Published by Entangled Teen on October 7th 2014
Genres: Romance, Sports, YA
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…
“All I know is that I want to be the person you and your dad think I am. Maybe even more than I want to be a great pitcher.”
I loved this book! Color me impressed! I don’t know if this author spent time in Missouri, specifically Kansas City, or just did her research, but this is the first book I have read that didn’t make me cringe. (I am sure there are more out there, I just haven’t found them.) From the weather – which on any given day can change 5 or more degrees, to people mistaking Kansas City Royals for being located in Kansas – they are in Missouri, Julie Cross thankfully wrote a book with accurate facts. “Apparently Kansas City is the barbecue capital of the world.”
I began reading ‘Whatever Life Throws At You’ last year when the Kansas City Royals were in the pennant race and eventually went to the World Series. (Yes, they lost, but we don’t talk about that around here.) But my reading schedule and life got busy and I had to put the book aside. Gratefully, this week I was able to pick it up again because this was a gem! Many friends had read and loved it so I knew I was in for a treat.
When 17-year old Annie Lucas finds out her dad is being offered a pitching coach job for the Kansas City Royals, she pushes him to take the job. She knows it’s a tremendous opportunity for her father. They have a fabulous relationship. He is a single parent – even though he is still married to her mother.
19-year old Jason Brody is given a chance of a life time when he is called up from the minors to fill in for an injured player. Being a rookie with a shady past looming over him, Brody knows he needs to prove himself worthy of respect and a long-term contract. When Annie’s dad Jim provides words of wisdom, Brody listens and takes action, he soaks it up, earning Jim’s respect. This is something new for Brody. His past created tension with his mother and he is on his own without any family, so essentially Jim is the first person to show pride in his accomplishments.
But Jim isn’t the only one who noticed Brody. Annie has been appointed to tutor him for his GED and the more she spends time with him the more she sees the real him, not the “philandering” ball player he is made out to be.
“I don’t know when this happened, but I know for sure tonight I’ve developed a big fat crush on Jason Brody, and unfortunately there’s a club forming and membership is growing with every inning he pitches.”
I appreciated that this author respected the age of these characters in her treatment of sex and the situations that were important to them. Jason took such great care of Annie, wanting to take things slowly and respected her at every turn. He was what I would hope for my daughter!
“Listen to me, Annie. You are amazing. You don’t need to make out with me or any guy like me to figure that out. Don’t sell out because you’re worried about not being someone’s type.”
There are many things I liked about this book. It was FUNNY, yet there were moments where my heart was in my throat. The side characters were fabulous! Lenny was fantastic and I would LOVE to read her book! She was a terrific friend, strong, independent and courageous.
This was a fantastic coming of age story! With solid characters and plot that never wavered.
As a side note: I would definitely recommend this book for a young adult. Not a teen. The sexual situations while not extremely explicit, were too advanced for a teen reader. (IMO)