REVIEW – Third Degree by Julie Cross

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Title: Third Degree
Author: Julie Cross
Release Date: March 25, 2014

Third Degree


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.


This is the first book I have read by Julie Cross and it will definitely not be the last. She has a unique voice that immediately grabbed my attention. Izzy is an emotionally stunted, socially inept super-genius. At 18 years old she is already done with medical school and ready to start her surgical residency. When things don’t work out how she planned, she is forced to experience life as a “normal” 18 year old. Izzy’s new life as a college freshman living in the dorms throws her into the path of Marshall, her RA. Marsh and Izzy are complete opposites. While Izzy is uptight, organized and over-achieving, Marsh prefers a more laid-back lifestyle. Their quirky personalities pulled me in, and their friendship kept me invested in their story. Their relationship is filled with an endless number of awkward moments and tons of witty banter. Third Degree is absolutely hilarious. It had me laughing from the start and kept me smiling until the very end.

“Well, at least my experience tutoring third graders will come in handy.”

The story that Julie Cross tells is different from any I have read before. She expertly explores the mind of a prodigy desperately trying to navigate life as a normal college student. The characters she has crafted are extremely easy to care about and connect with. They are fun and flawed and each of them carry their own baggage and individual dreams. As secrets come to light, their relationships evolve and some dreams change, sending Izzy and Marsh on an emotional rollercoaster. I very much enjoyed being a part of this story. There were times when I hurt for Izzy or Marsh and wanted to yell or cry or knock some sense into someone. Then five minutes later I would be shaking my head and laughing. Third Degree is definitely worth reading. Julie Cross has written lovable characters and a well-rounded story that will take you through a catalog of feelings and leave you smiling.


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2 thoughts on “REVIEW – Third Degree by Julie Cross

  1. Nergess Taheri says:

    Final Four- comment:

    A while back I was trying to ask a coworker (who is now one of my best friends) for his number. I had never really done that before so I was very nervous (I had a slight crush on him) and my manager just appeared out of nowhere and watched as I fumbled and blurted out in one breath “heycanihaveyournumber” and then had to repeat it when he couldn’t understand me.

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