Whatever Life Throws At You
By: Julie Cross
Publication Date: October 7, 2014
Publisher: Entangled: Teen
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 the 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.
What 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! 🙂