Stealing Parker (Hundred Oaks #2)
by Miranda Kenneally
Publication Date: October 1, 2012
Publisher: Source Books Fire
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?
My Thoughts: Parker Shelton is 18 years old and in her senior year at high school. Everything in her life has fallen apart ever since her parents divorce and scandal surrounding it. Instead of feeling accepted and supported by her Church, she feels condemned. Although she is one of the best players on the softball team, she quits after her best friends turn their back on her, calling her "Butch," saying she is like her mom, when she's not. In an effort to prove them wrong, Parker drops a lot of weight and starts making out with guys, not just one, but quite a few, in an attempt to show people that she is straight. Unfortunately, even though she is only kissing them, she has earned herself somewhat of a reputation. Her Dad wants to just pray about things, her brother has resorted to drinking and drugs, and she blames everything that is happening to her on her mom. Her best friend Drew, is the only one who has stuck by her through it all. In fact, Drew convinces her to take the position of manager for the baseball team. The guys give her a hard time, but they all like her and are protective of her. Parker finds herself really attracted to the new Assistant Coach, Brian, and Brian is attracted to Parker also. Brian isn't that much older than her, but he is a member of the faculty, so that makes their relationship taboo. Parker soon begins to question Brian's real intentions. At the same time, Parker finds herself spending a lot of time with Will/Corndog, and she finds herself caring for him, a lot. Everything comes to a head when Will asks her out, Drew reveals a secret about himself and who he really likes, and her relationship with Brian is exposed. Parker has to take a long hard look at her life, her relationship with her mom, her relationship with her friends, her future, and she must decide how to deal with the mess than has become her life, especially the guy she finds she really loves.
Stealing Parker was a really good book. I loved Parker's strong character. She's not perfect, but she also realizes that. Even though she ends up in some bad situations, she realizes that she was a willing party in much of what happened and accepts that fact. She is extremely loyal to her friends and doesn't want to see them hurt, even to the point of denying herself what she desires in order to spare their feelings, which sometimes backfires on her. I liked Drew's character and enjoyed the friendship he and Parker shared. I especially loved Will. He is an all around great guy, who is hot to boot. When everything falls apart, Parker has to try to work things out with her mom, the one person who has always had her back through thick and thin. Stealing Parker deals with a wide array of issues that teens face today, addressing them all in a realistic and insightful way, which is believable. I loved the plot in this coming of age story, which not only emphasized the teenage social issues, but all focused on the roll that love, acceptance, honesty, and forgiveness plays in the life of not only the characters in this book, but also for everyone who reads it. This is a great YA contemporary romance and I would definitely recommend it.
About the Author:
Growing up in Tennessee, Miranda Kenneally dreamed of becoming an Atlanta Brave, a country singer (cliché!), or a UN interpreter. Instead she writes, and works for the State Department in Washington, D.C., where George W. Bush once used her shoulder as an armrest. Miranda loves Twitter, Star Trek and her husband.