Date of Publication: October 7, 2014
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…
Some might describe me as the farthest thing from athletic but I stand by my 6th-grade fame as the captain of the girls silver medal soccer and volleyball teams. I’m also a fan of hockey and a tennis coach though I can’t say that I’m that good at any of those… Either way, sports have been a part of my life despite my body’s inclination at being bad at it (yes I’m diverting blame) hence, sports books are some of my favourites.
I love the characters in sports books. They are always so determined, so hungry for the win, so dedicated and these are all qualities I value. I’m also a little starstruck by people who have the skill and luck to make it into the major leagues. Whatever Life Throws at You has a nice combination of all of this. I get my peek into a Major League Baseball life and I get my driven characters.
Annie starts out as a fun character. Within the first few chapters she has already been caught red-handed in the team locker room and hilarity ensues. She is charming and the charm appeals to other characters and readers. Annie is a long distance runner, one of the best, and it is obvious that she is very intent on winning. Sometimes the win is all she wants which is relatable. But Annie soon also realizes that winning the race might not the most important thing.
Annie's obvious other half is Brody, an up-and-coming, off limits MLB player with a rough past. He starts out as a cliché, but he proves to be otherwise. He is smart, dedicated and caring. I enjoyed his relationship with Annie’s dad, his pitching coach. I can see young players bonding with their coaches who are their to help them and who believe in them.
Whatever Life Throws At You does have its weaknesses. It’s not high literature, it just good fiction, it’s amusing. There are rough patches with some under developed characters and plots of convenience but they don’t take too much away from the enjoyment of the book.
One thing that did bother be is the huge taboo and over analysis of Annie and Brody’s age difference of a whopping 2 years… I realize the 2 years was the difference between legal and illegal but it could have been handled more maturely especially on Annie’s behalf who at some point acted quite immaturely.
I picked this book up on a whim, I read the synopsis and was engrossed. My gut seemed to be right because I devoured this book in a couple of sittings and despite the problems I noted in this book. They might bother other readers but for me they didn’t pose an issue. I noticed their existence but my enjoyment of the story was far greater than any annoyance.