Monday, October 1, 2012

Stealing Parker by Miranda Kenneally

Stealing Parker by Miranda Kenneally
Release Date – October 1, 2012
Publisher Website –  Sourcebooks Fire/Raincoast Books
Publisher Social Media -  Twitter
Pages - 245 pages
My Rating- 4/5
**obtained from publisher for an honest review**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
Red-hot author Miranda Kenneally hits one out of the park in this return to Catching Jordan's Hundred Oaks High.
After a scandal rocks their conservative small town, 17-year-old Parker Shelton goes overboard trying to prove that she won't turn out like her mother: a lesbian. The all-star third-baseman quits the softball team, drops 20 pounds and starts making out with guys--a lot. But hitting on the hot new assistant baseball coach might be taking it a step too far...especially when he starts flirting back.
Forbidden romance, family drama and realistic characters are what you can expect from Stealing Parker. A story that dives into topics such as faith, love,  and family bonds. Stealing Parker was a wonderful, quick read that left me in awe of Miranda’s characters.

Miranda Kenneally has this ability to make each character feel real. They behave like real teenagers, flaws and all. The story has such realism that you quickly loose yourself in it. Each of the characters, even the secondary ones, are treated this way. None of them feel like an after-thought or throw away. It makes your connection to the story and characters that much deeper. A few authors have such realism and Miranda has it in spades.

The character of Parker is immediately engaging. Her struggle with faith and coming to terms with her parents separation made her a sympathetic character. The treatment of her family after her mother’s announcement was crushing. I did like that Miranda showed varying degrees of religion and that acceptance and faith can be found in many churches. It also touched on the idea that faith and your connection to it can exist outside of an organized structure which I found beautiful.

The relationship between Parker and Brian (the coach) is handled wonderfully. The author never ventures into preachy territory but shows exactly why these types of relationships are harmful. The balance of power, and the different life experiences are glaringly apparent. Parker’s willingness to be led by an older man who is a little lost himself is not only believable, but true to her character. The sexual side to dating an older, much more experienced guy is dealt with honestly, and tastefully. It does make for a more mature theme that is quite thought provoking. Nobody is the villain or victim in this scenario, and it does not romanticize this type of relationship.

The other romances in this novel is painted quite realistically. I, sadly, can not go into much detail without giving spoilers, but the pacing is perfect. None of them are love at first sight. Lust at first sight maybe, but not love. The act of getting to know someone and having feelings deepen as that happens is not only explored, but the basis for a lot of the relationships in the novel.

Fans of Jordan will delight in the brief glimpses that we get of her. Careful readers will notice a few references to characters in the first novel in this “series”. They are tied together subtly and allow the reader to feel like an insider when they recognize someone.

Stealing Parker is a  companion novel that surpasses the original. Heart touching characters, realistic development and some sweet romance made this a hit with me. If you enjoyed Catching Jordan this follow up is not be missed.

1 comment:

  1. Great review Kathy!! I can not wait to read this one.


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