Single Sundays: Whatever Life Throws at You by Julie Cross

Single Sundays: While this blog may be focused on reviewing book series as a whole, we can’t forget about the good ole’ standalone novel! On Sundays, I will review a novel that is considered to be a standalone novel. Here is this week’s offering:

Synopsis for Whatever Life Throws at You (from Goodreads):
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…

Review:

I was actually drawn to the cover of this book before I realized it was written by Julie Cross. Cross’ Third Degree was a novel that actually surprised me in how much I liked it and I’ve heard really awesome things about her Tempest Series (but I haven’t gotten around to reading it). So when I read the synopsis for this one, I immediately put it on hold at the library.

It took me a while to get into this book because the romance is slow to come to fruition. Of course there is some sexual tension before the “big moment” but it was more downplayed than it would be in a New Adult novel (where it would be there from the get-go). In the end I appreciated this because it was nice to get some good character development but at the same time I was slightly disappointed. Another reason it took me a while to get into the book was Annie.

It was weird because I liked Annie enough as the narrator but some of the things she would post on Facebook (most chapters start with a status update from some of the characters) seemed rude to me and that really threw me off. I suppose it’s just for the fact that we probably wouldn’t be friends in real life so I just didn’t connect with her all that well. She’s a jaded character and I understand why, so that wasn’t really the issue (I didn’t mind the angst), I think it’s just more of a personal thing with her and me not having meshing personalities.

I did warm up to her though as the story progressed and her character developed. Despite the book being focused on the NBL, I found a lot of the story lines and situations to be realistic–it wasn’t over the top drama like some New Adult novels would have.

And while this book straddles the line between New Adult and Young Adult, I would say it leans more towards the Young Adult. There are a few sexual situations that are more descriptive than your typical Young Adult novel but for the most part it’s a pretty clean YA read. It actually reminded me a lot of Miranda Kenneally’s Hundred Oak Series in how it is delivered. If you wanted something with more drama and heat, I would suggest The Perfect Game by J. Sterling instead.

Conclusion:

It took a while to get to the good stuff (ie the romance) but it was a cute story and I liked watching everything unfold as we approached that place. Another great standalone by Julie Cross!

Rating: 4/5
Would I Recommend this Book to a Friend: if they wanted a cute read

Shorthand Stats:
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Sports
Recommended for: 17+
Heat Rating: warm *spicy Young Adult
Point of View: First Person, Single

Similar Reads: All Lined Up by Cora Cormack (Rusk University Trilogy #1); The Perfect Game by J. Sterling (The Perfect Game Trilogy #1) and Catching Jordan by Miranda Kenneally (Hundred Oaks Series #1)

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