"Loved this book! Great characters, great story, & so much swooning!" –Cindi Madsen, USA Today bestselling author
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 ownmost 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…
About the Author
Julie Cross is the international bestselling author of the Tempest series, a young adult science fiction trilogy. She's also the author of Letters to Nowhere, a mature young adult romance, as well as several forthcoming young adult and new adult novels.
Julie lives in Central Illinois with her husband and three children. She's a lover of books, devouring several novels a week, especially in the young adult and new adult genres. You can find her online at www.juliecrossbooks.com.
Read an Excerpt
Whatever Life Throws At You
By Julie Cross, Liz Pelletier
Entangled Publishing, LLCCopyright © 2014 Julie Cross
All rights reserved.
I'm afraid that the second I allow Frank Steadman, the new general manager for the Kansas City Royals, to enter our small Arizona townhouse, my mother will be right on his heels. Whenever major league baseball makes its way back into Dad's life, Mom likes to make a surprise appearance, screwing with Dad's head all over again.
Last time she showed up was Christmas two months ago when an old teammate of Dad's was in town and wanted to have dinner. I don't know how she found out about it. She stayed for exactly forty-eight hours, and it took a month to get Dad out of his post-Mom funk.
I can't deal with that again.
I've got track starting next week, and someone has to take care of Grams. God knows we can't have another incident of her shuffling outside in her old lady underwear at noon telling all the neighbors that the air-conditioning is broken.
Frank Steadman is grinning at me from the other side of the screen door. I can't make myself return the smile. He's a very nice guy, don't get me wrong — one of the few baseball people who regard my dad with some amount of respect instead of pity. I've just had my guard up since two hours ago when Dad told me Frank was stopping by for dinner. The good thing is that two hours' notice probably isn't long enough for Mom to get here from whatever dream she's chasing at the moment.
"Little Annie Lucas," Frank says, pulling open the screen and letting himself in. "You're practically a lady now, aren't you? Bet your dad is scared shitless."
I hear the familiar uneven thud of Dad's steps, his metal non-leg banging against the wood floors. He can insist on wearing pants 24/7, but his part-robot status is still obvious. "You got that right. I think it's about time I locked her in her bedroom for five or so years."
"Jimmy" — Frank looks over my shoulder — "How are you?"
Frank Steadman and Mom are the only people I've ever heard call my dad Jimmy instead of Jim.
They give each other the one-armed man-friendly hug before Dad ushers him into our small kitchen where my lasagna is now ready to be removed from the oven.
"Congrats on the new job, Frank," I say, sliding on green oven mitts. "They must have been really desperate for wins if they're turning Yankees recruiters into general managers."
Both Dad and Frank laugh. "Yep," Frank says. "That, and I came cheap. Anything to get away from New York. Been there too long."
"How's spring training going?" I hear Dad ask after I've set dinner on the table and started down the hall to wake Grams.
"All right." Frank sighs. "Got a couple rookies with potential. It's the veterans that are driving me batshit crazy. We don't have enough room on the field for all their egos."
The rest of the dinner conversation switches to non-baseball topics, like Dad's barely above a minimum wage job at the glass factory in town, and then onto his non-leg.
"Everything good with the leg, Jimmy?"
I watch Dad's face carefully while holding a fork out for Grams. Her wrinkled hand drifts in front of me, blocking my view.
"Same as last time." Dad swallows a bite of pasta, chewing slowly. "I'll have another scan in two months."
My heart speeds up. I hate the scans. I'm a head case for three or four months before and then relieved as hell after for only a few months before it starts all over again. I miss being too young to keep track of these things. To not understand the term oncologist.
It isn't until an hour after Frank's arrival, while we're in the living room and I'm curled up on the love seat beside Grams reading to her from my physics textbook, that Frank finally gets to the point of this visit.
"I got a kid I want you to look at," he says to Dad.
"Huygens' principle states that each point on a wave front ..." I read quietly to Grams while watching Frank remove his laptop from its case.
"A wave front," Grams mumbles beside me. "Isn't that what took out the Titanic, Ginny?"
I grind my teeth together. She can't help it. I know she can't. But I hate with a passion being called my mother's name. "That was an iceberg, Grams."
Frank must have caught what Grams said because he looks up from his laptop resting on the coffee table. "You look just like her, kid. It's amazing."
My expression probably represents anything but happiness, and Frank bows his head quickly. "Sorry."
Unlike the other baseball-related "old friends," I've always had the impression that Frank is aware of the real woman Dad is married to. Either he's observed enough, or Dad has confided in him.
He and Dad lean their heads together as they sit at the edge of the couch waiting for the video to download. I close my textbook and turn on the TV.
"Look Grams, Wheel of Fortune."
She turns her gaze to the television across the room. "Thanks, Ginny, sweetheart."
"Annie," I whisper in her ear before standing up. "I'm Annie."
I walk behind the couch and lean on my elbows. Dad reaches behind him and pats my hand, glancing over his shoulder for a split second. "It's just a phase."
I shrug, like it doesn't bother me, and nod toward Frank's laptop. There's a guy on the screen now, standing on the pitcher's mound. He's young. Really young. Sweat glistens on his forehead, dripping down from the edge of his dark hair. He's Italian or something that gives a person beautiful tan skin, dark hair, and chocolate brown eyes. Features much better suited for Arizona sun than my pale blue eyes and white-blond hair. I cart SPF 70 around like a diabetic with their insulin.
"He's hot," I say, winning an over-the-shoulder glare from Dad. "What's his name?"
"Why is that important?" Dad says, though he knows we have different priorities in this situation.
I shrug again, looking all innocent while ogling the computer pitcher.
"Jason Brody," Frank says. "He's only nineteen. Spent half a season with our farm team in Texas."
We all watch as Jason Brody winds up and throws his first pitch. Even with the click, click, click of Pat Sajak's wheel spinning on the television, I hear the smack of the ball against the catcher's glove, loud and clear.
"Holy shit," I murmur, leaning over Dad and seeing his unreadable expression. Frank is silent while Dad watches Jason Brody throw about thirty more pitches. Finally the video ends.
"Well, what do you think?" Frank prompts.
Dad leans back against my arms, carefully evaluating his answer. That's how he is with everything — quiet and calculated. Frank's hinted on previous visits that Dad was quite the hotshot in his own pitching days. His BC days. Before Cancer. I was too young to remember any of that.
"The fastball's great, obviously," Dad says. "What's he throwing? Ninety-five, ninety-eight?" Frank nods. "Have you given him any coaching? There's potential for a decent slider with his arm, but not without some work, some good instruction."
Frank grins. "I was hoping you'd say that."
"It's jelly donut, goddammit!" Grams shouts at the TV.
Frank is temporarily distracted but returns his focus after Grams throws the newspaper at the television.
"She's got an arm, too." He chuckles and then tucks his laptop away. "Johnson, the Royals' new owner, isn't too keen on signing a nineteen-year-old rookie to close this season. Plus, Brody's got a few indiscretions on his record, for lack of a better word. No high school diploma, not much family contact that I know of ... Could be a problem player, especially given his age."
Now Dad's eyebrows lift — even though he had no reaction while he watched the guy throw ninety-eight-mile-an-hour pitches.
"Right," I say. "'Cause a hot nineteen-year-old bad-boy pitcher won't help get some asses in the seats this season. Guess the owner is fine relying on giving out bobble-heads and seat cushions every night."
Frank laughs again but Dad just rolls his eyes. "Annie. Dishes. Now."
"Why? Because I'm a girl?" But I'm already walking away toward the kitchen. I let the water run at only half speed so I can eavesdrop.
"She's got a point," Frank says. "This kid will sell tickets. Maybe even help us win a few games."
"If it were my decision, I wouldn't give a damn about his record," Dad says. "He's got potential, he's hungry. I can see that from the footage. And really, what the hell do you have to lose? It's not like you're coming off a World Series win or anything."
"So if it were you in my position, you'd coach this kid? You'd sign him?" Frank asks.
"In a heartbeat," Dad says matter-of-factly. And Frank probably knows as well as I do that Dad doesn't bullshit anyone. Frank has known my dad since before I was born. He's the one who discovered Dad, who recruited him for the Yankees before he even finished college.
"Which is why I'm really here. I need a new pitching coach, Jimmy," Frank says. "And I think you're the best man for the job."
The soapy plate slips through my fingers and crashes onto the kitchen floor, snapping into a dozen pieces.
Dad is up so fast, his non-leg thudding into the floor until he's standing in the doorway of the kitchen. "You okay, Ann?"
"Leave the dishes and come in here, Annie," Frank calls from the living room. Dad and I walk back together, standing behind the couch, waiting to hear Frank's punch line. "What do you think about moving to Kansas City? What do you think about your daddy coaching big league ballplayers?"
The first thought to drift through the shock of Frank's proposal is Mom. She'd love this. She'd be all over this. All she's ever wanted was to be Dad's trophy wife and to dress me up like her personal Barbie doll, but accept none of the responsibility that comes with marriage and kids.
Dad responds before I get a chance to. "I can't pull Annie out of school in the middle of the semester. She's got track season coming up."
Frank lifts an eyebrow, shifting his gaze to me. "Another athlete in the family, huh? Can't say I'm surprised."
"She runs a mile in four fifty-five." Dad grins at me. "Her coach thinks she'll get offered a scholarship to Arizona State."
"Damn, kid, that's quite a time. But there're schools in Kansas City. Good schools with great track teams." He turns to Dad again. "The pay's not great. They'll probably let me start you out at one fifty a year."
I gape at Frank. "One hundred fifty thousand a year?"
Dad's eyes drop to the floor for a sec. "You don't have to do this, Frank. You don't owe me anything."
A silent exchange of words and memories seems to pass between the two of them. Things that happened years ago, most likely. Before I was old enough to understand.
"It's not that," Frank says firmly. "I want that Brody kid, and I need someone on my side. Someone to back me up and honestly, I need a real technician on my pitching staff, not a goddamn washed-up player who's been promised way too many perks. You know this stuff as well as anyone in the league, if not better than most of them."
Does he? I've never seen Dad coach baseball or even play. But we've watched hundreds of games together, and I've heard him mumbling things under his breath, shaking his head when he's not happy with a pitch. I've seen the intense way he studies players' movements, leaning forward on his elbows like he's willing the TV to move closer. It's definitely different from the typical shouting and cheering in the sports bar kind of behavior. He's the opposite of a rowdy, temperamental fan. And when I ask questions, he has very technical, logical answers. So maybe Frank is right?
Dad glances at Grams and shakes his head. "I can't leave Evelyn."
"Bring her," Frank booms, throwing his hands up in the air. "Bring whoever the hell you want to bring. We'll take care of everything for you."
"I don't know ..." His voice trails off, his eyes meeting mine.
Suddenly I understand his resistance. It's crystal clear. He thinks Grams is the way to keep Mom coming around. He thinks if he keeps her mother close and takes care of her, that Mom will change her mind and come live with us again.
Fuck that. We're getting the hell out of here.
"Kansas City, that's like in Kansas, right?" I ask.
"Missouri," Frank and Dad both correct.
I clap my hands together. "I'm dying to go to Missouri. Let's do it, Dad."
His forehead wrinkles. "You want to leave your school, your friends, your boyfriend?"
You mean my boyfriend who just dumped me for Jesus and other boys? Yep, let's get the hell out of here. "Yeah, about that boyfriend ... It's kinda over."
Dad looks relieved but tries to hide it. "Since when?"
I just shake my head. "Think about it, Dad. Grams can visit her sister in St. Louis. She'd love that."
I have no idea if she'd love it. Honestly, I could probably grab some random old lady in the supermarket and tell Grams it's her sister, and she'd believe me. But like me, Dad adores Grams, and he'd do just about anything if he thought she'd enjoy it.
"Why don't you take Grams for a drive, Ann?" Dad says.
I groan like I'm super annoyed with being shooed out of the grown-up conversation like a toddler before hauling Grams toward the front door. Hopefully, Frank has some persuasive skills.
"This would be a great opportunity for your daughter, Jimmy," I hear Frank say as we step outside.
"I'd be away all the time ... on the road," Dad says, but I hear the tiny hint of concession in his voice.
"Where should we go, Grams?" I help her into the old beat-up Ford Taurus that Dad and I share, and then make my way toward the driver's side. "Ice cream?"
"Florence!" Grams shouts, punching her fist into the air.
I laugh and back out of our assigned parking space. "We went to Italy yesterday. How about Hawaii this time?"
"I love a good pig roast, Ginny."
The sigh escapes despite the fact that I don't blame Grams. "Do you remember Dad playing baseball?" I glance sideways at her. She's waving her hand over the air-conditioning vent, no hint of a response coming anytime soon. Her lucid moments have become very rare lately. I try a different tactic more out of boredom than actual curiosity. "Remember Jimmy playing ball, Mom?"
She looks directly at me. "Don't you worry about those women all over him, dear. He loves you."
"I know he does," I whisper.
"He can be an arrogant cad, but he's smitten with you. One of these days, that boy's gonna get pelted in the head with a fastball and the rest of the world will be standing over him, laughing their heads off. No one likes a showboat. You be sure and tell him that, Ginny."
I laugh under my breath. My dad is so not a showboat. What's the opposite of a showboat? Because that's the label I'd give him. He's worked the same dead end, low-paying job for five years, and I doubt a single one of those guys in the glass factory have any idea about Dad's baseball days. If it weren't for guys like Frank, I probably wouldn't have a clue either.
I get both me and Grams each a two-scoop hot fudge sundae and then drive around until she falls asleep. When I get home, Dad comes outside and helps me get Grams into the house. Frank is gone and the kitchen is spotless.
"So ...?" I say after he's closed Grams' bedroom door. "Are we moving to Kansas?"
"Missouri," he corrects me again.
"So we're going?" I fold my arms across my chest, tapping my foot against the wood floors in the hallway.
Dad rubs his hand over his face, looking completely tormented. "I don't know, Annie."
"Why not?" He's walked away, so I follow behind him. "This is a huge opportunity for you, Dad."
"Your mom —" he starts to say, but I cut him off.
"Don't even go there," I groan. "Seriously, Dad? What the fuck?"
"We're still married." He's using the firm Dad voice that only comes out when I've really pissed him off. "I can't just take her mother across the country."
"Yeah, you're such an asshole." I step in front of him, not backing down. "How dare you take care of your negligent, flighty wife's mother and keep the state of Arizona from locking her up in an old people's home. I can't even believe people like you are allowed to exist in society."
He cracks a smile and leans forward, planting a kiss on the top of my head. "I love you, honey."
Excerpted from Whatever Life Throws At You by Julie Cross, Liz Pelletier. Copyright © 2014 Julie Cross. Excerpted by permission of Entangled Publishing, LLC.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I read this book in three days. I could NOT put it down! A must read!!!
I could not put this book down! I kept wanting to find out what was going to happen next! I read it in 3 days and is easily one of my favorites...and to be honest after I read it in those 3 days I reread it a few times because I was sad that it was over!
This is my first time reading a book by Julie Cross, and after hearing about how wonderful her and her books are, my expectations were pretty high. And she delivered beautifully! First, can we just swoon over the beautiful black and white cover with a touch of yellow - I love this color combo! Next, it isn't easy to balance a story that covers so many important life changing moments - new love, "career" choices, family decisions and personal growth, all while doing it in the public eye. There is a lot to take in, and the author gives us all the details we need to watch it all unfold... Annie is a 17-year-old that is doing well in school, loves to run and hopes to get a scholarship through track soon. She lives with her dad, a retired baseball player and cancer survivor, and helps take care of her maternal grandmother, who has Alzheimer's. When her father gets the offered a position to coach in the major leagues, Annie knows that this is an opportunity for her father that he cannot say no to. Baseball was his life, he left due to his illness and didn't return because of it. And when he tried to make a comeback of sorts, Annie's mother left, and he decided to stay home with Annie to give her the most stable life that he could manage for her. Annie knows that this will be good for him, he deserves this and wants him to be happy. She convinces her dad that this is not only a good opportunity for him, but for the entire family. Within a weeks time, Annie finds herself in a new city. They're now living in a bigger home, there's a nurse to help take care of grandma and Annie will be attending one of the best private schools that offers one of the highest ranking track teams in the state. Annie is a bit out of her element here, but is determined to not only make the best of it, but to take advantage of all the good things that are finally happening to her and her little family. And then Brody happens. How Annie and Brody meet is hilarious and memorable. From the moment these two say their first few words to each other, I knew that their story was going to be fun to follow. The initial love/hate relationship is right now target. The friendship then blossoming into something possibly more. The immaturity they both display and learn from. The tug and pull they both do. Everything that they go through, say and end up with was so realistic and relatable. The age difference and the fact that they're both in such different places in their lives really creates a lot of problems for their relationship. Trust is a huge factor. And acceptance is key. In the end, I really did not know where they were going to end up. Together or now, they're both really strong and determined characters, and I loved that even though they'd have their moments, in the end, they both thought of others before themselves. I have to admit - at first I was a bit disappointed that the author did not go into more details regarding Brody's past and family. We are told what he did, what happened and this is just it. Nothing really happens for him. It made me sad. But, I understand that in reality that this is the way things go for some people, unfortunately. And it made my heart ache for him just a bit more. Another part that I have to point out is the amazing family dynamic that the author created - absolutely beautiful. The father-daughter relationship was so spot on and refreshing. It was so nice to see such a strong bond between them. With Annie's mother breezing in and out of their lives so much, her father did everything for her and supports her in everything that she does. And Annie admiration for him was so sweet and heart melting. They had many moments that made me get all tear-eyed. Contemporary fans, especially those who love baseball, will really enjoy Annie and Brody's story. I hope we get to see more of them - even if it is just a cameo appearance in another story. I'd love to see them in their future... *An eARC was sent to me for an honest review. All thoughts are my own.
This book is my new absolute favorite!!!! Stop, Drop what you are doing and Buy This Book!!!!!!
I love stories featuring athletes. I was very intrigued by the cover and blurb of this book. Athletes who become professional have lots of pressure on them and I thought it'd be interesting to read about how a teenage professional athlete handled the fame and fortune that came at him. Add another teenage athlete and someone who was forbidden and off limits and I knew I had to read this book. I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this book. I thought it was going to be a light easy read, but it turned out there was more substance than I expected and I enjoyed it. Julie Cross did a phenomenal job at showing how difficult it is for people to adapt to new surroundings and how different the life of professional athletes can be. I really liked Annie and Jason. Annie was down to earth and grounded. She might have been a little jaded from seeing the toxic relationship her parents had and the effect it had on her father, but she was a good kid. Jason too was dealing with new found fame and fortune while trying to make a spot for himself on the team and secure a position with the cards stacked against him. Jason and Annie had great chemistry together. I really think Annie grounded Jason and supported him. I know that any of sort romantic relationship between them was taboo, but I personally didn't think it was a big deal. They were two years apart in age, and maturity wise they were both on similar levels. They were supportive and beneficial for one another. It seemed the reasons for them not to be together weren't based on strong, valid points. I also thought it was interesting the contrast that was provided by Lenny and her family. They were dysfunctional to the extreme. I also like how Julie Cross did justice to Annie's Gram and her having Alzheimer's. Annie's relationship with her father tugged on my heartstrings. She was one lucky girl and he was one lucky dad. Their bond is one I wish I could've had with my father. I honestly feel you have to read the book to understand how nuanced and wonderful it is. I picked it up thinking it was going to fun and instead found something with depth and far more enjoyable. I read this book in a matter of hours. I am very impressed with Julie Cross and will be looking up her back list to see what books I may have missed. I'll also be keeping an eye out for any future publications.
I loved this book.i hoping the is a second book.
Couldnt put this down
I Loved the book, I couldn't put it down!
I purchased it just yesterday & I thought It was REALLY great I am a teenager and I aprove that this is a great book
This book was truly amazing. It always kept me wanting to read more and I loved it!
It did not take long for me to absolutely fall in love with Julie Cross' writing. WHATEVER LIFE THROWS AT YOU is such a fun book. I mean, between Britney Spears, Miley Cyrus, and Taylor Swift references, how could I not like it? Annie is a character that is easy to relate to and sympathize with. Cross pulls you into the story until you are unable to put the book down. I am fairly new to reading young adult romance, or really any romance in general, so I am wary when it comes to picking one up. I was thankful that even though WHATEVER LIFE THROWS AT YOU does include romance, it was not overwhelming, unbelievable, or mushy. It was easy for me to become emotionally invested in what Annie was feeling and experiencing. The love story was told maturely in the aspect that "I love you" was not said after the relationship just started, but also in a way to where it is believable that Annie is still in high school. This book follows the time line of a major league baseball season, which made it fun to read. Annie attends some of the Royals' games, and Cross does an excellent job of describing the game. I, of course, was rooting for the Royals, and every time there was a game, I was on the edge of my seat reading as fast as I could. It was just like I was watching the game on TV, or even as if I was there in person. If the Royals lost, then I would be absolutely heartbroken, and if they won then I found myself feeling elated. This was a wonderful bonus and a welcome side story, being able to follow the team throughout their season. There were also Facebook updates from Annie and her friends along with text message conversations which mixed things up and added an interesting aspect to the story. WHATEVER LIFE THROWS AT YOU is a fun must read for any age that enjoys young adult novels, whether you are into the whole romance thing or not. Just make sure that you have enough free time to be able to sit down and read this book cover to cover, because you will not want to put it down once you start.
Wow. This book. AMAZING! I'm going to try my best at putting words together to tell you how much I loved this book. I just want to scream at everyone and say READ THIS BOOK!! That should work right? LOL. Life loves a good curveball....Isn't that the truth? Annie Lucas is a seventeen year old girl who lives with her father(Jim) who lost his leg due to cancer, and her grandmother who has Alzheimer's. Her mother isn't in the picture but Annie is perfectly fine with that. Jim is offered a job as a pitching coach for the Kansas City Royals by his long time friend Frank Steadman. Frank just started his job as the new general manager and wants Jim to work with a young pitcher named Jason Brody. Jim and Annie pack up with grandma and leave to Missouri. The first encounter with Jason Brody was hilarious. Locker room and Jason in a towel...makes for a good combination! And Annie's reaction to this is one of my favorite parts of the book. But Annie soon realizes that Brody(as she refers to him) is a playboy and somebody she shouldn't be crushing on. The character development in this book is absolutely amazing. I think I loved every single character in it. Brody and Annie's relationship is one that I am going to remember for a long time. My absolute favorite part of this book is when Annie tells him she is struggling with spanish. He whispers spanish in her ear.....she doesn't know what he said. USE TRANSLATION PEOPLE! You have to know what he says to her. When the words were translated, I sighed with adoration. So sweet and romantic. SERIOUS BOOK LOVE! Bravo Julie Cross you have a winner with this one! This coming of age love story is one that will touch the hearts of many. I laughed, I cried, and during some scenes almost had a heart attack. It has everything I love in a book. I don't know what else to say other than....BUY THIS BOOK!
5 + stars Whatever Life Throws at You was such a wonderful read! Loved the storyline. Loved the characters. Loved the relationship between Annie Lucas and Josh Brody. Brody is such a sweetheart, he made me laugh, he made me swoon, and he made me want to reach out and hug him when he was feeling down. The opening scene between Annie and Brody had me in stitches, I knew from that moment these two were going to hold a special place in my heart. The other scene that will forever stay with me was when Brody was trying to reassure Annie through the Tornado while he whispered into her ear in Spanish. Be still my heart, serious swoon moment! Loved the relationship between Annie and her Grams, so many feels. And finally I LOVED the relationship Annie has with her dad. It's not often you get to see an honest and real relationship between a child and parent, they truly touched my heart. I fell in love with Julie Cross's writing after reading Third Degree (SO much love for that book) and now after reading Whatever Life Throws at You Julie Cross is on my auto buy list. Beautiful heartfelt writing, ticked all the boxes for me. I highly recommend this book.
Who wouldn’t dig Annie Lucas? She’s a great daughter who wanted the best for her father. She can’t remember those days when her father was supposed to be one of those hotshots baseball players, so when he was offered a coaching position with the Kansas City Royals, she encouraged him. She wanted to see what her father was like in the field. Brody isn’t someone who you can easily bring home to your mother. This 19-year old sexy rookie might be the best pitcher in town but his past is not that glamorous. But it didn’t stop her jaws from dropping or her heart from beating as fast as his pitching ball goes. As her father goes closer to Brody and includes him in their little family, the friction between them increases. But when the opening day arrive, and both her dad and Brody’s job might be in jeopardy, she offered support and it started a friendship between the two of them. As they grew closer, and the more Brody spends time with her and told her some secrets he never told anyone, Annie’s infatuation (or attraction) intensifies. But there’s the playboy status, some model posting twitter pics with him, not to mention some bimbos coming out of his room. Falling for him might be a bad idea. But when the rising baseball star starts to give hints that the feeling was mutual, that changes everything. But can someone like Brody fall for a high school girl? I like Brody. He might not have a stellar past, but you can sense that he wanted to change. He was given a chance to make things right, and he was doing his best in not screwing it up. He tried to stop his feelings, since she was too young for him, not to mention her father is the coach, but he can only do much. When he finally crossed the line, he tried to make things better, but Annie wouldn’t let him. You’d love him, he knew she was young and he was so willing to suffer from blue-balls until she was ready. So there was this scenario which I was holding my breath, I nearly fainted while repeating ‘oh-my-gahd-oh-my-gahd’ faithfully like a mantra. It was an epic scene that had my heart stop for a second. You’d love Jimmy too. He’s like the best dad in the world, and would die for Annie in a heartbeat. But he has some secrets on his sleeves to, something that he wasn’t proud of. Nevertheless, it might have surprised me, because I totally didn’t imagine him that way – but being the perfect, doting, and supportive father made up for that. Okaaay, he had some stupid moments there with his wife – in which me and Annie had the same stand, he’s so better off without her. Good thing he pulled his head out of his a** before he screwed something promising. Yay for him too! It's sweet. It's romantic. It's swoon-worthy. It's surprising. It's heartwarming. Lot's of awww and oh-my-gahd moments. This was a great read. It’s something that starts out pretty slow, building all the anticipation, the romance and then finally it hits you straight in the heart. This is something you would like to read again, if only to read those witty and sassy Facebook statuses the characters posted all throughout the novel. •Complimentary Copy was given in exchange for an honest review.•
I'm not a big reader of YA. But the synopsis for this grabbed me and I'm converted because I loved Whatever Life Throws at You. Everything in this novel worked for me, the first person narrative, the characters, the story being not just focussed on romance but pro-sport, the lifestyle and challenges faced, the emotion and the characters. Characters who acted their age and I adored. "I don't know when this happened, but I know for sure tonight I've developed a big fat crush on Jason Brody..." That's Annie Lucas talking, not me (although I too have developed a big fat crush). The 17 year old daughter of an ex baseball-pro whose career was cut short before it ever really started by cancer, she's funny, confident, thoughtful and insightful. When offered the position of pitching coach by the Kansas City Royals, Annie urges her Dad to take it and they, along with her dementia-suffering Grams leave Arizona where she meets Jason Brody, 19, gorgeous and the Royals new hot-shot pitcher with a not so hot history. She may have a big fat crush, but she can't risk her Dad's job by becoming anything more than friends with the guy he's mentoring anymore than Brody can risk his career by dating a high-school girl... "Just because I like you doesn't mean you have to be with me. I'm still here in whatever form you want me." I'll say it again - I adored both Annie and Brody. There's no insta-love, they blossom individually and with each other as their journey unfolds, and their transition from friends to more is natural and emotional, with the fun, discoveries and fears that any mature teen could experience, sexual or otherwise. And utilise the gift of language translation on your reading device as Brody's Spanish brings the sighs. With secondary characters bringing depth and valuable content to the story, it really was a home-run for me. Julie Cross is a new author to me but she's now most definitely on my reading radar. "Life is funny sometimes...the worst possible things can get you to the best possible places." Reviewed for Read Your Writes Book Reviews. Copy received courtesy of Entangled Publishing via NetGalley in exchange for an honest and unbiased review
Such a good book could not put it down and i have now reread it 100 times.
Seeing as how I am a huge baseball fan, I was not naive to think there would be some errors in terms of the game in this book. While there was, that was the ONLY thing that I did not like. Great book, and a great read if you're looking for something happy and simple to take your mind off things for a little while.
I absolutely loved this book and did not want it to end!! A must read.
Love this book!
I really enjoyed this story. Cute love story.
Annie Lucas’ father has just been offered an amazing opportunity as the new pitching coach for the Kansas City Royals which is how she ends up in Missouri at an all girls private school. There she focuses on track: winning meets, breaking records, and getting noticed by college scouts. Jason Brody, the new Royals’ rookie pitcher, somewhat blindsides her when she realizes that she has actual feelings for him. But he has a sketchy past, a playboy image, and is obviously off limits—because he’s a major league baseball player and all. As their friendship turns into something more, the two of them try to find a way to make things work despite all that keeps getting in their way. I honestly finished this in about two days. I loved so many things about this book: the plot, the characters, the writing. Just everything! The relationship that Annie has with her father is something I’ve always craved with my own. They are just so sweet, caring and protective of each other. Annie’s relationship with Brody is also well written. Their relationship slowly progressives from a very close friendship which I liked. It was a gradual shift and there were a lot of scenes where they take the time to actually get to know each other; they share secrets and pretty much talk about anything and everything. I hate when romance is one of the biggest aspects of the plot yet it is rushed and ends up being lackluster. Luckily this was not the case because their love seems very genuine. I loved Annie and Brody together, but individually they are also great characters. Annie is driven and sassy. I felt that she was pretty mature despite that being one of her biggest insecurities. And despite his sordid past, Brody is hardworking, patient, and loving. He has completely changed his life around in such a short amount of time which is admirable. I felt sorry for him at times because of how young and alone he seems; he just wants someone to acknowledge that he isn’t a terrible person and be accepted by his teammates. There is a bit of sexual content, so be aware if that is something you are not comfortable with. (I would definitely categorize this as more NA than YA.) I found it particularly refreshing because it was not super graphic, but it added to their relationship and made it that much more real. Those scenes honestly made me love Brody that much more.
I loved this book could not put it down