Friday, October 26, 2012

Guest Review: Stealing Parker by Miranda Kenneally

 by Evelyn from Goodreads

 
Author: Miranda Kenneally
Release Date: October 1st 2012 
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Add it: Goodreads
Red-hot author Miranda Kenneally hits one out of the park in this return to Catching Jordan's Hundred Oaks High.

After her family's scandal rocks their conservative small town, 17-year-old Parker Shelton goes overboard trying to prove that she won't turn out like her mother: a lesbian. The all-star third-baseman quits the softball team, drops 20 pounds and starts making out with guys--a lot. But hitting on the hot new assistant baseball coach might be taking it a step too far...especially when he starts flirting back.


I’ve always wanted to write a book blog, but working in the “glam” and demanding fashion industry I don’t have much of a social life and have never been able to commit to one properly. So when I saw Brodie’s post for guest bloggers, I literally screamed at the screen:


Thanks so much Brodie for the opportunity!

I luuurved Miranda Kenneally’s first novel Catching Jordan. It was witty, funny, and romantic, all the things I love in YA, so I couldn’t wait for Kenneally’s second novel Stealing Parker. I was so keen that I pre ordered it on Kindle, downloaded it they day it came out and read the first three chapters in the car on my way to work that morning!! (P.S Whilst stopped at traffic lights of course, I’m not totally irresponsible *shifty eyes*).

Basically, Parker Shelton is one of the smartest girls in her year and a star softball player, but everything changes when a family scandal rocks her world - her mom leaves her dad for another woman. I can only imagine how devastating it is when you’re parents split up, but for Parker this scandal is even harder to bear as her family are members of a close knit christian community who turn against her when she needs them most. Her so called friends distance themselves from her and like a typical mean girls, spread rumours and call her nasty names. This prompts Parker to radically change: she quits the softball team, loses weight to be less “butch” and makes out with a different guy every week.

In an effort to get Parker out into the world again, her adorable best friend Drew convinces her to manage the boy’s Baseball team. One baseball practice later and Parker doesn’t need any further convincing - the new assistant coach Brian Hoffman is drop dead GORGEOUS and the perfect distraction. I liked there relationship at first - I mean, who wouldn’t want attention from a super hot 20 something teacher?! But as it progressed into something a bit more hot and heavy, I’ve gotta admit it made me a bit uncomfortable. It wasn’t the age difference for me so much - I mean I’m 23, roughly Brian’s age, and I totally crush on One Direction (I'M NOT ASHAMED!!!!!). It was more the way Brian’s relationship with Parker evolved. I was surprised by some of the more raunchy bits and that’s coming from a girl whose read the 50 Shades of Grey trilogy *cringe!*. I think we’re meant to feel like that though, and without giving the story away you’ll understand what I mean by that when you read it.

Two relationships I really loved were Parker’s friendship with Drew and Corndog. Seeing how those friendships evolved was really enjoyable, particularly her friendship with Corndog. It was pure and honest and completely relatable. And I LOVED the cameos from Catching Jordan characters!! I also found myself really invested in Parker’s angst about her relationship with her mom. Their journey was one of the highlights of the book for me, and some of the most moving moments come from conversations between Parker and her mom.

I don’t think this book will be for everyone. Forget the fact that it’s a bit sporty - more pressing is that it explores two of the most debated and sensitive topics of all time: religion and sexual orientation. How you’ll feel about these topics will most likely define how you feel about this book. If I have any criticism, it that at some points I found myself slightly frustrated with the way these themes were explored - it felt a little stereotypical, a little too basic, but being a YA book I can understand why Kenneally might have pulled back in these scenes.

That being said, where Catching Jordan excelled in relationships, Stealing Parker did make me think. Maybe not as much as I would’ve liked, but it made me think not just about religion and homosexuality but also about family, friends, self esteem and self worth. There are plenty of light moments, but the moments I enjoyed most were those with more of a message, more of a moral, and that’s why I think Stealing Parker is definitely a book worth reading.

I rate this book 4.5 Golden Apples. And if you haven’t read Catching Jordan, PLEASE DO!! If Kenneally’s first two books are anything to go by, we are set to enjoy many more clever, funny, hottie filled novels in the future.

4.5/5 Golden Apples!

Goodreads | Book Depository | Amazon | Fishpond

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Thank you so much for this brilliant review, Evelyn! Stealing Parker sounds fantastic!! I love hearing that there's a strong emphasis on mother/daughter relationship - sure beats the conveniently absent-parent syndrome all too common in YA! I'm also seriously curious how Corndog got the nickname Corndog... unless his parents are really that cruel :P 

What do you guys think? Have you read Stealing Parker? If not, has Evelyn convinced you to run like the crazy obsessive booknerd that you are to your nearest bookstore for a copy?

17 comments:

  1. Great review! I haven't read Miranda Kenneally's first book but I've been meaning to. Sounds like fun.

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    1. Thanks so much! Definitely read her first book it's so sweet xx

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  2. EEEEEEE! I've read Miranda's Catching Jordan and really ADORED it. I am so glad that the sequel lived up to the first book. I absolutely need to read Stealing Parker soon so I can meet Parker ;)

    Awesome review, Evelyn ♥ Thanks for sharing Brodie!

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    1. How fab was it?! Would love to know what you thought of Stealing Parker and which book you preferred. xx Evelyn

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  3. Gahhhh Why have I NOT read any of Miranda Kenneally's books yet?! Everyone seems to LOVE them....looks like it's time to go book shopping again :D heheee Fab review Evelyn! I'll definitely be hunting down a copy :D

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    1. Hi Shirley definitely hunt them down - it's worth it! xx Evelyn

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  4. If I ever have a son, I think I might be tempted to name him Corndog. ;D

    This is an awesome review! I've heard great things about Miranda Kenneally's books but haven't read any of them yet. I'll have to make a start on Catching Jordan soon. :)

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    1. Maybe make it their middle name so they have they can opt out of Corndog if they please :P! Thanks for commenting, definitely give her books a read xx Evelyn

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  5. This is an awesome review! Stealing Parker sounds like a really intriguing story, and one that might work for my GLBTQ YA Month. I'll definitely have to look into it. Thanks for the great review Evelyn! :)

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    1. Aww thank you! Fyi I've just seen your blog - love it! Added it to my bookmarks ;) xx Evelyn

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  6. Awesome post! While Stealing Parker wasn't a novel I enjoyed, I do agree with many of these points and loved the mother/daughter relationship in this which was a nice change from what we typically see. Great review!(:

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    1. Thank you! So interesting that you agreed with some of my points, always nice :) xx Evelyn

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  7. Great review! I haven't read her books and I'm not planning to, because it's not really my thing, but I enjoyed reading this :)

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    1. Thanks Mel! If I was to pick one to read I would say Catching Jordan - and hey, you never know if you'll like it until you try!! :) xx Evelyn

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  8. Great review by Evelyn! I have wanted to read this book for a while now - thanks for the reminder!

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    1. Thank you! Def give it a read :) xx Evelyn

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  9. I haven't read Catching Jordan but I have Stealing Parker on order - since I keep hearing amazing things about Miranda's writing!
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts, I can't wait to read this! :D

    Now if it would just hurry up and arrive...

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