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Tuesday, 27 November 2012

REVIEW: Stealing Parker by Miranda Kenneally


Stealing Parker by Miranda Kenneally

Series:Hundred Oaks, #2
Publication Date:October 1st 2012
Publisher:Sourcebooks Fire
Paperback, 256 pages
Useful Info: Goodreads, Author's Website, Book Depository

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?

I just love Miranda Kenneally and her stories! After reading both her releases I can safely say that she's among my favorite contemporary YA voices currently. Her stories are cute and full of humor and her characters are always different and manage to stand out. I love how she chooses to present her stories in a different way, inserting elements I could never expect to find in them. Like the God and Church references in this one. But let's take things from the start.

My favorite thing about Kenneally's stories is her writing style. It's witty and sarcastic and I plainly love her playful attitude. Like in Catching Jordan, I found myself laughing while reading Stealing Parker more than a few times. And not many authors can make me laugh so easily.

The other thing I love are her characters and the way she presents them. The characters in Miranda Kenneally's stories are quite different from the characters you usually find in YA novels. They are far from perfect for one. Her heroines aren't the gorgeous girls who don't even know how beautiful they are, who seem to be in every single YA title I read lately. Surely they are gorgeous, but they know it and their self-esteem problems have nothing to do with their image but with more common things that teenagers get anxious about. I know, image is definitely a main source of self-esteem problems, but there's more than that. And Kenneally seems to grasp that in her stories.

Parker is far from perfect. In fact, her choices can make it really difficult to like her. And at first, I had more than a few problems with her choices and the way she reacted to her problems. But only in the beginning. Because after a point, I could understand exactly why she behaved the way she did, and even if I didn't agree with her actions, I still cared for her.

Brian, is your typical swoon worthy teacher, worth of jeopardising everything to be with. At least in the beginning. And although I don't really like him, I can't hate him like many other readers did either. Surely he was responsible for everything but not the only one to blame. There are way more factors that one should take into consideration.

Drew, Parker's best friend is adorable, the kind of friend I would have liked to have myself, even if he was a bit of a drama queen at the end and Corndog, well, let's just say that he was amazing and leave it at that... :)

From the above, you can easily guess that the character development here is pretty good, with multiple characters being explored and not only a couple of them. Almost every character in Stealing Parker has a certain role in the story and isn't just waiting to be used whenever the story needs it.

And now, for the factor that really surprised me in this novel which is no other than the major part religion played in this story. You see, God and Christianity are mentioned more than a few times in this book and play a major role at the way Parker reacted to things. At first, I have to admit that I was a bit reluctant to the constant mentions, and not because I'm sensitive in such matters or anything like that, but I was afraid that they didn't really ad up anything to the story. By the end, I came to appreciate Kenneally's guts to present things the way she did, without being offencive or anything.

All in all, Miranda Kenneally is one of the freshest voices in the YA genre currently and her stories are always a joy to read. Now, I can't wait to get my hands on her next release :)



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