Friday, January 18, 2013

Review: Stealing Parker by Miranda Kenneally

Stealing Parker by Miranda Kenneally 
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?


I got several amazing books for Christmas, but this was the first one I started. I had enjoyed Kenneally's debut, Catching Jordan, but didn't love it. Luckily, Stealing Parker made me a permanent fan of Kenneally's because I enjoyed this one so much. Contemporary YA has been a hit or a miss with me for the last year, but I've recently read some tremendous books that have reaffirmed my love for this genre and Stealing Parker was one of them.

One of the things that made this book for me was Parker. She had been through so much, but never allowed herself to give up. There were times when she made stupid decisions, but doesn't every teenager? This just made her that much more realistic in my eyes. Parker's character was extremely complex and I loved how confident and sarcastic she was. This is a girl who can take care of herself. Plus, she has her best friend Drew at her side. I liked Drew a lot in the beginning, but, as the novel progressed, I started getting a tad frustrated with him. Just as in Catching Jordan, Parker had the guys at her back. I loved getting to see some of my favorite characters from Catching Jordan return in Stealing Parker and we even got some scenes with Jordan and Sam Henry! Yay!

The plot was very fast paced and when I started reading I sat down to only read a few pages and found myself finished a few hours later. I became so involved in Parker's life and all she was going through that I completely lost track of time. There were so many unique aspects to Stealing Parker: Kenneally tackles sex, love, homosexuality, religion, and a ton of other topics in such a powerful way. It was intriguing to see how Kenneally tied all of these issues into the book and I can promise you that if you think this is just a "sports" book, you are completely wrong. Still, there were plenty of baseball/softball moments, but they only served to further develop the characters and actually taught me a lot about the sports.

In addition to Drew, there are two other main male characters: Brian and Will (aka Corndog). I don't want to go into too much detail, but let me tell you, these two guys each surprised me in a variety of ways. I especially enjoyed seeing how Parker got to know Corndog better and every conversation they had made me smile. Brian was the new assistant baseball coach and his character definitely complicated things for Parker. All three of the guys in this book (Drew, Brian, and Corndog) all had some impact on Parker's life whether it was positive or negative and truly helped shape her character.

I highly recommend Stealing Parker and it is one of my new favorite contemps. The plot was unique and left me feeling a wide range of emotions. I became sincerely attached to several of the characters and I am looking forward to Kenneally's next release, Things I Can't Forget, not only because it sounds fantastic, but because I'm hoping to get to see how Parker is doing. If you're looking for a new author or are worried this does not live up to Catching Jordan, you need to pick this up, because I am sure you will not be disappointed. 

Overall: 4.5 out of 5 stars

October 1, 2012/Sourcebooks Fire/256 Pages/Young Adult

Source: Gift 
Other books by this author: Catching Jordan, Things I Can't Forget (2013), Racing Savannah (2013)
Links: Author Website/Goodreads


  1. I've heard such fantastic things about this author! I really need to get my hands on her books.

  2. I've heard such good things about Stealing Parker. I liked Catching Jordan though there were some stuff on it that triggered lots of personal pet-peeves. I want to read Stealing Parker - I actually have it - but for the life of me I can't remember who she was in Catching Jordan. LOL
    I hope I remember when I read it.

    Thanks for the review, you made this book sound awesome.

    1. I honestly do not think Parker was mentioned in Catching Jordan!

  3. I've been SO into some good YA contemps this past year. It seems like they're all I want to read! This one sounds really good :)

  4. Like you, I enjoyed CJ but didn't love it, so you've got me hoping that I'll find SP more enjoyable! That's awesome that Jordan and Sam Henry make an appearance :)

    Fabulous review!

    1. I didn't love CJ either, but I adored SP, so I hope the same happens to you as well!

  5. Contemps are always a hit or miss for me. I think it depends on both the story and my mood. I have been hearing good things about this one, maybe I'll have to give it a try :)

    1. I have to say this one was fantastic, so I'd definitely recommend it :)

  6. As a huge fan of Miranda and her books, I'm so so happy you enjoyed this one! And you are so right about it not being just a "sports" book." That's the thing I always love about her books they contain so much other substance. Plus for some reason she always makes me love the whole sports part even though I don't particularly like sports all that much. Anyhow, great review! :)

    1. Exactly! I usually do not enjoy books about sports at all, but Miranda makes me so interested no matter what the sport is!


I love getting comments, so feel free to leave your thoughts :)