Whatever Life Throws at You by Julie Cross #Excerpt #BookReview #Giveaway

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?


I really loved Whatever Life Throws at You by Julie Cross. It was so much fun to read and the problems were there but they weren’t overbearing. You could really enjoy the romance blooming between Jason and Annie. I love the stages they move through and that nothing feels too fast or too slow. I liked watching their romance bloom around the other things going on in their lives and that there are plenty of side characters that contribute to them as well.

One thing that I really loved was having Annie’s witty and cute facebook status updates. Along with Lenny and sometimes Lenny’s brother. I also thought it was fun to read the text messages between the characters. It really gave it a more modern feel because that’s what goes on. Social media is a big part of the world today.

I liked the baseball part of the book too. I’ve actually been to Kauffman stadium to see the Royals play the White Sox (it was actually during the RT convention one year). My husband asked me if he read the book (big baseball fan) if he would get mad about it. Which of course if you are super baseball fan you might be like that wouldn’t happen. I think what Julie is great at doing is having this baseball theme but not making it a big focus. I don’t want to read about every game they play, I want to read about Annie and Jason. So I think she does a good job with the baseball and I think it was interesting to have her dad as a pitching coach. It makes her access to the players and staff make more sense. It’s very well done.

I really really liked that Annie is also an athlete because athletes have a competitive edge that is always present in their life and it’s a great way for her and Jason to bond. Annie is such a strong character all on her own that it makes you want to read about her. Jason is of course the perfect guy. Man I would root for him if he was really on the Royals. When you have such great characters of these it makes the rest of the book fall into place easily.

I also love the friendship she forms with Lenny, who is in the world of baseball but not an athlete herself. It gives the book a great mix. Savanah the single mom is also in there and maybe there is a little side romance. Of course her dad and Frank are both strong adult role models in her life. I love when there are fleshed out side characters, for me it makes me feel like the book has more depth.

I can’t tell you if this story is YA or NA (technically YA) but I can tell you it’s a great story. An adorable romance and terrific/strong characters. I really loved this book, so read it and enjoy it!

**In case you are not aware the Kansas City Royals literally plowed their way to the world series. Going 8-0 in the postseason. I kept looking for Jason Brody on the mound. This is their first postseason since 1985….so Julie might be a little psychic?? Super Good Luck Charm?

I let out a short laugh. He’s trying way too hard. I know he doesn’t want to talk about academics. But whatever. I’ll try anything. “I’m a millimeter away from a D in Spanish at the moment, which would make me ineligible to run at state next weekend.”
            “Spanish?” he says. “Like what? What are you struggling with?”
            “Conjugating verbs.”
            “That does sound very…technical.” His breath is still landing on my skin, and it’s doing a good job of distracting me. “Give me an example?”
            I breathe in and out, trying to relax over the wail of the sirens. “Like if I wanted to say, I’m speaking, then I have to know how to say you’re speaking and he’s speaking and she’s speaking…and then I have to know the past tense of all of those. I just want to memorize the words and string them together to make sentences, but it’s not that simple.”
            “It’s easier than English, actually,” he says, and before I can ask him how he knows I remember what he told me about his mom. And then Jason Brody, hot rookie pitcher, is whispering Spanish verbs into my ear. “Estoy hablando, estás hablando, está hablando, están hablando.”
            Heat crawls from my belly up to my neck and eventually my cheeks. “You’re going to be my tutor this week,” I whisper. “What about working and running and playing and sleeping…? Actually, just make up anything and say it in Spanish.”
            He laughs softly and moves his hand lower, rubbing circles between my shoulder blades. He continues speaking into my ear, low and sexy, and it’s such a turn-on, I close my eyes and get lost in it.
            Anoche soñé contigo y esta manana no me quiero despertar… me haces feliz… Me gustaría poder decirte lo que siento Quiero decirte a todos mis secretos…

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 YOUctor 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.