Saturday, February 9, 2013

Megan Rambles About Stealing Parker

Stealing Parker by Miranda Kenneally
From GoodreadsRed-hot author Miranda Kenneally hits one out of the park in this return to Catching Jordan's Hundred Oaks High.

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?

It's no secret that I love Catching Jordan. All of my friends that have read it love Miranda Kenneally's realistic characters just as much as I do. Rachel even declared that Jordan was basically me in book form. So I think it was pretty safe to say that my expectations for Stealing Parker were extremely high.

I'm really happy to say that this book met every single one of my expectations for it. I think my favorite part was how Miranda Kenneally so easily made it believable that both of these stories were taking place at Hundred Oaks High and not that far apart from each other. There were multiple appearances of characters from Catching Jordan and Sam Henry was actually a pretty big part of Stealing Parker since he was on the baseball team. 

I love when books tell their own stories but continue the story of characters from a different book at the same time. It's like having a sequel without seeing all of the drama that would have to happen between the characters in order for there to be a sequel. (Think Anna and the French Kiss and Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins)I got to see some happy moments for my favorite characters and I was really glad that Miranda Kenneally did that. It was like seeing a different side of Hundred Oaks High with some of the same characters but a focus on baseball and softball instead of football. 

This brings me to the sports. If you are worried that these books won't make much sense to you because you know nothing about sports and you are in the group of people that say "Why exercise when you could just....not?" I encourage you not to worry about that and read them anyway. Miranda Kenneally makes sure that you can understand what is happening in her books with very little to no background knowledge of the actual sport necessary. I don't like baseball or softball at all, and the only reason I even kind of know the rules is because I played an insane amount of kickball in fifth grade and I'm told they are kind of similar? But I still understood everything that was happening.

Now, on to Parker. Oh Parker. I loved her as a main character for this story because the poor girl just had so much going on. She's dealing with the fact that she can't decide whether to hate her mom or not, basically her entire church hates her family because of something her mom did, and her life is basically falling apart. Parker had to make a lot of tough decisions during the book and I understood everything she did even if I didn't always agree with her. I also loved the way she handled managing a baseball team of high school guys. The sarcastic comments and witty comebacks she used were funny and entertaining and I'd like to think that I handle the guys on my soccer team half as well as that.

All of the other characters in this book were excellent too. I loved Drew! He was Parker's best friend, who was there for her when everyone else abandoned her. He could have easily become a side character who was just used for comic relief but that definitely wasn't the case. Drew had his own problems, character development, and his own story while still playing an important role in Parker's. Another favorite of mine was Corndog a.k.a. Will. By the end of the book Will had totally won me over and he was definitely my favorite of the guys in this book. Brian, the flirty baseball coach mentioned in the summary, also had his sweet moments, but ultimately, I'm Team Corndog all the way! 

There was also a rather unexpected element of religion in this book. One of Parker's biggest struggles is dealing with how judgmental all of the people in her church are being towards her and her family. Then with everything that is going on in her life she starts to question her ability to stick to the Christian values that she has been raised on. Personally, I'm not a very religious person at all, but I thought that element of the book was handled really well. It wasn't overpowering or really in-your-face, Parker's religion was just a part of her and I thought her struggle was handled really well without making the whole book about religion.

This book was everything I expected from Miranda Kenneally with great appearances by Jordan, Sam Henry, JJ, Carter, and new characters that I fell in love with. If you haven't read Catching Jordan or Stealing Parker yet, you definitely need to seriously consider reading them and then anything else Miranda Kenneally ever writes. I know I will be reading all of her other books. I can't wait until Things I Can't Forget!



  1. Team Corndog- lol! I've been wanting to read this for quite a while- of course that hasn't happened yet. Sometime soon maybe! Religion.... hmm. I don't know how I'm going to feel about that aspect but that's no stopping me from getting this!
    Wonderful review Megan!

    1. Thanks Erika! I wasn't too sure about the religion either but it wasn't a big enough deal that it made me uncomfortable or anything.


  2. I have to read these books! :) They sound amazing!

  3. I was a little worried when the religious side came up, too, because I'm not particularly religious but I think it was written well and didn't manage to take over the whole book.
    Woo! Go Corndog! I really loved him!
    I also can't wait until Things I Can't Forget. And I know it's ages away, but also Racing Savannah! :)

    1. I'm so excited for both of them! I was a little nervous when I first heard about Things I Can't Forget because I'm pretty sure there's religion in that one too, but after reading Stealing Parker I think I'll be okay with it.