Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Release Date: Oct. 1, 2012
Source of my copy: publisher/Netgalley
Series: companion to Catching Jordan
Synopsis (from Goodreads)
Red-hot author Miranda Kenneally hits one out of the park in this return to Catching Jordan's Hundred Oaks High.
After a 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.
I was wary of Stealing Parker at first because I was not sure I would feel comfortable about reading what basically is a teacher-student relationship despite the fact that the teacher (or assistant coach in this case--but same thing because he is a figure of authority at a school) was in his early twenties and Parker was just a few weeks shy of 18.
But I liked Kenneally's debut Catching Jordan and I am a sucker for romantic contemporary YA, so I picked it up anyway... and practically devoured it in one sitting. I really like Parker's character. I see a lot of myself in her--like her feelings about church, religion and God, that she like to read romance novels, her relationship with her dad was all me. Besides the fact that I can relate to her character, I love that she was human and flawed. She makes mistakes but she learns from them.
As for the thing I was dreading, Parker did get hot and heavy with Coach Brian and those scenes were uncomfortable to read but I felt Parker was able to keep her head. Yay Parker! However, Stealing Parker would not be a Kenneally novel if you know who Parker is going to end up with from reading the synopsis. Other than Brian, there are a lot of boys in Parker's life and there was one particular boy that I especially rooted for and was such a sweetheart. I loved the scenes with him and Parker and it was great watching their relationship develop from classmates to friendship and to maybe something more.
Like in Catching Jordan, Stealing Parker had tough issues the main character had to sort through along with all the relationship drama. I would not call this novel "light reading" because of some heavy issues but there were enough funny moments to balance everything out. I did feel that the writing in Stealing Parker was not as fluid as it was in Catching Jordan but I ended up enjoying Stealing Parker more than I did Catching Jordan because I able to relate to Parker's character more.
If you love reading about perfectly flawed characters, you'll love Parker. Definitely check out Stealing Parker, it's an engaging and addicting read. I recommend it for readers who love reading contemporary YA with strong relationship/romance themes.