Publication date: October 1st 2012
by Sourcebooks Fire
Red-hot author Miranda Kenneally hits one out of the park in this return to Catching Jordan’s Hundred Oaks High.
After a scandal rocks their conservative small town, 17-year-old Parker Shelton goes overboard trying to prove that she won’t turn out like her mother: a lesbian. The all-star third-baseman quits the softball team, drops 20 pounds and starts making out with guys–a lot. But hitting on the hot new assistant baseball coach might be taking it a step too far…especially when he starts flirting back.
With Jordan, we were thrown into the word of Football, and now with Parker, it’s baseball. Sports are a big player in Miranda’s novels, and as someone who has never been much into sports, I was surprised by how much I enjoy it in books, or at least in Miranda’s books. We get characters who develop deeply rooted friendships from being on sports teams together, this gives us a great mix of personalities, amusing banter, and all with a girl who can become one of the boys as much as any other. The characters are, as expected, a great part of this novel, we have Parker who is a very well rounded protagonist with a fun, down to earth attitude. She’s incredibly smart, she’s well spoken, but she has had a few issues since her mom left them. To prove she’s not a lesbian like her mother, Parker becomes a bit… boy-friendly. Then enters Brian, baseball coach, completely gorgeous, but he’s 6 years older. While it’s not a huge difference, the age gap does put a damper on their relationship since they have to keep it in the down low. And like all things forbidden, it instantly draws you in; you can’t help but feel a rush from the constant risk of being found out. But we can’t forget the best friend now, can we? Drew is Parker’s best and closest friend, he always has her back and will always be on her side, then you have to wonder: is there more to this friendship? And what about Corndog? (Yep. Corndog!) He seems to live to annoy, but we get glimpses of his (often hidden) charm. This is what I love about these books, you can never tell who the main character will end up with, and, likewise, who you’re hoping she ends up with.
Romance is the heart and soul of Miranda’s novels. I loved it in Catching Jordan, and she brings it to its fabulous glory again in Stealing Parker. Heart meltingly sweet and incredibly genuine, the romance is easily my favourite part of this novel. It gave me goosebumps, it made my heart flutter; it absolutely makes you feel every single emotion that you crave when reading about young love. I literally read the last 50 pages with my heart in my throat! It’s become clear that Miranda is a romantic goddess mastermind of sorts.
Let’s talk about religion for a moment. (Uh oh!) I’m not a very religious person, I grew up in a small town where religion was not a very big topic among our community, so it wasn’t really a part of my upbringing. So when I met Parker with her very religiously devoted town, where people have church cliques, and some are shunned for religious reasons–in this case: her lesbian mother–I had difficulty related to that lifestyle. It isn’t commonplace around these parts, making it feel very foreign or old-fashioned to me. It wasn’t overbearing by any means, the letters to god were actually a great opportunity to get a glimpse inside Parker’s most personal thoughts, but it was still simply hard for me to identify with her situation a little.
I’m certain you will laugh, and I guarantee you will swoon, Sealing Parker is a fantastic companion to Catching Jordan with its own set of wonderful characters, and even a cameo or two from our old beloved Jordan and Henry – who of course, leave a lasting impression.
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