Posts tagged ‘stealing parker’

December 12th, 2012

Stealing Parker by Miranda Kenneally; Review

by Madeleine Rex

Title: Stealing Parker

Author: Miranda Kenneally

Published: October 1st, 2012

Number of Pages: 256

Rating: 4/5


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? [From Goodreads]

Official Review Sent to Publishers*:

Miranda Kenneally’s Catching Jordan won me over with its charm and humor. Her companion novel, Stealing Parker, though just as charming and funny, takes its characters a step further, placing them in difficult positions, teaching them that though you struggle, you are not a failure, though you’re in that awkward what-on-earth-am-I-going-to-do-with-my-life stage, things will turn out fine. It’s a story that deals with issues that teens have faced for centuries, as well as issues that are unique to teenagers today. It is a story that is inspiring without losing that charisma and fun that makes Catching Jordan a great book. At the risk of being cliché, I must say that Stealing Parker hits the ball out of the park.


As you must know, I’m a huge fan of Miranda Kenneally’s. She’s an awesome writer, beta-reader, and friend. Her awesomeness is made manifest once again in her second novel, Stealing Parker. However, those who have read her first novel, Catching Jordan (Review), and are expecting something nearly identical are in for a surprise.

Certainly, there are loads of similarities between the two books. Both take place around the same time period, in the same place, and with many of the same people. Stealing Parker’s primary difference is its main character. Parker, like Jordan, is a sporty, troubled teenage girl in need of a little guidance. But just as Parker’s sport is different than Jordan’s, Parker’s trouble is of a different vein.

Parker struggles with many social issues that are particularly relevant to today’s teenagers (I would know – I spend all day with them): low self-esteem, sexuality (not her’s, but that of those people close to her), need of a belief system. It is clear from the start that Parker is looking for something and someone to believe in. Her life appears to have taken a turn for the worst, and she needs someone to guide her through the chaos. Parker’s challenge is to find someone who will guide her through it, not distract her temporarily.

Miranda is great at twisting love stories. Parker’s is quite an adventure. I definitely spent a lot of my time worried that her confusion would lead her astray, but there’s an array of supporting characters whose friendliness and genuine love gave me hope. Though it’s a funny story and its tone is lighthearted, I saw within Stealing Parker a more serious story of girl trying to figure out who is really on her side, who has her best interest at heart, who loves her. And it’s within that more serious story that I find Parker’s troubles to be a lot like mine – like any teenager’s. Just as she did with Catching Jordan, Miranda captures the essence of the Great and Terrible Teenage Confusion (my new term).

Like I mentioned above, and inevitably after the brilliance of Catching Jordan, Stealing Parker is clever and funny. Parker and her group of friends (some of whom were part of Jordan’s group, too, like Sam Henry) can’t seem to help themselves – they’re hilarious. By nature. It’s a gift of the characters’ personalities that the reader can freely benefit from.

Because this book deals with issues that the average eleven year old doesn’t deal with, I wouldn’t recommend it for the average eleven year old. In other words, this is definitely a book for a young adult audience. I think it would be great for book clubs (and intend to have mine read it) for a variety of reasons. One, it’s funny and full of quotes people will want to share. Two, you learn about baseball (I’ve always felt my ignorance was somewhat unpatriotic). Three, Parker’s problems are our problems. My friends deal with similar issues every day. I found Parker’s experiences were not only entertaining, but instructive. I can learn from her mistakes as well as her victories.

Overall, Stealing Parker is a book that will make you laugh and make you think. It’s complex. It’s life.

*Thank you so much, Sourcebooks, for the ARC!

January 6th, 2012

And we have a winner!

by Madeleine Rex

I’m very pleased to announce the winners of my Catching Jordan giveaway!

1. Susan Dennard

2. Erica Chapman

3. Alyssa

Congratulations, you guys! Email me via the “Contact Me” button to the left and leave me your address, and I’ll get things to you as soon as I can (Miranda has to sign them first)!

I hope you all enjoy Catching Jordan when you get a chance to read it. It’s a very sweet, very fun book that is sure to make you smile.

And one of the things crucial to making you smile is Sam Henry. I’m extending (yet again) my “Ask Henry” feature. I’m surprised that there are so few questions. Everyone: Go read the book! And then, ask away!

Have a great weekend!

P.S. Check out the cover of Miranda’s next book (which I am in the process of reading), Stealing Parker!

Simply because it is bound to be awesome, I made this so enormous you couldn’t miss it if you tried.