Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Stealing Parker by Miranda Kenneally

Stealing Parker by Miranda Kenneally
Release Date:
October 1, 2012
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Source: Publisher


Parker Shelton pretty much has the perfect life. She’s on her way to becoming valedictorian at Hundred Oaks High, she’s made the all-star softball team, and she has plenty of friends. Then her mother’s scandal rocks their small town and suddenly no one will talk to her.

Now Parker wants a new life.

So she quits softball. Drops twenty pounds. And she figures why kiss one guy when she can kiss three? Or four. Why limit herself to high school boys when the majorly cute new baseball coach seems especially flirty?

But how far is too far before she loses herself completely? (courtesy of Goodreads)


In her follow-up to the wonderful Catching Jordan, Miranda Kenneally has established herself as a masterful writer of young adult contemporary fiction. Like her first book, Stealing Parker follows a normal teenage girl going through unusual but believable trials, shows her progress into a wiser, better person, and pairs her up with a great guy.

Parker's world fell apart when her mother left the family for another woman. Not only does Parker have to deal with the normal anger and grief that anyone would experience when a parent leaves, but she also has to deal with the aftermath of her mother's scandal. Parker's unforgiving, conservative Christian neighbors only make things worse by acting like she's tainted. Parker's personality transplant into feminine, flirty make-out queen is understandable in the circumstances.

The first guy on the scene in this book is Brian, the boy's baseball coach. Since he's the only guy mentioned in the synopsis, I wondered if he would be the "hero" of the novel. He starts out being good for Parker. He jokes around a lot and treats her differently than her peers. But eventually the creepiness factor slithers in. Brian is not a bad guy per se. If Parker was a few years older, they might make a good pair. But this is lesson number one in why 18 + 23 = Bad Idea.

Enter up Will. Sweet, smart, funny, down to earth. He's there for Parker when no one else is and doesn't judge. What I love about Ms. Kenneally's books is that the winning guy is not necessarily swoon-worthy, drop-dead gorgeous. Or even if he is, that's not what's emphasized. The main characters of the Hundred Oaks series find nice guys. These are the types of guys who, even if they don't end up getting married some day, the girls can look back at their relationship fondly, instead of wondering "ugh, what was I thinking?" Plus, the boys are "boys," not unrealistically mature men in 18 year old bodies.

If you're a fan of contemporary YA fiction, I can't recommend Stealing Parker or Miranda Kenneally's other books highly enough. There's lots of snark and witty dialogue to make you laugh. The main characters end up in better places than they started and they find super sweet guys. These are the kinds of books that make you go "Awww..." at the end.

Rating: 4 / 5


  1. I still need to read Catching Jordan and judging by this book I must get to it soon. I can't wait to meet the characters. Lovely review!

  2. I haven't read any of Miranda Kenneally's books myself yet, but I totally dig that the love interest is always a nice guy. I approve! Well, this sounds great. Thanks for the review, Alison - you totally make me want to read these books!

  3. OoOo I LOVE these books and ... your last comment made me smile so wide" These are the kinds of books that make you go "Awww..." at the end. "
    YES I love these kind of books so much :))

  4. Do you have to read the first one to read the second? I like the sound of Stealing Parker.

  5. Oh, Parker. Those older guys *seem* like a good idea but when you're still a teen, they're really not. Always better to look and NOT touch... Though it's tempting.

    I'm loving Kenneally's contemporaries! They're so cute and sweet and fun.

  6. So glad you loved this one too! I thought Miranda did quite well in handling hard hitting issues like religion, gay characters, etc. I'm so excited to read her next book. :)

  7. ah you loved it too. I read that one and have been a fan ever since :) Yes Brian had that ick factor

  8. "What I love about Ms. Kenneally's books is that the winning guy is not necessarily swoon-worthy, drop-dead gorgeous. Or even if he is, that's not what's emphasized."

    YES! I really love that about her books as well Alison. There's such a nice realism to them, and that never fails to draw me in:) I have the next book on my list for next week and I can't wait to see what Matt is like!

    On a random side note, we got the same spam comment today. *high five* I've been getting spammed non stop lately!

  9. I have not read this series but mean to. I love contemporary YA, especially books that make you happy at the end. Great review!

  10. I enjoy contemporary YA but it generally takes a lot for me to pick up one that has to do with sports. I haven't read anything from this author, but I've heard a lot of good things. And this plot seems like it has a lot less to do with sports than her other book. Plus, her mom leaves their family for another woman? I could see how that would mess with a girl's head. Great review, I think I'll actually go read this one now :)

  11. I liked this one too. I wasn't really sure where the romance was going either and enjoyed watching it play out. I didn't like it as much at Catching Jordan but I still liked it a lot!

  12. I'm glad to hear this was a good follow up to Catching Jordan. I downloaded it a while ago but still haven't read it. The next ones coming out soon so I need to get reading!

  13. I do like Kenneally's multifaceted male characters but I have so many frustrations with this book and Catching Jordan. I just don't click with her writing, unfortunately. Such a bummer since YA contemporary is my genre :(

  14. Nice review! I'm so excited to read the next book. Miranda is one of my fave authors :)

  15. I read this one first and I had to immediately get Catching Jordan but,I haven't read it yet. I loved this one and it took me completely off guard because I didn't expect to love it so much because I am not a huge contemporary fan.

    Kristin @ Young Adult Book Haven

  16. This one is my TBR pile. I also picked up Catching Jordan. I really do need to get to these.

    Tammy @ Bo's Book Nook

  17. Ahhh Miranda's books are THE BEST. I seriously love her guys. They are so sweet and hot, yet also like REAL guys. I adored Will. :) What a cutie pie!

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