Title: Stealing Parker
Author: Miranda Kenneally
Red-hot author Miranda Kenneally hits one out of the park in this return to Catching Jordan’s Hundred Oaks High.
After her family’s 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.
This book wasn’t amazing because of the plot, because of the setting, or even because of the momentary glimpse into Jordan and Sam’s relationship since we left them at the end of Catching Jordan. It was awesome because of the characters. Kenneally’s ability to created realistic characters and I think that’s really her strong suit.
Something I did not expect in this book, though at the same time I wasn’t TOO surprised either, was the part that religion played in everything. Parker and her family are avid church goers, but after her mother ‘disgraced’ their family by coming out of the closet, Parker and her father are ridiculed for her mother’s choices. Unfortunately, this only fueled my distaste for institutionalized religion. However, I liked the turn around through the book as Parker learns more about other churches and that God is everywhere, not just in the pews of a white ornate building.
Something I didn’t like about this book was Parker’s relationship with Brian, the assistant baseball coach. At first he was really nice, and tried to push Parker back into the world of softball, which she had promptly left when her mother did. And I did like him then. He and Parker were epic (I say in a very Caroline voice (I’ve been watching The Vampire Diaries like an addict the past few days, sorry). Later on though, he REALLY bothered me. After he and Parker started making out (they didn’t date, they didn’t hook up, they just… kissed. A lot.) he was a real douche, and that killed all my thoughts of shipping them.
Then there was Drew, who Parker suspected was gay. But is he? Will he be the one to end up with Parker (as Sam ended up with Jordan)? Or will it be Corndog, the annoying, yet charming and sweet (when required), former valedictorian rival? That’s the thing I love about Miranda Kenneally’s books, there’s always such an array of characters and who the main character starts off with isn’t always who she ends up with.
Stealing Parker was a great book that incorporated the church, but also had a number of characters who were homosexual, bringing into the novel a large, real world issue that is being argued about all throughout the USA. With an amazing cast of characters, Kenneally has hit a home run with this novel (YA SEE WHAT I DID THERE ??) ~!
World Building: 5/5
GoodReads Rating: 3.84/5
Maybe all friendships don’t fizzle. Maybe, like the kaleidoscope, the colors just change.
“That doesn’t sound Christian. I want God to love me again.”
“God does love you, sweetie. What I’m saying is, is if you want to be a Christian and have a relationship with God, you can do that. You have free will.”
-Parker and her mother
“The only reason I couldn’t do this problem is ’cause I didn’t have a cup.” Corndog purses his lips, laughing.
I set my pencil down. “Enlighten me.”
“Don’t you have my cup? As manager of the baseball team, aren’t you in charge of our equipment?”
Drew bursts out laughing.
“I am not in charge of your cups or your dirty jockstraps.”
-Corndog and Parker