Review: Third Degree by Julie Cross

Posted March 25, 2014 in Review / 6 Comments

Third DegreeThird Degree
By Julie Cross
Published March 25th, 2014
Loveswept/Flirt / Random House
240 pages
New Adult | Contemporary Romance
Source: received from Random House in exchange for an unbiased review (huge Thank You!)



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About the book:

I used to be “Isabel Jenkins, child prodigy.” As lame as that sounds, at least it was an identity. But now I’m not sure what I am. I just failed the most important exam of my life—the emotional readiness test required to get into a medical residency program—and it turns out my parents can’t stand each other. Now I’m trying to figure out how to pick up the pieces of my life, and that means re-enrolling as a college freshman, but this time I’m shutting the books and majoring in being eighteen.


But so far, my roommate hates me and I’m not into the party scene. The only good thing about school has been getting to know my insanely hot RA. Marshall Collins makes me wonder about everything I missed while I was growing up too fast. Pretty soon we’re hanging out constantly, but for the first time, I find myself wanting more than a no-strings-attached physical relationship. And the lesson I really need is one Marsh definitely can’t teach me: love. Because I’m going to be alone forever if I don’t learn fast.


Julie Cross heard I liked her short story in the new adult anthology I recently reviewed.  So she wrote an entire book for me.  She even managed to get it written, edited, proofed, and published really quick!

What?  You don’t believe me?!  Yeah, you really shouldn’t believe the crazy that comes out of my mouth and makes it way to my reviews sometimes….

But hand to God, she absolutely floored me with her new adult book Third Degree.  And I did nab this ditty because I loved her short story in the anthology Fifty First Times.  But somehow, she managed to hit on three issues that are near and dear to me.  Two I personally struggle with daily.  So, yeah, she wrote the book for me…

Izzy is eighteen years old and has already graduated medical school.  She’s a child prodigy and probably one of the smartest people you’ll ever meet.  But her social skills suck dishwater.  Because of this, she fails her emotional competency test to get into a residency program and her whole world starts crumbling around her.  With no clue what to do for the next six months until she can take her psychological test again, she enrolls in state college and tries to reinvent herself so she can “learn” how to be a normal college student. 

It’s at school where she meets Marshall Collins, aka ‘Marsh’.  He’s a former student of Izzy’s mom (who is a high school biology teacher) so he knows of Izzy.  He actually ends up being her Resident Advisor (RA). 

Because Izzy is completely socially inept, she makes Marsh’s job that much more difficult due to him having to run interference and handle complaints against Izzy.  She honestly just doesn’t know better.  I can’t really explain it – you just have to read it and laugh your head off to understand!

It’s a fabulous story!  Highly original and smart.  I was impressed that Ms. Cross didn’t rely on any tried and true formulas for romance.  It was like she had a story to tell and she went with it.  She even gave it a perfect, if not bittersweet, ending.  I can’t tell you anything about it but I know a lot about what happens.  I have two extremely close family members that deal with “it”. 

Sorry, I’ve got to with the vague or you’ll beat me to a pulp!

If there were any lulls in the story, I didn’t notice.  I flippin’ read this story in one day.  I was that engaged. 

So, yeah, I liked this book.  I hope a lot of other people do, too, because Ms. Cross did a wonderful job depicting a debilitating, if not embarrassing, disease – Oops, I let “it” slip but it’s okay, it’s important enough to say.


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Julie CrossAbout the author:

I’m the International Bestselling author of the Tempest series, a young adult science fiction trilogy which includes Tempest, Vortex, and the final installment, Timestorm. I’m also the author of the Letters to Nowhere series, a mature young adult romance set in the world of elite gymnastics, as well as several forthcoming young adult and new adult novels with publishers like Entangled, Sourcebooks, HarperCollins, Random House, and St. Martin’s Press/Thomas Dunne Books.


I live in Central Illinois with my husband and three children. I’m a former gymnast, longtime gymnastics fan, coach, and former Gymnastics Program Director with the YMCA. I’m a lover of books, devouring several novels a week, especially in the young adult and new adult genres. Outside of my reading and writing credibility, I’m a committed–but not talented–long distance runner, creator of imaginary beach vacations, Midwest bipolar weather survivor, expired CPR certification card holder, as well as a ponytail and gym shoe addict.

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About Kristin

Kristin has to ensure she gets her minimal requirement of “happily ever after” books in between those books that contain cliffhangers and never-ending story arcs. It’s for her family’s sake. When not reading, she’s homeshooling her 10-year old son, watching cartoons on TV, or taking a nap.

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6 responses to “Review: Third Degree by Julie Cross

  1. Sandra

    Your review sold me and I just bought it for my kindle. Sounds just like the kind of book I’ve been looking for recently. Thanks!