Saturday, March 9, 2013

Stealing Parker

Stealing Parker by Miranda Kenneally
3/5 stars
Sourcebooks Fire, 2012
242 pages
YA Contemporary Sports

Source: Library

Although I had a very negative reaction to Kenneally's Catching Jordan, I thought that might be a fluke and resolved to try another book as well. Unfortunately this one didn't really work for me either, partly for the same reasons but also for its own problems.

A brief summary: Set in the same community as Chasing Jordan, we turn our attention to Parker whose mother came out and who has subsequently set out to prove that she is very much a straight girl by kissing as many boys as she can. When the baseball team gets a new hunky young coach, she soon finds herself playing with fire as they engage in a dangerous flirtation.

I found the first half of this book alternately boring and frustrating. I didn't feel like it really got good until Parker finally turned to her mother (loved her!) for help. Although Parker thinks back to her great life before her mother's scandal, I never really felt like I had a sense of it and thus I didn't sympathize with Parker over losing it (does that make sense?)

Like Catching Jordan, I felt like this book was somewhat anti-girl as Parker has mostly horrid experiences with her fellow females while the guys all have fun personalities who don't scorn her based on her mother's choices (and not just because she's pretty and makes out with some of them). I also thought there could have been more focus on baseball/softball whereas it seemed to be used more for window dressing. Also like in Catching Jordan, the first guy the protagonist hooks up with is just a prelude for the guy she really likes (who I called as being her ultimate date within the first ten pages)-it felt like a recycled plot although the details are pretty different.

Don't worry-I did like some things plus the book is short so I had no problem finishing it. Like I said, I really liked Parker's mother once we got to spend some page time with her. I also liked how angry Parker was. Angry characters can be really fun even when they make tremendously stupid decisions as Parker does. I really loved her growth and that is what made the second half of the book much better.

Overall: Unless someone tells me there is a huge shift in writing style and tone, I think I will have to stay away from Kenneally's Thousand Oaks books no more how much the fun summaries and bright covers tempt me :( We just don't work.

Other Opinions-I'm very much in the minority here:
Badass Bookie
Jen Ryland/YA Romantics
The Book Scout


  1. Aw, thanks for linking to my review.
    I find your point about the disparity you see between this author's male and female characters so interesting. I agree that, as a whole, her male characters are definitely more complex and more likable.

    Jen @ YA Romantics

    1. Yeah and I don't mind "unlikable" female leads but I wish they were more complex and interesting at the very least. It's so hard to determine what exactly makes a character unlikable in the first place.

  2. It's a shame there isn't more authorial growth from JORDAN to PARKER, because we thought there was a lot of potential for that. But if it's essentially the same book with different details, it's probably not going to be for us either. Thanks for the great review!

    1. It felt very similar to me and I feel like other reviews have also mentioned that but it was something they liked. I've seen reviews of her third book that indicate something changes there but I'm not sure I'm brave enough to try it.

  3. I just picked up the first in this series. I haven't started it yet. Sorry you didn't enjoy as much as you wanted. I'll have to think about this series.

    Jenea @ Books Live Forever

    1. I hope you like it more than I did-these just don't seem to be the books for me.

  4. This book was the first of Keneally's books that I read and I really enjoyed it, which really surprised me because I am not a contemporary fan. Sorry that this one wasn't for you, I have both of her other books that I am looking forward to reading.

    Kristin @ Young Adult Book Haven

    1. I think if you liked the first book, you'll like this second-I noticed a lot of continuities. Since I didn't really like the first, I was disappointed but not surprised to not like the second.


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