My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Am I going soft? I feel like I’ve been stumbling upon a lot of awesome reads lately! I had really been looking forward to this book. I fell in love with Julie Cross’s writing when I read Third Degree earlier this year and couldn’t wait for her next novel. I’m happy to say that I loved Whatever Life Throws at You even more than Third Degree!
The positive parts of this review will likely be rather short and generic. I find it easy to moan and complain about all of the things I hated about a bad book, but a lot more difficult to gush about a book I loved. I feel like positive reviews are all positive in the same way (Anna Karenina anyone? Ha!). Nonetheless, this book deserves a review because it was awesome!
What I liked:
1. Jason Brody. Duh! He was so dreamy. As far as book boyfriends go, Jason Brody will definitely go on your list. He has a rough past- juvenile criminal record, he’s a high school dropout, his mother has disowned him- but he’s doing his best to be the best man that he can.
2. The positive female friendship between Lenny and Annie. Lenny was an interesting one, but she was loyal. She wasn’t always the most stand up person, in general, but she was on Annie’s side.
3. Annie. I love her character. I hated how she had a tendency to choose inaction instead of actually making a decision or solving a problem. When faced with a dilemma, she’d just do nothing. Or she’d do the “high school” thing and act totally immature and impulsive. Somehow this didn’t seem inconsistent. Quite the opposite, actually. I could kind of predict what Annie’s next move would be while reading. Cross’s characterization was incredibly thorough. I felt like I knew Annie well.
4. The supporting characters! Lenny, Annie’s dad, Savannah, Annie’s grandma, Annie’s mom- all of them were so well written and added a lot to the story. Some of them were amusing, some were supportive, one was awful, but all were well written! I loved all of them!
5. The ending. I loved it. Such a great ending! A little cheesy, but come on, everyone loves a little cheesy every once in a while.
1. I really hate how Julie Cross makes her characters write Facebook and Twitter statuses in all of her books. It’s like she’s already resigned to the fact that no one will be reading her book in 50 years. In my opinion, books that include references to popular technology are dating themselves. Facebook and Twitter may not be something that people use in 10 years and as a result, someone reading this book in 2024 will probably think it’s a little silly. The thing that aggravates me the most about Cross’s use of social media in her novels is that, for the most part, the references could be completely omitted and the narrative wouldn’t suffer at all. This is especially true for Third Degree- removing the twitter statuses made by the MC would go entirely unnoticed by the reader. In order to omit the Facebook status updates from Whatever Life Throw at You all Cross would have to do is make general references to Brody’s social media presence.
2. You won’t get any slut-shamming from me, but Brody was portrayed as very promiscuous in the beginning of the novel. Annie was aware of his “habits” and found them revolting, but she still had a big crush on him? This was very confusing to me.
3. Brody is his last name. Everyone (including Annie) call him by it throughout the entirety of the book. There’s one time where she refers to him as Jason and it’s in her head. I didn’t like this at all. If his last name was Smith or Williams it wouldn’t have worked, but since Brody is a common male first name as well, the author got away with it.
4. This is probably a silly thing to even bring up, but it’s my review and I can. Cross misuses the word “nauseous” in every novel of hers I’ve read. In her defense though, this is one of those words that is misused so often that the dictionary has been rewritten so that the wrong usage is now the “right” one. (Did you know that “literally” now means “figuratively” ? Seriously. Our population is so stupid that this change was made.)
“Nauseous” means causing nausea or disgust. So for example: the rotten orange was nauseous because it made me feel sick to smell it. NAUSEATED is the word we’re all looking for. You feel nauseated. I feel nauseated. We all feel nauseated, but no one is nauseous unless you haven’t showered for a couple of days.
I know, I know, I’m a complainer, but this is a 5 star read. I definitely recommend it!