Title: Stealing Parker
Author: Miranda Kenneally
Series: Hundred Oaks #2
Previous Book: Catching Jordan
Next Book: Things I Can’t Forget
Source: ARC received through Arcycling
Description from Goodreads:
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?
After finishing Allegiant, I had a book hangover of the worst sort. I was super emotional and could not handle anything else that was even remotely similar. I needed something completely different, no dystopian or anything that could be dark. What I needed was a light contemporary read. I had Stealing Parker sitting on my shelf, so I decided to give it a chance, and I’m so glad I did! It was exactly what I needed after the heaviness of Allegiant, and I really enjoyed it.
Stealing Parker is the second book in the Hundred Oaks series by Miranda Kenneally. However, it’s more of a companion novel than a sequel. A couple of the characters from Catching Jordan make an appearance but aren’t a large part of the story line. Mostly, they just go to the same high school. This ended up being a good thing because I wasn’t a huge fan of Catching Jordan.
Right from the start, I connected with Parker. Okay, so I never played softball, and my mom isn’t a lesbian, but I really related to her insecurity. I was super insecure in high school and also looked to boys for a little ego boost. (God, that is so embarrassing now!)
After rumors circulated that Parker was a lesbian like her mom, she quit the softball team. However, her best friend, Drew, plays baseball, and he gets her to sign on as the team manager for their senior year. There she meets Brian Hoffman, the new 23-year-old assistant coach, and she is immediately attracted to him. He inexplicably also seems drawn to her, and they start a friendship outside of school.
At first, I really enjoyed the dynamic between Brian and Parker. I mean, what high school girl doesn’t dream about a hot older guy being interested in her? He seemed really sweet, and I was rooting for them. Then, out of nowhere, comes Corndog (aka Will). He starts hanging out with Parker, and she’s really surprised by how much she likes spending time with him, since they’ve been academic rivals for years. While their friendship developed, I found myself caring less about Brian and rooting for Will.
As with any contemporary read or romantic comedy movie, there is some emotional upheaval, but it wasn’t devastating. I really did find Stealing Parker to be a quick, easy, light-hearted, fun contemporary read. I liked all of the characters (okay, except Laura, ugh!), and I really related to the story line. I thought it was really good and would definitely recommend it!
Note: If you like football, you can start with Catching Jordan, but since it’s a companion novel, you could also just start with Stealing Parker and be just fine!