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?
Stealing Parker is a summer read, pure and simple. While Kenneally's debut of Catching Jordan mainly captured my attention with its unpredictable romance, I enjoyed Stealing Parker for entirely different reasons. There is still of course the sporty female protagonists but in the place of surprising love interests, Parker's relationship with God and her religion took centre stage for me. It was incredibly interesting to read about a teenage girl's struggle with her faith grow and change and develop (seen through sporadic diary entries/letters addressed to God) while she went through some heavy family problems and also some other teenage girl dilemmas. Stealing Parker is a great mix of deep ideas in the midst of some not so deep ones.
Parker is a pretty good protagonist and although there were times I felt she was a little grating, she surprisingly grows quite a lot in such a pretty short book. Parker is confused about a lot of things in her life (including boys, faith and especially her parents) just like the majority of teenagers and although she makes some - pretty big - mistakes, they are understandable in her position and they make her an even more relatable character to teens. (Who wants to read about a perfect perfect-y perfect-son anyway, right? :) )
I really enjoyed reading about Parker and her various relationships from her romantic relationship with her older - and irritating - baseball coach to her very realistic family relationships. One of my very favourite parts of Stealing Parker are the couple of last scenes with Parker's brother which are just too adorable for words. The parts I disliked are probably just all the ones with Coach Brian, I found him creepy right off the bat (look at me with my sport metaphors) and I was constantly shouting at Parker through the pages to ditch him and realise that Will is just the cutest thing.
All in all Stealing Parker is lovely book to pick up if you're looking for a fun high school book with some substance. Stealing Parker isn't a surprising read, it's pretty damn predictable if I'm being honest, but it is a sweet one and we all need a little sweetness in our lives.
Music choice: A big part about Stealing Parker was about being a little lost and confused.. about everything. So here you go, Lost by Coldplay.
itunes link: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/lost!-ep/id294155980