Author: Julie Cross
Series or standalone: Standalone
Genre: YA Contemporary
Publisher & Date of Publication: Entangled Publishing, LLC, 2014
Summary: “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…” (Goodreads)
Review: I had very high expectations for this book. These high expectations stem from me being a total sucker for baseball players (who isn’t, really?) and wanting the love interest, Jason Brody, to be perfect and swoon worthy. While Jason was swoon worthy, this book, while very good, did not live up to my expectations.
On a positive note, I really enjoyed the fact that this story revolved around baseball season. Baseball is my favorite sport (a.k.a. the only one I understand) and this is only the second book I’ve read about it. So for me, it was unique and interesting. At some points, some of the baseball seemed unbelievable, though. For example, Jason, a minor league relief pitcher, gets put in as a starter on opening day. I’m not a baseball expert, but I don’t think that would ever happen in real life. Also, at the end, there are baseball events that seem just a little too perfect to be realistic.
I also really liked the romance in this book. Annie and Jason are cute together. They have great banter and a cool dynamic between them. The fact that she’s the coach’s daughter also adds a little touch of forbidden romance. While I’m not usually into that trope, it did make the relationship more intriguing. One complaint I do have is that I wish Annie fought a little harder for her and Jason’s relationship. I would elaborate, but then this review would get spoilery, and I don’t want that.
I had a love/hate relationship with Annie. She was a realistic teenage girl, but she was very annoying at times. She was very judgmental of other girls, particularly the ones who would throw themselves at Jason. She would refer to them as “bimbos” and then try to make herself sound ugly compared to them. Annie is blonde haired, blue eyed, and has a runner’s body. She fits perfectly into the Western ideal of beauty, so those comments bothered me. One thing I did love about Annie, though, was how much she loved her father. She always wants what’s best for him, and stands up to her extremely frustrating and flighty mother for him. The father/daughter relationship was definitely one of the best aspects of this novel.
Overall, this novel was good. I definitely expected more, but it’s probably my own fault for having such high expectations. It was an enjoyable read.
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Angela