Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Release Day Launch: Whatever Life Throws At You by Julie Cross

Whatever Life Throws At You
By: Julie Cross
Published: October 7, 2014
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Source: Publisher
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GR's Summary:

Life loves a good curveball… 

Seventeen-year-old Annie Lucas is too young to remember her dad’s glory days as a pitcher for the Yankees. So when her father is offered a coaching position with the Kansas City Royals, Annie is intrigued to see the baseball side of her dad. Of course, knowing he’ll be a mentor to hot young rookie pitcher, Jason Brody, certainly makes it more enticing. 

After an awkward first meeting with “Brody” involving very little clothing and a much-too-personal locker room interview, Annie’s convinced she knows Brody’s type: arrogant, self-involved, bossy. As her dad grows closer to the pitching phenom, the friction between Brody and Annie increases. But when opening day arrives and it looks like both her dad and Brody may lose their dream jobs, Annie steps up and offers support. She and Brody call a truce that grows into friendship—and beyond. Falling for a rising star who’s quickly reaching a level that involves rabid female fans is not what Annie would call smart, except suddenly she’s getting hints that maybe this crush isn’t one-sided after all. Could someone like Brody actually fall for a girl like her?

My Thoughts:

Whatever Life Throws At You, by Julie Cross, was such a sweet and romantic read.  It is the story of Annie and Brody.  Annie has been raised to be independent, intelligent, compassionate, and strong by her amazing father.  They share a very special and close knit bond, due to the fact that Annie's mother was only around when when Annie's father, Jim, was a successful, prestigious, and well-off ball player.  Unfortunately, Jim got Bone Cancer, and was forced to amputate his leg, which ended his career.  After Annie's mother took off, it was just her, Jim, and her maternal grandmother who suffered from Alzheimer's.  Annie's mother would pop in and out of their lives whenever she could get something out of it, leaving Jim devestated time after time, with Annie left picking up the pieces.  When Frank, one of Jim's old ballplayer friends offers him a position as a pitching coach for the Royals, Annie convinces her father to uproot the family to Kansas City, Missouri.

When Annie moves, she meets the sexy and good-looking pitching Rookie, Jason Brody, who is the main reason that her father has been hired to coach.  Annie and Brody quickly develop a close friendship in which she supports, motivates, and inspire's him to be the best pitcher that he can be.  Annie's passion and talent lies in track.  As she competes to qualify for state, Brody supports her passion as well.  Annie and Brody are both warned by the Royals' owner to stay away from each other because Annie is only 17, while Brody just turned 19, and it could cause bad publicity for the baseball team.  While Annie starts to develop deeper feelings than friendship for Brody, she thinks that he views her as just a kid sister.  However, Brody is very attracted to Annie, and feels deeply for her.  However, what can Annie and Brody do?  If they are together, they will risk both her father's career as well as Brody's, and most of all a relationship between the two of them could destroy the friendship between Jim and Brody.

I loved the way that Ms. Cross took the time to really develop the relationship between Annie and Brody.  The relationship progressed perfectly and naturally, with a friendship full of substance, before it lead to more. I also enjoyed reading about the close relationship that Annie and her father had, as well as the relationship that Annie had with her grandmother.  I couldn't stand Annie's biological mother, and was rooting for Annie's father to realize his self-worth, and leave her once and for all.  Other characters that I loved in this story included Frank, who was like an uncle to Annie, her new friend Lenny, and the Royal's Publicist, Savannah.  All these character's gave the story depth, and made it come to life for me.

Whatever Life Throws At You was written tastefully.  It wasn't sexually graphic in nature.  It addressed many meaningful issue's and how important communication is when a relationship progresses physically.  I found it refreshingly realistic!  Brody was a very sexy baseball pitcher, but he was so much more than that.  His realness came through on every page.  Brody came from poverty, had a difficult past, family problems, and suffered from a learning disability, which resulted in the lack of completing his high school education, and having some issue's with self esteem.

My Rating:

I give, Whatever Life Throws At You, by Julie Cross, 4 humorous and fun banter, Real Relationships, and Sexy Brody Filled Stars!  This was a fun and substance filled coming of age story, that touched on heartbreak, new beginnings, friendships, and first love! I recommend this story for older teens and up.  If you love a slow build type of romance that is sweet and are not looking for a sexually explicit or graphic story, read this one!


He eyes me skeptically. “What kind of article?” 

“It’s for Sports Illustrated,” I say without hesitation and then quickly realize that I don’t look nearly old enough to be a real reporter for a huge publication. “I’m an intern,” I add. 

The skepticism falls from his face and he looks nervous, which gives me a boost of confidence. I walk closer and pull out the chair in front of the locker beside his, propping my feet up on the bench across from me. “Frank Steadman said you’d be willing to answer a few questions.” 

His mouth falls open, and he looks down at his towel and then back at me. Water drips from his hair and off his dark shoulders. “Um…okay,” he says. “Mind if I get dressed first?” 

I wave off his concerns, my face heating up, blowing my confident cover. But him getting dressed might allow enough time for Dad to return, and I’d rather not have to deal with that. I duck my head down, letting my hair hide my cheeks and flip open the first page of the notebook. “This will just take a minute… So, you’re nineteen? And you’re from Texas?” 

“Chicago,” he corrects. 

I had no idea where he was from but figured it sounded better if I pretended to know. I write down this information and then search my brain for some more questions. “Does the wind in Chicago affect your curveball? Do you throw into it or against it?” 

He gives me a funny look. “I…well…I just throw toward home plate.” 

My face gets even hotter. “Right, kidding. What’s your favorite color?” 


I take my time writing orange in really big loopy cursive while I think of my next question. “What are your opinions on sushi?” 

His forehead wrinkles like I’ve just asked him to publicly declare a political party. “Raw fish and seaweed? I think it’s best eaten while stranded on a desert island with no other options.” 

“Very diplomatic.” I scribble down his answer. “How many strikes have you thrown in your career?” 

“Don’t know,” he says. “Do people actually count that stuff? Before the majors?” 

“Some of them do,” I say, though I have no idea. “If you could be any magical creature in the Harry Potter series, which would you choose?” 

“You said this is for Sports Illustrated, right?” 

“Yeees, But it’s the…kids’ edition.” 

“Oh, right.” He scratches the back of his head. “I guess maybe one of those elves.” “A house elf? Seriously? They’re slaves.” I shake my head. “Why would you want to be an enslaved elf? They can’t even wear clothes.” 

He grips his towel tighter and releases a frustrated breath. “Fine, I’ll choose an owl. That’s what I’d want to be.” 

I snort back a laugh and drop my eyes to the page again. 

“What? What the hell’s wrong with being an owl? They’re smart, they know geography and shit like that.” 

“Owls in real life are actually pretty stupid. But no big deal, I’ll just relay that message on to the children of America. Jason Brody, temporary Royals pitcher, wants to be an owl when he grows up because they know geography and shit like that.” 

Okay, I’m getting way too into this fake reporter role. 

“Who says this is temporary?” he snaps. 

“Your two-way contract.” Isn’t that how Dad explained it? He plays a few games then goes back to Triple-A, all without signing a real major league contract. 

He yanks a pair of jeans from his locker and then grabs a bundled up orange T-shirt. “Well, I plan on kicking some ass on Opening Day and making this a permanent gig.” 

“I think you need a reality check,” I say. “One game isn’t going to be enough--” 

“Annie, what the hell are you doing?” 

I leap off the bench and turn around to face Dad and Frank standing about five feet from me. “Introducing myself to your new pitcher.”

“Brody, what are you doing here, son?” Frank asks. “We’re off today.” 

“Just getting in some cardio and weights.” His gaze darts from me to Dad to Frank. “I was just finishing up this interview for Sports Illustrated. The kids’ edition.” 

“Well, we won’t keep you from getting your clothes back on, then,” Frank says, like he’s trying not to laugh. “And just for future reference, all interviews will go through the team’s publicity department so no one will be wandering in here, surprising you. Savannah will meet with you tomorrow to discuss publicity.” 

Dad moves forward and extends a hand to Jason Brody. “Jim Lucas, nice to meet you, son. I’ve seen your spring training videos. You’ve got some real talent. I’m looking forward to working with you.” 

Brody shakes Dad’s hand, his eyes still on me. 

“And this is my daughter Annie,” Dad adds. 

Brody glares at me. “Let me guess—you don’t work for Sports Illustrated?”

About Julie Cross:

Julie Cross lives in Central Illinois with her husband and three children. She’s a former gymnast and longtime gymnastics fan, coach, and former gymnastics program WHATEVER LIFE THROWS AT YOU with the YMCA. She’s a lover of books, devouring several novels a week, especially in the young adult and new adult genres. Outside of her reading and writing credentials, Julie is a committed—but not talented—long-distance runner, creator of imaginary beach vacations, Midwest bipolar-weather survivor, and expired CPR certification card holder, as well as a ponytail and gym-shoe addict.

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1 comment:

  1. This looks like something I would enjoy. I am such a sucker for romance especially if there is humour mixed in :)


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