Publication date: October 7th 2014
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…
Whatever Life Throws At You is a fast romance involving baseball and family. Annie is a seventeen year old runner with a Dad who could have been a baseball legend. Unfortunately her dad needed to have his leg amputated only one game into his major league career. When an old family friend and the Kansas City Royals team manager comes to coax Annie’s dad to be his new pitching coach, they jump at the chance. And their chances are riding pretty hard on hotshot nineteen year old pitcher Jason Brody, who could make or break their move and Annie’s dad’s career.
There was something very addictive about this book – maybe it’s the fact that I really like sports related fiction, or maybe it was just the way author Julie Cross balanced all of the people in Annie’s life. From her Alzheimer’s ridden grandmother, to the Royals PR manager, to Annie’s new teammates and friends in Missouri, I felt like the movement between characters and parts of Annie’s life were really authentic and believable, and it made the reading experience really smooth.
I also really liked the romance between Annie and Brody. There’s a ton of angst and a lot of tears that sort of throw it into that new adult category, but for me, what saves it from being too much are the funny scenes. Annie and Brody’s relationship was built on banter, friendship and communication. While they both have a lot of baggage that they unpack throughout the novel, the fun, funny and sexy still keep it light enough to be a fast read. These are characters who aren’t afraid to talk about their sexual (and not sexual) quips and quirks, and that made the relationship feel so believable for me.
In fact, that’s what this book does best – it explores communication and how it manipulates and changes our relationships. There’s a ton of pressure on Annie, her dad, and Jason Brody to have the right image and brand in order to keep their jobs/lives, and there’s a lot of discussion of the contrast between being “just a kid” and a “mature adult”. This is especially apparent in Annie and Brody, who are only two years apart in age, but sometimes feel light-years apart because of the nature of their lives. I liked the unusual focus on how to bridge that gap, and how much Annie’s – and the rest of the world’s – perception of Jason Brody differed from the reality of his life.
For the most part, though, the family issues and the scenes where Annie is running (she’s a track star at her school), or where Brody is pitching are really believable and kept me on the edge of my seat. This is a romance that definitely feels earned.
The Final Word:
Whatever Life Throws At You isn’t going to knock your Sox off (see what I did there?), but it was a good fluffy read for anyone who’s ever fantasizes about dating an older guy in the spotlight. Very fun, very sexy, and great to get you out of a book hangover!