Book Review: Stealing Parker

Stealing Parker (Hundred Oaks #2)
Published By: Sourcebooks Fire
Publication Date: October 2012
Page Count: 242
Source: Purchased by Reviewer
Audience: Young Adult - Contemporary

I recently read and loved Catching Jordan by Miranda Kenneally. I couldn't wait to get back to Hundred Oaks and meet some new characters. I also was pleasantly surprised to see that some of my old favorites - Jordan and Sam - made some appearances as well. This is a series of companion novels so you could read them in any order, but I still recommend reading them in the order of their publication dates.

Stealing Parker moves from the football field onto the baseball diamond. I've never really been a huge fan of baseball. I enjoy going to a Braves game from time to time, but I abhor watching it on television and it was never a sport I enjoyed playing. I was nervous that I wouldn't like this novel as much because of the baseball elements, but I found that those parts didn't bother me. Parker's story is so compelling that she could have been on the curling team and I still probably would have found this story interesting.

Parker is the sort of girl who captures your heart from moment one. Her family is in crisis and she's struggling to reconcile her old life with her new one. Her mom left her dad for another woman. Her dad has no idea how to deal with the destruction of his marriage. Her brother turns to drugs. Living in a small Tennessee town means the gossip mongers come out in droves. Parker goes from being a sweet Christian girl from a good family to someone who should be avoided because she might turn out like her mother. Childhood friends ostracize Parker and spread rumors that she's only on the softball team because she likes to watch other girls undress. Parker can't handle the rumors and starts to act out. She starts kissing any boy who shows any interest in her. Along the way she paves her path of good intentions with broken hearts and more rumors start to swirl.

Meanwhile, the hot new baseball coach catches her eye and Parker decides she might as well live up to the reputation everyone else has given her. This relationship was difficult for me to read. As an educator, I was appalled that the adult in this situation made the choices he did. Parker is vulnerable and going through a difficult time. I just wanted to reach into the book and help her.

In addition the coach, there is another guy who catches Parker's eye and won me over. I won't say too much about him because it would spoil the read, but trust me, you'll know him when you meet him. I wish more guys like him had existed when I was in high school. In some ways, he even outshines Sam Henry.

Kenneally does a nice job of bringing up some tough issues like homosexuality, drug abuse, and religion. As someone who grew up in a small town in the South, I feel like Kenneally portrays the inner workings of the town realistically. Sadly, the way Parker is treated by her church family isn't uncommon. I did like that we get to see another side of religion through the eyes of Corndog and his family.

Parker won my heart and I loved her just as much as Jordan. I'd highly recommend this to fans of Catching Jordan, those who enjoy contemporaries with deeper issues, and those looking for a sweet romance. I'm loving these contemporaries set in the world of Hundred Oaks and their sports influence. It makes me wish that I had gone to Hundred Oaks High as a teenager. 

One Last Gripe: It ended too soon! I wanted more.

My Favorite Thing About This Book: Parker's character growth

First Sentence: Bubblegum Pink is the nail polish of the day.

Favorite Character: Parker

Least Favorite Character: Brian

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?


  1. I can't wait to read this book. I loved Catching Jordan because I loved Henry! I guess I keep putting this book off because I want it to be as amazing as the first book and I know sometimes that isn't the case.

    Thanks for the great review, I'm glad you enjoyed the book so much.

    1. I was a little nervous too after loving Catching Jordan so much. This one is just as good. Parker is a compelling character.

  2. Well, Andrea, this seems really nice
    I have heard a lot about this series, the third and the fourth books, too
    Cannot wait to read them
    GREAT review
    Your reader,


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