Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Review: Stealing Parker by Miranda Kenneally

Title: Stealing Parker (Hundred Oaks #2)
Author: Miranda Kenneally
Genre: Contemporary Young Adult, Sports

Goodreads rating: 3.85 out of 5.00 (4, 200+ ratings)
Goodreads | The Book Depository |

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?

Review by Chantelle

I was quite a fan of Miranda Kenneally after reading Catching Jordan, and so of course, when I spotted Stealing Parker at my library, I snatched it right up.

Stealing Parker is centred about the world of softball and baseball this time, and I absolutely love Kenneally's emphasis of sports in her novels. It's refreshing and adds a whole dynamic that is absent from a lot of other young adult contemporaries. However, there was something that really peeved me off, and is basically the reason I'm writing this review, and that is the religion bashing in this novel. It was borderline painful in the first half where there is a very one-sided stereotypical view of Christianity (negative of course, insular Christians, hypocritical church blah blah) and it was all about Parker blaming God for everything, and how religion is stupid because how could God allow for bad things to happen. It was like someone slowly twisting a screwdriver into my head.

The rest of the book was great - the romance was sweet, the characters were interesting, the sport was awesome... but then intermittently there'd be all these not so subtle jabs at Christianity. I know that on goodreads etc. they do say that there are religious "themes" or "discussions", those I wouldn't have minded, but only presenting one negative stereotype of Christianity isn't what I call a discussion, I didn't enjoy that the debate only presented one obvious and I think outdated point of view. It isn't until towards the end where we're even introduced to another side of Christianity, and in this respect, I felt the second half of the novel was must stronger than the first.

I realise this one-sided view is supposedly from Parker's "teen" point of view, but it was still incredibly irritating because of it's clashes with my own Christian beliefs, but for readers who don't have religious beliefs, I don't think this will pose as an annoyance for you.

That was all from me really, the book itself was pretty average, but that might have just been unique to me since I was so irked by the religious "themes". Seeing that this again would be mentioned in her next book, I don't think I'll be continuing with this series even though I did enjoy the rest of the novel.

Overall: 7/10
Plot: 3.5/5
Writing: 3/5
Characters: 4/5
Cover: 4/5