.

One of the greatest aspects of Jason and Annie’s relationship was that it wasn’t insta-love from the very encounter. Instead there was a natural evolution of the character’s relationship with each other. It was a slow build that felt realistic and was very relateable. It engaged the reader on a whole other level as it has me rooting for the characters to be together. The chemistry between Annie and Jason was off the charts and the “feels” I had for these characters was strong. While I was reading the book, I felt like I was part of their story and felt the ups and downs that they were experiencing. Instead of being told how to feel about the characters, Julie Cross did an amazing job of showcasing all of the different sides of the characters which allowed readers to form their own opinion about the character’s true personality. None of the characters were perfect and they all made mistakes. In fact sometimes I was mad at the characters for their actions but ultimately I loved them for their imperfections. It was refreshing to read a book where the characters were multi-dimensional but not over dramatic all the time.

Another aspect of the Whatever Life Throws At You that I adored was the family dynamics. The bond between Annie and her father was incredible. I especially liked how they pushed and challenged each other to achieve new goals and to be happy. They didn’t always agree on everything or get along all the time but that is just part of life. Annie’s dad did things in the book that a normal parent would do. It was those types of little interactions that amplified the emotional connection between them as a family.

IMG_2397What I Loved About the Book:

  • Chemistry between characters
  • Valuable life lessons
  • Involvement of sports
  • Jason Brody’s cuteness
  • Natural development of storylines
  • Honest and flawed character
  • Sassy/witty humour

Overall, I have so much love for this book and it is possibly one of my favourite books of all time. Whatever Life Throws At You is a book that I could read over and over again and never get tired of it. If you are a fan of young adult contemporary or new adult novels with deeper meanings and outstanding character development this book is for you. Also, if you are even the slightest bit interested in sports or are a fan of Miranda Kenneally’s Hundred Oakes book series, then you need to pick up this amazing book as soon as possible. If you are not really interested in sports I would still recommend reading this book because you don’t need to know a lot about baseball to enjoy the characters and the plot. This is an unforgettable read and I feel it is very underrated so I highly recommend giving this novel a try as it holds a special place in my book-loving heart! 🙂

My Rating:

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Most Anticipated Books of July

Summer is going by way too fast! It’s hard to believe July is already half over. I have been able to do a lot of reading so far this summer which is awesome. However, there aren’t that many books being released in July that I think I must have my hands on.  But that’s okay since my TBR pile is still about 70 books. There is still a few key books being released in July that I absolutely can’t wait to read. 

My most anticipated book release of July is P.S I Like You by Kasie West. I am a huge fan of Kasie West. He other books, The Distance Between Us and On The Fence, are some of my favourite books of all time. Her novels are extremely cute, swoon-worthy, and overall just fun to read. I expect nothing less than that of P.S. I Like You. My second most anticipated book of July is Defending Taylor by Miranda Kenneally. This book is part of Miranda’s Hundred Oakes series. I love this series so much! All the books involves sports and romance which is one of my favourite things in young adult contemporary novels. I am also looking forward to Life After Juliet by Shannon Lee Alexander. This book is a companion novel to Love and Other Unknown Variables. I have read Love and Other Unknown Variables and loved it so I can’t wait to read about the other characters. Another book I am looking forward to in July in Moonshot by Alessandra Torre. I haven’t heard anything about this book before but I found it on Goodreads and it seems to involve sports which I love reading about so I am very interested in this book. My final most anticipated book release of July is Chasing Impossible by Katie McGarry. This book is part of the Pushing The Limits companion series. I have only read one book by Katie McGarry which was Pushing The Limits but I loved it and I can’t wait to read more of her books!

1. P.S. I Like You by Kasie West

~Release: July 26

2. Defending Taylor by Miranda Kenneally

~Release: July 5

3. Life After Juliet by Shannon Lee Alexander

~Release: July 5

4. Moonshot by Alessandra Torre

~Release: July 4

5. Chasing Impossible by Katie McGarry

~Release: July 1

 

Most Anticipated Books of June

Summer is almost in full-swing! With summer comes books filled with romance, cute beach scenes, and characters discovering who they really are while watching the most perfect sunsets. These are my favourite types of reads which I why I love summer book releases so much. Books with young romance also have the cutest covers which is also a bonus. 

My first most anticipated book of June is A Season for Fireflies by Rebecca Maizel. First of all the title of this book is so intriguing. When I first saw the stunning cover and the title I think I swooned a little and knew in that moment I needed this book in my life. The couple on the cover is absolutely so cute and makes me want to be them lol. This book also has a really interesting plot line that makes the book has special elements and I’m exited to see what the meaning behind the fireflies turns out to be. My second most anticipated book release is The Way To Game the Walk of Shame by Jenn P. Nguyen. While I may not love the cover of this book the synopsis sounds cute. Also the main male character is a surfer which is cute and it sounds like he will play a large part in changing the main character’s attitudes toward life. I also can’t wait to read One Paris Summer by Denise Grover Swank. I want to read this book because it takes place in a country that isn’t in North America and it is always fun to read about characters travelling. My fourth most anticipated book of June is We Were Never Here by Jennifer Gilmore. The cover of this book is incredibly beautiful and it sounds like there may be a little mystery in this novel involving one of the characters which is something I really enjoy in books. The final most anticipated book of June is The Museum of Heartbreak by Meg Leder. I believe that his book involves a love triangle which is one of my favourite things in young adult novels. This book also seems a little quirky so I’m looking forward to reading something a little different. 

1. A Season for Fireflies by Rebecca Maizel

~Release: June 28

2. The Way to Game the Walk of Shame by Jenn P. Nguyen

~Release: June 7

3. One Paris Summer by Denise Grover Swank

~Release: June 7

4. We Were Never Here by Jennifer Gilmore

~Release: June 14

5. The Museum of Heartbreak by Meg Leder

~Release: June 7

 

 

May 2016 Book Haul

Hi everyone! May has been an insanely busy month and lots of fantastic looking books were released. As it was my birthday month I have a lot of new books this month even though I haven’t had much time to read so my TBR is huge! Anyway I am so excited about the books I got this month! I bought 10 of them this month, some of them were from Chapters and others were from Book Outlet.

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Books From Chapters

This month I bought three books from Chapters. I was going on vacation and had a long flight so I went to Chapters to get a book. I initially went to Chapters to buy The Last Time We Were Us by Leah Konen because I have been looking forward to the release of this book ever since I heard about it. Luckily for me the bookstore had it on sale before its release date so I of coarse needed to have it. It is a young adult contemporary novel that sounds really cute with a little bit of mystery. I hope it is the perfect summer read. The other two books I bought from Chapters were from the bargain section. I bought Small Town Sinners by Melissa Walker and Exile by Kevin Emerson. A have had my eye of Small Town Sinners for awhile because it has a cute cover and I live in a small town. The other book I bought, Exile, I had heard about a long time ago but I had never gotten around to buying it. When I saw it at Chapters I read the synopsis and it had me hooked so I bought it. The cover Exile is also stunning in a simple way which contributed to me feeling the need to buy it. 

Books From Book Outlet

The majority of the books I bought this month were from Book Outlet. Book Outlet had a Mother’s Day sale where all the books on the website were 15% off. I was able to hold back and keep my book buying to a minimum on this sale as I only bought 7 books despite having around 30 books in my cart that I had placed in there over the year. So these 7 books had the most priority for me to buy. The first book I really wanted was The Conspiracy of Us by Maggie Hall. When this book was released in early 2015 I didn’t hear much about it but when I saw its beautiful cover of Book Outlet I read the synopsis and it seemed like the type of book I would really enjoy. It is the first book in a series. The next book I bought was Breakaway by Kat Spears. I had previously read Sway by Kat Spears and loved it so I automatically knew I needed to read Breakaway. I also bought After Hours by Claire Kennedy which is a book that was part of my most anticipated releases of June 2015. Stand-Off by Andrew Smith is another book I bought on Book Outlet. I really wanted this book because it is the sequel to the book Winger which I loved. The final three books I bought are all stand-alone novels that seemed really interesting. They are How To Say I Love You Out loud by  Karole Cozzo, Falling For Hamley by Michelle ray, and Someone Else’s Life by Katie Dale. Overall, I am super happy with my Book Outlet purchase as I got a lot of interesting books for super cheap! 

The Truth About Alice

The Truth About AliceTruth About Alice
By: Jennifer Mathieu
Pages: 199
Publication Date: June 3, 2014
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press

The Truth About Alice

Synopsis

Rumor has it that Alice Franklin is a slut. It’s written all over the bathroom stall at Healy High for everyone to see. And after star quarterback Brandon Fitzsimmons dies in a car accident, the rumors start to spiral out of control.

In this remarkable debut novel, four Healy High students—the girl who has the infamous party, the car accident survivor, the former best friend, and the boy next door—tell all they know.

But exactly what is the truth about Alice? In the end there’s only one person to ask: Alice herself.


The Truth About Alice is unlike any book I’ve ever read. I had been wanting to read this book for a long time because I had heard so many good things about it. To be honest though, I felt underwhelmed by this book. The writing was beautiful but I think my main problem with this book was that I couldn’t connect to Alice and I didn’t like her as a character. I just felt that Alice was cold, which is realistic in the situation of the novel, but I couldn’t get into the story from her perspective. I found the four characters different perspectives much more interesting and relatable to read about. Overall, I was more interested in their personal journeys than Alice’s story. Each character had such deep personal struggles in their life and the way Jennifer Mathieu wrote about them was beautiful. Not only were their struggles handled beautifully and relatable but they were also real and raw. The author didn’t try to sugar coat anything. While reading it I could feel their raw emotions of pain and confusion. Sometimes in books authors have a tendency to make their characters overdramatic that leads the reader to think there is no way that a real person would react this way but this was NOT the case with this book. I think readers will appreciate how real and in-depth this novel goes.

Brandon was one of the most intriguing characters. It was interesting to see how each person viewed him differently. He had so many layers to him but don’t get me wrong, he was not a great guy. He treated girls horribly and tIMG_5349ook almost everything for granted. Throughout the entire book I was waiting for him to have more redeeming qualities but it turned out he had very few. The one thing that really stood out to me about Brandon was his friendship with Josh. He seemed like a great friend to Josh and was always supportive of him. His relationship towards Josh showed me in my opinion that he had potential to be a good person, he just didn’t want to be that way to the rest of the world. Josh himself is an interesting character as he hints to his own possible secret but the author never comes out and fully confirms it.

One of the greatest things about this book is that it addresses the huge issue of “slut-shaming” in this generation. It is not rare for a girl to be slut-shamed even for acts that she didn’t do. However, having sex is not something to be ashamed about anyway. This book specially addresses the fact that the guy is never treated the same way as the girl in the situation and is praised for his actions unlike the girl who gets bullied for it. Jennifer Mathieu handled this topic better than any other author I have read about which is a good thing because it provides a valuable lesson to people that “slut-shaming” should not be tolerated. This book has the potential to change people’s actions and make people stop having the double standard. I applaud the author for bringing this topic to light in this way in the YA world because it is a very fragile topic but she was able to do it justice.

What I Liked About This Book:

  • Every character has their own in-depth issues
  • Real characters
  • Different perspectives
  • Thought provoking topics

Overall, this book will leave you thinking about it and its characters long after you have finished reading it. It strikes your heart and makes you question and contemplate life. While I did not absolutely love this book, I did like it. It touched upon tough topics and issues in society that are becoming a huge problem while also beautifully describing the grief and loss of a friend. It is a powerful novel that covers so much is so few pages. The characters are dynamic as there is more to them than what meets the eye. If you liked Falling Into Place by Amy Zhang you may like this book as they both have a similar tone and deal with more serious subject matters.

My Rating:

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Most Anticipated Books of May

Hey everyone! This is one of my most exciting months of the year for book releases because some of my most anticipated books of the year are being released this month which is fitting since my birthday is also this month. As I’m done with first year university I can’t wait to have time to relax and read some cute, adorable, swoon-worthy books all summer long. 

My most anticipated book release in May and probably for the entire year is The Last Time We Were Us by Leah Konen. This book has one of the most adorable covers I’ve ever seen matched with even more adorable synopsis. The Last Time We Were Us also encompasses everything I love in a YA novel and I need it in my life as soon as possible. My second most anticipated book release of May is The Season Of You and Me by Robin Constantine. I have previously read The Promise of Amazing by the same author and I fell in love with the book and her writing. Therefore, anything Robin Constantine writes is now an automatic must read for me. Another one of my favourite authors is Morgan Matson so her new novel, The Unexpected Everything, is also a book that I need to read as soon as possible. Besides my love for reading, I also have a passion for travel so books about travel are always intriguing to me. Therefore, Wanderlost by Jen Malone caught my eye with its beautiful cover and mesmerizing synopsis. Finally, my fifth most anticipated book release of May is Summer of Sloane by Erin L. Schneider. Like all of the other books that I.m looking forward to this month, this book is the perfect summer read with the right amount of romance, depth, and stunning cover!

  1. The Last Time We Were Us by Leah Konen

~Release: May 10

2. The Season of You & Me by Robin Constantine 

~Release: May 10

3. The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson

~Release: May 3

4. Wanderlost by Jen Malone 

~Release: May 31

5. Summer of Sloane by Erin L. Schneider

~Release: May 3

There are so many interesting and potentially amazing books being released in May that is was extremely hard to narrow down the top 5. Since there are so many exciting books being released this month I wanted to share two more May book releases that I can’t wait to read. The first one is The Way Back To You by Michelle Andreani. The other extra book I wanted to share with you is Tone Deaf by Olivia Rivers. Both of these books will be releases on May 3! I hope some of these books have sparked your interest and I myself can’t wait to get my hands on them. 

March/April Book Haul

Another month, and another book haul! Like my January book haul, my book haul this month is fairly small. I bought these books over the months of March and April. With these books added to my bookshelf, my TBR is huge which means that I’ve got a lot of reading ahead of me this summer! 😀 

The first book I bought was Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard. I have heard so much about this book and it seems like everyone has read it. Initially when I read the synopsis I wasn’t sure it would be the type of book I would like. However, as I kept hearing more and more mixed reviews about his book I became more intrigued. When I saw it at Walmart on sale I picked it up and figured it was worth a shot to read. Plus, the cover of the book is stunning and beautiful in a way that a picture can’t capture.  

The other three books I bought online from Chapters. I had just finished writing my midterms and I bought these books as a gift for myself to celebrate being finished. As most of you avid young adult book readers can tell, these books have been released for years. However, they seemed interesting and I thought it was finally time for me to jump on the band wagon for these books. The first book in this package was Irresistible by Liz Bankes. I hadn’t heard anything about this book before and it was purely a spontaneous cover buy. The next book is Unearthly by Cynthia Hand. It is the first book in the Unearthly trilogy. I have heard so many great things about this series and I can’t wait to read it. The final book of this book haul is I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga. I Hunt Killers is the first book in the Jasper Dent series. Again, I have heard a lot of great things about this book and it sounds extremely interesting, thrilling, and different than any other book I have read before. If you are thinking about buying I Hunt Killers, I strongly recommend buying the hardcover version because the book is stunning when you take the dust-jacket off of it. If you want to see what I mean there is a picture of it below. Overall, I can’t wait to read these books and see if I enjoy them as much as other people have! 

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Most Anticipated Books of April

Hey everyone! Summer is right around the corner and with summer comes really cute contemporary novels that make readers across the globe swoon. These types of books make me wish that my life was like a YA contemporary novel. This month was really hard to choose only five most anticipated books because there are so many intriguing books being released. However, I was able to narrow the books down to the books I absolutely wish I had in my hands right now.

The first book that I without a doubt need to get this month is When We Collided by Emery Lord. I have read her first two books and absolutely loved them so now I will read anything written by Emery Lord. Plus the cover and synopsis are beautiful. When choosing the rest of the books this month it was the synopsis that was the deciding factor. Most of these books involve an love story or a relationship struggles which is one of my favourite types of books. However, these are just basic love stories, they all seem to have a deeper issues with complex characters along with deeper life meanings. I hope you guys check out these books and let me know what you think about them in the  comments below! 😀 

1. When We Collided by Emery Lord

~Release: April 5

2. The Natural History of Us by Rachel Harris

~Release: April 5

3. The Last Boy and Girl In The World by Siobhan Vivian

~Release: April 26

4. The New Guy (and Other Senior Year Distractions) by Amy Spalding

~Release: April 5

5. Tell Me Three Things by Julie Buxbaum

~Release: April 5 

 

Most Anticipated Books of February

The first month of 2016 has flown by so quickly! We’re already onto the month of February which is the month of “love” because Valentines Day is this month. So to get in the spirit I’m going to try and read some really cute romance books but the majority of my most anticipated books of February aren’t cute romance books. In fact if I had to pick a theme for this month of books I would say it is the month of Pirate books. Two out of five of my most anticipated books of February are based around Peter Pan (which has Captain Hook in it) and Blackbeard. You may say that two out of five books being about pirates isn’t enough to make it the theme of the month but I have never read a book about pirates before so I guess you could say my interest in books is becoming more broad. This in a sense reflects my resolution for the year to try new things because I don’t want to continue missing out on things and opportunities because I usually tend to stay in my comfort zone. So I hope some of these books catch your interest and I highly encourage you to try new things, even just once, because you never know if you don’t like something until you try it! 😀

1. Kill The Boy Band by Goldy Moldavsky

~Release: February 23

2. Blackhearts by Nicole Castroman

~Release: February 9

3. The Forbidden Wish by Jessica Khoury

~Release: February 23

4. The Word For Yes by Claire Needell

~Release: February 16

5. Unhooked by Lisa Maxwell

~Release: February 2

January 2016 Book Haul

It’s that time of month again where it is time to “haul” all the books I bought in January! This is one of my smaller book hauls because  I bought and received so many books in December and don’t have a lot of reading time anymore at university so I’m going to try and cut back on my book buying for awhile. I’ve said this before and sometimes it sticks and sometimes I just have the urge to buy more books especially when the books I want are super cheap at Chapters or Book Outlet so we’ll see how my plan goes this time. Overall, I have two books in my book haul this month to share with you. 

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The two books I bought in January were both from Chapters. I received a Chapters gift card for Christmas so before getting on my flight back to go back to school I stopped and browsed at  Chapters and spent part of my gift card. The first book I bought was Between Us and The Moon by Rebecca Maizel. I picked up this book because it was on my Christmas list but I didn’t get it. The cover of this book is absolutely adorable and I can’t wait to read this book.  It has the cute summer romance vibe to it as well as a deeper meaning I think. When I was choosing to get this book or another book that I had been wanting for a long time, my decision to pick this one came down to the fact that the main character’s name is Sarah, which is also my name! lol I know that sounds like an awful reason for choosing a book but I plan on getting the other books I was considering later on this year. The second book I bought from Chapters is The Edge of Always by J.A. Redmerski. This is the sequel to The Edge of Never, which was part of my October book haul. I haven’t had the chance to read The Edge of Never yet but I bought the sequel anyway because I’m 99% sure that I’ll love this series. Also, the book only cost $4.99 at Chapters so at that price there was no way I was leaving it in the store. I can’t wait to read these books! If you have any book recommendations for me feel free to leave them in the comments below because I would love to hear what you guys read.