If there’s a sport I know even less about than American Football – it would be baseball. However after reading and enjoying Catching Jordan, I thought I’d try Stealing Parker and see if it could teach me a thing or two.
Title: Catching Jordan
Author: Miranda Kenneally
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, Sports, Realistic Fiction
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Publication Date: October 2012
Pages: 256 pages
Rating: 4 stars
Synopsis (from goodreads):
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?
After her mother leaving her family (and for another woman at that!), Parker Shelton is a girl trying to get a reputation. No one will ever doubt that she is a girl who likes boys. Most of her old friends abandoned her when she needed them most but her bff, Drew, refuses to let the old Parker fade away completely. He signs Parker up to team manager for the boy’s baseball team.
It’s there that the new coach, Brian, catches her eye. It’s sparks from the first moment she lays eyes on him but being twenty-three (and six years older than Parker) there are some lines that shouldn’t be crossed. Or should they?
There’s a about Stealing Parker that felt VERY familiar after reading the first book, Catching Jordan. But this book managed to set itself apart. The heroine, Parker, is interesting. She’s been betrayed – not only by her friends and family but she feels like even her God has abandoned her. So she tries to change herself. Changes her interests, loses a lot of weight and attempts to lose the girl she was. To be honest, I found her rather annoying for the first half of the novel. But she grew on me and I was on her side by the end. I wanted her to succeed and to fix her family and reputation.
Teacher/Student relationships are something that I often have a problem with and I felt like Brian took advantage of the situation and Parker on more than one occasion. And whilst I felt like he got off a little too easily, I did like how the author addressed the situation and the consequences that result from a relationship like that.
I have to admit I’m a little surprised that I adored a character named “Corndog”. Unlike the type of stereotype a name like that might bring to mind, Will “Corndog” Whitfield, was smart, funny, generous and just the perfect leading male for Parker. I loved the drama associated with their relationship and thought the ending was perfect.
One of the highlights of this book was the religious angle. For me, I’m often against YA novels with a Christian flavour – they’re at times over the top and start leaning towards being preachy – but I really enjoyed how Miranda Kenneally wove Parker’s religious beliefs into the storyline. It was tastefully done and I loved how it turned out.
Whilst I may not have learned anything about baseball from reading this book, I enjoyed the sports angle and by the time I finished the novel I adored the romance.
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