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ARC Review – Stealing Parker by Miranda Kenneally

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?

Review

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!

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Review – Catching Jordan by Miranda Kenneally

  • Title: Catching Jordan
  • Author: Miranda Kenneally
  • Series: Hundred Oaks #1
  • Next Book: Stealing Parker
  • Source: Personal Purchase

Description from Goodreads:

What girl doesn’t want to be surrounded by gorgeous jocks day in and day out? Jordan Woods isn’t just surrounded by hot guys, though – she leads them as the captain and quarterback on her high school football team. They all see her as one of the guys, and that’s just fine. As long as she gets her athletic scholarship to a powerhouse university. But now there’s a new guy in town who threatens her starring position on the team… and has her suddenly wishing to be seen as more than just a teammate.

Review

This is another one that is really hard for me to review because I neither loved nor hated it. It was okay. I liked it enough to keep reading, but there was nothing exceptional about it that made me have to read.

There was nothing overly exciting about the beginning. We see Jordan at her first football practice of the year, obsessing about an Alabama scout coming to see her, when a new guy comes into the picture. He’s the new kid in school, and a quarterback, like Jordan. However, Jordan finds herself crushing for the first time in her life.

The book is told from Jordan’s perspective, first person narrative, as it seems most YA books are these days. It’s easy to follow and definitely gets the story and feelings across. The one thing that bothered me was the question marks. They just seemed to be overused. For example, at the beginning of almost every chapter, it would say *title chapter* the count? X days until alabama. I don’t know why it bothered me, but it just kind of rubbed me the wrong way.

My favorite character in the story was Henry (Sam Henry). He’s Jordan’s best friend and teammate, and he is just hilarious. The best scene in the entire book was the interaction between him and Jordan during a Home Ec assignment. Jordan was likable enough, but sometimes her lack of confidence and stubbornness drove me nuts.

The ending was a little more abrupt than I expected or would have liked, but I felt that, for the most part, the loose ends that needed to be tied up were done so.

Overall, I found the book to be decent, but it wasn’t something that I’d rave about. I think it’s a combination of my not being a huge Contemporary/Romance fan and my lack of enthusiasm over football. Since Jordan is obsessed with football, a lot of the book focused on that, and it just wasn’t my thing. It was a good story if that is your thing, though, so I give it 3 stars.

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