by: Julie Cross
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
Release Date: October 7, 2014
Source: Publisher ~ Entangled - Teen via NetGalley
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…
I'm not a big reader of YA. But the synopsis for this grabbed me and I'm converted because I loved Whatever Life Throws at You. Everything in this novel worked for me, the first person narrative, the characters, the story being not just focussed on romance but pro-sport, the lifestyle and challenges faced, the emotion and the characters. Characters who acted their age and I adored.
"I don't know when this happened, but I know for sure tonight I've developed a big fat crush on Jason Brody..."
That's Annie Lucas talking, not me (although I too have developed a big fat crush). The 17 year old daughter of an ex baseball-pro whose career was cut short by cancer before it ever really started, she's funny, confident, thoughtful and insightful. When offered the position of pitching coach by the Kansas City Royals, Annie urges her Dad to take it and they, along with her dementia-suffering Grams leave Arizona where she meets Jason Brody, 19, gorgeous and the Royals new hot-shot pitcher with a not so hot history. She may have a big fat crush, but she can't risk her Dad's job by becoming anything more than friends with the guy he's mentoring anymore than Brody can risk his career by dating a high-school girl...
"...Just because I like you doesn't mean you have to be with me. I'm still here in whatever form you want me."
I'll say it again - I adored both Annie and Brody. There's no insta-love, they blossom individually and with each other as their journey unfolds, and their transition from friends to more is natural and emotional, with the fun, discoveries and fears that any mature teen could experience, sexual or otherwise. And utilise the gift of language translation on your reading device as Brody's Spanish brings the sighs. With secondary characters bringing depth and valuable content to the story, it really was a home-run for me. Julie Cross is a new author to me but she's now most definitely on my reading radar.
"Life is funny sometimes...the worst possible things can get you to the best possible places."
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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.
Places to find Julie Cross:
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