Thursday, August 4, 2016

Defending Taylor by Miranda Kenneally

Defending Taylor by Miranda Kenneally
Release Date - July 5, 2016
Publisher Website - Raincoast Books
Publisher Social Media - Twitter
Pages - 304 pages
My Rating - 4/5
**received from publisher for an honest review**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
There are no mistakes in love.

Captain of the soccer team, president of the Debate Club, contender for valedictorian: Taylor's always pushed herself to be perfect. After all, that's what is expected of a senator's daughter. But one impulsive decision-one lie to cover for her boyfriend-and Taylor's kicked out of private school. Everything she's worked so hard for is gone, and now she's starting over at Hundred Oaks High.

Soccer has always been Taylor's escape from the pressures of school and family, but it's hard to fit in and play on a team that used to be her rival. The only person who seems to understand all that she's going through is her older brother's best friend, Ezra. Taylor's had a crush on him for as long as she can remember. But it's hard to trust after having been betrayed. Will Taylor repeat her past mistakes or can she score a fresh start?
Defending Taylor, at its core, is a story we've all heard before. One of self discovery and the expectations of those around you compared with what you want for yourself. It is about discovering and growing into your own beliefs and voice. This story is done in a way, however, that keeps it feeling completely fresh and new.

Miranda Kenneally allows her characters, particularly her female ones, to be imperfect. She allows them to make mistakes, and make decisions that have regrettable outcomes. She also manges to never allows this to define her characters. They are shown to still be worthy, mistakes and all. The message that your value is not attached to one thing is so important and it is one that is a current theme in Miranda's books.

The judgement and scrutiny that Taylor is faced with is perfectly back dropped with the rightful consequences of her action. She tried to do the right thing and protect someone she loves while blinded to the this HTML class. Value isepercussions.

While I enjoyed both Taylor and Ezra as characters, I didn't feel the chemistry between them the way I have with some of the other couples that Miranda has written. Their relationship didn't spark for me the way I imagine it was supposed to, but the romance in this one is still pleasant and you are invested enough in both characters to care about their romance.

The glimpses of characters from previous novels allows that connection between the reader and the story to stay intact. They will feel they've seen these characters grow and change long past their stories as we check in on their happily ever afters. These cameos are their own reward for loyal readers, and subsequently insure that this series fan base will continue to follow Miranda anywhere she wants to take them.

Another novel in which Miranda Kenneally shows her trademark heart, and breezy writing. She's created a fun world where her readers have gotten to experience the characters they have come to care about grow up and change along with them. I, personally, cannot wait to see what the next Hundred Oaks story brings.

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