Title: Stealing Parker
Author: Miranda Kenneally
Published: October 1st 2012 by Sourcebooks Fire
Source: ARC courtesy of the publisher for an honest review
"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."
First line: "Bubblegum Pink is the nail polish of the day."
Thoughts: After reading CATCHING JORDAN, I knew I had to get my hands on STEALING PARKER as soon as humanly possible. I had high expectations and wondered whether or not the author's sophomore novel would be as good as her first. Would it make my heart skip a thousand beats? The answer to this question is plain and simple. Yes...yes, yes, YES!
Unlike Jordan from CATCHING JORDAN, Parker is a man's lady. She's not one of the boys and is considered to be a player (not of the baseball variety). Parker has a reputation for being a bit of a, what's the proper term? Harlot? But if you know her, really know her, you'd know that's not necessarily true. After dealing with a controversy with her mom, being shunned by her friends and even church, Parker has decided to transform herself. Gone is the softball playing muscular girl and in with the skinny valedictorian vixen. Personally, I enjoyed Parker's character more than Jordan's. It felt like she had more to prove, and I reveled in the complexities of her life and personality.
In the beginning, it was only about making out with boys and figuring things out. Of course, this all changes when Coach Hoffman enters the picture. He's hot and seems to be just as lost as she is. He gets her, but he's still the baseball coach and an authority figure. So what's a girl to do when she has a crush on the new coach and he seems to feel the same way?
At first, I was a little weirded out by the whole student-coach relationship. Technically, he's only a few years older than her but it might as well be an entire generation gap. After so many pages though, while I wasn't rooting for Brian (aka Coach Hoffman), I did somewhat understand why Parker was so attracted to him and vice versa. Their relationship was mosaic, perplex, and enthralling. It was fun to read and at the same time, you knew it would eventually blow up in their faces...one way or another.
My personal swoon-worth contender is Will aka Corndog. I love how awkward and lovable he is. He's that genuinely nice guy you can't help but love. His loyalty and friendship is undeniable. He will always have your back, regardless of the circumstances. It's one of the many reasons why I completely heart him.
One of my favorite things about STEALING PARKER are the cameo appearances from CATCHING JORDAN. I love that Sam Henry plays a role in the story, and you even get glimpses of Jordan. It was like taking a trip down memory lane, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Overall, I would recommend STEALING PARKER to all fans of contemporary and YA novels. You don't have to read CATCHING JORDAN in order to understand or relish this novel, but it will definitely help you cherish it more. Be sure to give yourself enough time to read it. Once you start, you will not, I repeat...WILL NOT, want to stop.