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…
Annie’s father has just been hired to be an extra pitching coach for the Kansas City Royals (major league baseball). She’s excited to start a new life in KC… that is, until she realizes how flippin’ cold it gets. However, she makes the best of it and joins the track team at her all girls catholic school (she’s not even religious), and becomes friends with the first baseman’s daughter, Lenny (who also attends her school). What she isn’t expecting is to fall in love with the rookie pitcher, whom her father’s career is hanging on. You see, both men are on a trial run right now with the team, if the 19 year old rookie pitcher does bad, then her father does bad, and if the rookie doesn’t make the cut, Annie’s father gets the boot as well.
Julie Cross wrote an amazing story about young love that will give you butterflies. I thought this would be another cute young adult romance but I LOVED this. These characters don’t start off with the insta-love, or even the insta-lust. Nope, Julie did this romance the right way. You have a lot of awkward interactions between the two. Brody treats her like a little sister that he has to keep his eye on and Annie treats him like an obnoxious guy who she’s forced to deal with. They just sort of co-exist around each other for a while. Then slowly Annie develops feelings for Brody and finds herself battling the feelings because he has never once shown signs in viewing her as anything other than his coach’s daughter.
Not only was the romance perfect but the dialog was spot on. I was laughing out loud just about every other chapter. Annie is one witty chick and not an obnoxious witty like some characters. Nope, Annie was genuinely think-on-your-feet funny. She’s a chick that I’d love to be friends with. For instance in the beginning of the story when Annie gets to KC and checks out the stadium where he dad will be working, she walks in on Brody in the locker room wearing a towel. She plays it off as if she’s an intern reporter from Sports Illustrated there to do an interview with him and starts asking questions. Questions about his favorite color, if he adjusts how he throws his pitch when it’s windy, and if he could be any magical creature from Harry Potter, what would he be (at first he chooses a house elf and then changes it to an owl). Ha! That’s when he questions her about working for Sports Illustrated and she plays it cool and says that it’s for the KIDS EDITION! AND HE BELIEVES HER and continues answering. I laughed so hard at that. I must have read it 4 times. Then when I finished the book, I went back and read that part again. And that right there sets the stage for the rest of the book.
“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.”
Julie Cross could not have written a more perfect love story for these two characters. She didn’t try to tie everything up giving it a feel good happily ever after. There are some things that never get resolved and are a little sad to think about but that’s life. At no point in this story did I think that the story was melodramatic. I loved every second of Whatever Life Throws at You.
I figured it was only fitting to have this part be highlighted since Derek Jeter is retiring this year.
“I bet even Derek Jeter had some friendly comradery with a batboy or something his rookie year. Someone who is far gone from his life now. That’s what I’ll be to Brody in twenty years – the forgotten batboy.”