Friday, November 7, 2014

Review: Whatever Life Throws at You by Julie Cross


SUMMARY FROM NETGALLEY.COM:
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 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…

MY TAKE:
Though the good-girl-meets-bad-boy trope has been tackled so many times, this book manages to avoid feeling cliched.

In Whatever Life Throws at You, Annie's father takes a job with the Kansas City Royals. This means moving to Missouri and adjusting to life as the daughter of someone who is part of the Kansas City Royals franchise. Former bad boy Jason Brody is the new rookie on the team, but he's already making an impact. He and Annie soon form a bond, but could it eventually be something more, and does Annie really want it to?

I'm not a baseball fan, but that didn't stop me from enjoying this book. As my high school paper's sports editor during my senior year, I have a grasp on the basics of most sports. Because of this, I didn't struggle to understand and imagine the baseball action going on. Normally, I find baseball boring, but on paper, especially since the scenes described show crucial moments, I found it quite exciting. I imagine that baseball fans will enjoy it even more than I did.

For the most part, I enjoyed the book. It felt realistic and while there were some predictable parts, for the most part, things don't turn out the way you might expect. There was one part about 3/4ths or 4/5ths of the way through that I didn't like, and is why I can't really give this 5 stars. However, the last part made me happy again, so it was a bit like a rollercoaster ride there near the ending.

As for the romance part, Annie and Brody's relationship went from cute to hot to sweet at the perfect pace for me. For those who are looking for or trying to avoid sexy times, this book has one (or a few, if you count second and third base, wink wink). It's not graphic, though. I mean, things are described, but not in a vulgar or tasteless way. Annie is a teenager and a virgin, and it shows in the way she describes things.

The secondary characters were mostly likable. Annie's friend Lenny as a bit like Brooke Davis from One Tree Hill. My favorite character, though, was Savannah, the Royals PR manager. If there's a sequel featuring Savannah, I would totally read that.

Overall, even though this isn't the best good-girl-meets-boy-from-the-wrong-side-of-the-tracks book, it's definitely in the top five.

Thanks to NetGalley and Teen for the e-ARC.

THE GOOD:

  1. The story doesn't feel cliched.
  2. There were some pretty hot scenes.
  3. The secondary characters are interesting and have great potential as main characters in a sequel to this book. 

THE BAD:

  1. There were a couple of predictable plot twists. 

FAVORITE QUOTE/S:
But the further you get, the more you want. 
READ IT IF:

  1. You like stories about good girls and bad boys.
  2. You like baseball.
  3. You are looking for some hot romance. 

RATING:
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