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Review: Stealing Parker by Miranda Kenneally

By Theliteraturelion @LiteratureLion
Stealing Parker (Hundred Oaks, #2)Title: Stealing Parker
Author:Miranda KenneallyEdition: paperbackSeries: Hundred Oaks #2Released Date: October 1st, 2012Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire

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Red-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?

Parker Shelton used to be the star of the softball team, but once her mother (who she shared the sport with) divorces her dad and announces her new sexuality, Parker quits the team and everyone goes against her. A year later, her best friend Drew pressures her into becoming the manager for the baseball team where she meets the new assistant coach, Brian. Hot and older, Parker finds herself attracted to him and ends up tangled up in him as well. But then there's Will, who she finds herself becoming closer and closer with every day...

I think I may have liked Parker more than Jordan. Actually, I take that back. I think I liked them equally! But Parker just has something different to her. Jordan seems to have it all in Catching Jordan, but for Parker, she's had a tough time. Her parents are divorced and her mother is now married to another woman, Parker is no longer friends with everyone because of this, and she quit softball because she didn't want to have that connection with her mom anymore. I have to say, it was stupid she quit something she loved so much just because she disliked her mom, but it seems like something an angst-y teenager would do. I think the reason I liked Parker was her ability to make mistakes. Sometimes its hard to find characters that actually make mistakes that cost them something - like love or a friendship. They think they're doing the right thing, but by doing it they risk so much. Parker doesn't realize this, and once again it seems like something a teenager would do. Like all characters, Parker finds a solution but it seems like she has to work harder towards it compared to other characters in other books I've read. 

The romance between Parker and Corndog/Will starts out like Sam Henry and Jordan's in the first book. Truthfully, I thought Miranda Kenneally was going with the best friend thing and Parker was going to fall in love with Drew. Some of the signs were evident, but I did notice some inklings of Drew's secret. I just tended to push them off, because I kind of liked Drew and Parker together! Once I got to see the friendship grow between Corndog and Parker, I was in love with them. It kind of reminds me of Andrew and Spencer from the Pretty Little Liars books, because they were both battling for valedictorian in high school and never became friends due to their rivalry. 

Brian, on the other hand, was bad news. I really didn't like him from the start. Sure, he was a hot, older guy, that all the girls would fall in love with. All those things, plus promiscuous Parker, leads to bad, bad, news. Their relationship was just weird. Not because it was badly done or anything (Miranda Kenneally actually did it fantastically), but the fact that it was just so wrong. This relationship led to a few "What the hell are you doing, Parker?"'s, but leave it to Miranda Keneally to be able to make readers feel like that.

Miranda Kenneally dives into some controversial topics with this book. You don't really notice them until the scenes are over and done with, but you think "WOW. I can't believe I just read that." First of all, regarding homosexuality. Not only one, but TWO characters fall under this category and I really enjoyed learning how characters coped and dealt with it. Secondly, drugs comes up in this book in regards of Parker's brother. It shows what college can do to a person. Then there's the fact of having sexual relations with an older man, particularly a teacher. I've never read a book with this in it, but I was definitely captivated by the way it was handled. Lastly, there was quite a lot of religion in the book. I didn't notice it until after as I replayed scenes in my head and noticed the importance of religion. It's not a major factor of the book, but it sure doesn't play a small factor in it. First of all, it's the thing that causes Parker's family to break apart, but it's also the thing that bring Parker and Will/Corndog closer together. I really liked how it was handled in the book, and it didn't scare me away at all. That's a pretty good feat: having a non-religious person be okay with reading about characters going to church. 

Once again, Miranda Kenneally dishes out an amazing novel filled with funny one-liners, intense romantic scenes, and adorable relationships. Her characters spark feelings in readers, and are very realistic. Stealing Parker was a wonderful addition to the Hundred Oaks series and I can't wait for the next book! 

Review: Stealing Parker by Miranda Kenneally
Review: Stealing Parker by Miranda Kenneally

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