Sunday, October 27, 2013

Novel Review: Stealing Parker (Hundred Oaks, #2) by Miranda Kenneally

Rating (Out of 5): ~3-3.5
Genre: YA Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Publish Date: 2012
Spoilers?: Not really.

Goodreads Synopsis:

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?

Something Specific:
  • "It’s a scary thing to wake up and realize the people you need most aren’t nearby anymore… But you keep moving.” (Paperback, pg. 33)
  • "I drop the F-bomb at least twice a day. To tell you the truth, I kinda love the word. It’s so versatile. It can be an adjective, a noun, a verb.” (Pg. 35)
  • "It makes me sad that he wants to get away from the world so bad. I think it’s because he’s so smart, and sadness comes with knowing so much. I feel sad in that way sometimes.” (Pg. 36)
  • "'Sometimes you gotta do what’s right for you and forget about everybody else. All that matters is what you want. What you need.’” (Pg. 211)

The Cover:

This is a pretty average cover, in my opinion. It fits, somewhat. It gives half of a fitting impression of the book. Although, I honestly think this book has a bit more angst or some sort of darker emotion than the lighthearted look the cover has. Overall, though, I don't mind the cover.


This book was not what I was expecting. A lot of it didn’t go as I thought it would, and it’s taken me a bit to decide whether I like the direction it took or not. I’m still kind of not sure.
Parker used to play softball. But then her mother left, and she quit, and she started fooling around with a lot of different boys. Her best friend, a boy on the boys’ baseball team, convinces her to be the manager of the baseball team, and she meets their new assistant (and then temporary) coach.
I’m not sure how I feel about Parker. She has some rather serious issues she needs to work out, as does pretty much all of her family, although they’re all pretty much handled by the end of the book. Parker makes some mistakes, does some dumb things, but she’s not particularly weak, she doesn’t give something up when she doesn’t want to. And she’s in a much better place at the end of the book.
I liked where her family was at the end of the book. I liked her mom, and how she came in when she was needed and handled things. I didn’t like how her family reacted to what she did in the first place. Parker’s father, I was not a very big fan of. And her brother needed help, which it seemed like he was finally getting.
I liked Drew, Parker’s best friend. I liked Will, and was surprised by his part in the book, although it grew on me rather easily. Something happened between the three of them that I think should have been fixed and talked about a lot sooner, especially with Drew. I was expecting to like Brian, and open to liking him, from the beginning. And at first it was okay. And then he started turning into a creep, and I wasn’t very happy about that. I generally wasn’t very happy with him, really. Although overall I didn’t feel the connection between them as well as I think I should have, or as well as Parker seemed to. There just weren’t enough interactions, or chemistry between them for me.
The whole teacher-student romance thing I don’t mind, as long as the ages are not too far apart. But this one didn’t turn out how I thought it would. And that’s mostly where my problem with this book is, although I’m starting to accept it, because the ending was actually really fitting for Parker. It needed to happen for Parker, too.
The romance wasn’t what I was expecting, but it was good. I was also expecting more sexy stuff (not like actual sex scenes, because that doesn’t usually happen in YA), but there wasn’t very much. And it wasn’t particularly hot, either. But still not bad.
Then there was this whole religious part of the book that I was really not expecting. And kind of rubbed me the wrong way, especially when it seemed to connect with her whole virginity issue. That whole bit just left a bad taste in my mouth, and I hope that it isn’t the same in Kenneally’s other books. 
This book just wasn’t what I expected. I expected to really like Kenneally’s writing, but it didn’t really win me over. I’ll be getting her first book, Catching Jordan, soon, and I hope it’s better. I hope I like it more. If not, we’ll see.

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