Jump to ratings and reviews
Rate this book

Hundred Oaks #2

Stealing Parker

Rate this book
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?

242 pages, Paperback

First published October 1, 2012

Loading interface...
Loading interface...

About the author

Miranda Kenneally

18 books4,190 followers
Growing up in Tennessee, Miranda Kenneally dreamed of becoming an Atlanta Brave, a country singer (cliché!), or a UN interpreter. Instead she writes, and works for the State Department in Washington, D.C., where George W. Bush once used her shoulder as an armrest. Miranda loves Twitter, Star Trek and her husband.

Note: I don't answer direct messages, but do answer questions on Goodreads and Twitter. Please feel free to check in with me there!

Ratings & Reviews

What do you think?
Rate this book

Friends & Following

Create a free account to discover what your friends think of this book!

Community Reviews

5 stars
6,611 (32%)
4 stars
6,607 (32%)
3 stars
5,080 (25%)
2 stars
1,415 (7%)
1 star
478 (2%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,347 reviews
Profile Image for Aj the Ravenous Reader.
1,030 reviews1,044 followers
October 19, 2016

I bought three Miranda Kenneally books namely, Stealing Parker, Things I Can’t Forget and Catching Jordan. I honestly had no idea all these books are part of a series called “Hundred Oaks” and that I should have read Catching Jordan first. I just went through GR average ratings and decided to read that which has the lowest average. Lol.

Anyway, onto the review. I think the plot and themes have much more substance than what one would expect of a contemporary romance book if only the execution of the entire thing weren’t so (sorry about the term) “meh-ish”. I know I could be immature sometimes (or okay, a lot of times) but these characters, almost every single one of them are just plain childish. I couldn’t find any connection with any of the mostly paper characters who are flat and predictable. Thankfully, the plot allowed for some development for the major character although in the end, it still felt like an instant happy ending without proper resolutions for several of the major conflicts in the story.

I probably would have enjoyed it better especially because of the sports element but since the entire narrative is blanketed by religious subtexts, I was constantly annoyed because it came across too heavy and at times quite inappropriate and stereotypical. Honestly, I was battling with myself on ditching the book as early as 35 or so pages because of those glaring moralistic issues tackled head on chapter after chapter. Whatever happened with graceful subtleties?

But just the same, the story still aimed to inspire and leave learning lessons in life and yes, it was quite entertaining so that has got to count for something. ;)
Profile Image for Giselle.
990 reviews6,365 followers
August 5, 2016
Catching Jordan was one of my favourite books of last year, so when I heard of another novel by Miranda I had really high hopes for it, especially after learning that it was a companion to Jordan - different characters but the same setting. I was happy to find another incredibly sweet, heartfelt romance in Stealing Parker, with characters that are just as charismatic, and a story that keeps you up for just one more chapter.

With Jordan, we were thrown into the word of Football, and now with Parker, it's baseball. Sports are a big player in Miranda's novels, and as someone who has never been much into sports, I was surprised by how much I enjoy it in books, or at least in Miranda's books. We get characters who develop deeply rooted friendships from being on sports teams together, this gives us a great mix of personalities, amusing banter, and all with a girl who can become one of the boys as much as any other. The characters are, as expected, a great part of this novel, we have Parker who is a very well rounded protagonist with a fun, down to earth attitude. She's incredibly smart, she's well spoken, but she has had a few issues since her mom left them. To prove she's not a lesbian like her mother, Parker becomes a bit… boy-friendly. Then enters Brian, baseball coach, completely gorgeous, but he's 6 years older. While it's not a huge difference, the age gap does put a damper on their relationship since they have to keep it in the down low. And like all things forbidden, it instantly draws you in; you can't help but feel a rush from the constant risk of being found out. But we can't forget the best friend now, can we? Drew is Parker's best and closest friend, he always has her back and will always be on her side, then you have to wonder: is there more to this friendship? And what about Corndog? (Yep. Corndog!) He seems to live to annoy, but we get glimpses of his (often hidden) charm. This is what I love about these books, you can never tell who the main character will end up with, and, likewise, who you'll be hoping she ends up with.

Romance is the heart and soul of Miranda's novels. I loved it in Catching Jordan, and she brings it to its fabulous glory again in Stealing Parker. Heart meltingly sweet and incredibly genuine, the romance is easily my favourite part of this novel. It gave me goosebumps, it made my heart flutter; it absolutely makes you feel every single emotion that you crave when reading about young love. I literally read the last 50 pages with my heart in my throat! It's become clear that Miranda is a romantic goddess mastermind of sorts.

Let's talk about religion for a moment. (Uh oh!) I'm not a very religious person, I grew up in a small town where religion was not a very big topic among our community, so it wasn't really a part of my upbringing. So when I met Parker with her very religiously devoted town, where people have church cliques, and some are shunned for religious reasons--in this case: her lesbian mother--I had difficulty related to that lifestyle. It isn't commonplace around these parts, making it feel very foreign or old-fashioned to me. It wasn't overbearing by any means, the letters to god were actually a great opportunity to get a glimpse inside Parker's most personal thoughts, but it was still simply hard for me to identify with her situation a little.

I'm certain you will laugh, and I guarantee you will swoon, Sealing Parker is a fantastic companion to Catching Jordan with its own set of wonderful characters, and even a cameo or two from our old beloved Jordan and Henry - who of course, leave a lasting impression.

An advance copy was provided by the author for review.

For more of my reviews, visit my blog at Xpresso Reads
Profile Image for Jasprit.
527 reviews747 followers
October 15, 2012
Read-along with Rachel :) 4.5 stars.

When I first read about a companion novel being released for Catching Jordan I was super excited. Catching Jordan had been one of my favourite reads of 2011 and so I couldn’t wait to devour more of Kenneally’s work. However I did have my initial reservations about it too as I loved Catching Jordan so much I worried that I would constantly find myself comparing it to its predecessor. I was also worried that it would venture down a similar path, but gladly this was not the case at all. It truly stood out as a novel on its own and that made me admire Kenneally’s as an author even more.

I’m a huge sports fan, so adored how Catching Jordan was based around players of the school’s soccer team. Sports play another prominent role in Stealing Parker, but this time the focus was on baseball. Parker was hired as the manager of the school baseball team. She’s there to take stats on the team so that they can improve their performance for next time. Parker already has a reputation for messing around with the lads, so the coach enforces the rule that she can’t mess around with players on the team. Stupid decisions led to Parker having this overblown reputation in the first place, so with several warnings from coach and captain Corndog a.k.a Will Whitfield, Parker knows her boundaries. But what she didn’t expect was to fall for Coach Hoffman, he’s 5 years her senior and temporarily coaching the team. She knows she shouldn’t but she can’t help but fall for him.

I liked how in Stealing Parker, baseball was a important part of the story; with Parker having taken it up for reasons to avoid another sport she loved but it’s not only the central theme, there are several other important themes running through, which make Stealing Parker a complex yet unputdownable read.

The characters were refreshing, there’s nothing more that bugs me when I don’t click with the characters. But the characters in Stealing Parker became favourites. Parker was a difficult main character, she’d had so much inner turmoil but no way to let it out, she found herself making silly mistakes, but in no way did I find myself getting tiresome or frustrated with them. She was just a confused 17 year old girl who just wanted someone to be there for her, someone to love, endless times I just wanted to give her a hug. Drew Parker’s best friend, I adored whenever he made an appearance. I don’t think however we were ever given the chance to get to know his character properly. But for the most part he represented what a best friend is supposed to be like. Corndog a.ka Will Whitfield; this guy just grew on me so much as the book progressed that before you knew it my book was over-full with post it’s. He could make you laugh hysterically one minute and then would say something so deep the next that at times I was in total awe of him. What I liked most about these characters were that their character development was hugely surprising, I don’t think I’d ever switched sides as much as I have done in this book. This book certainly kept you on your toes thinking what the heck will they do next? Also the re-appearance of the characters from Catching Jordan made the book a more of a joy read.

Stealing Parker was one of my highly anticipated reads of the year and I’m pleased to say it did not disappoint. With an amusing bunch of characters that will have you wiping away tears of laughter, and just made me wish I had a group of friends as awesome as these. Kenneally sure has upped her game with this book; she had me flipping the pages in frenzied manner in eager anticipation of what could be around the corner. She managed to touch on several deep meaningful issues, but also able to keep the tone of the book light-hearted and fun. Kenneally has quickly become one of my favourite authors, if you haven’t read any of her books yet I suggest you do so now.

And this is a picture of my copy after finishing it :)

Profile Image for Keertana.
1,126 reviews2,165 followers
October 15, 2012
Rating: 2.5 Stars

Stealing Parker is, logistically speaking, not a bad book. In fact, I have an immense amount of respect for Miranda Kenneally for tackling on real-life, modern-day issues such as lesbian parents, gay friends, and even student-teacher relationships. Yet, I found myself to be sorely disappointed by this one. While I will admit that Catching Jordan had its flaws, mostly stemming from its dramaticism, it never altered by enjoyment and emotional investment of the novel. Stealing Parker, on the other hand, make me increasingly uncomfortable, leaving me with a sour taste in my mouth at the way many of the situations in it were handled and ultimately yearning for more closure.

When Parker's mother comes out about being a lesbian, divorcing her father and leaving her family to live with her best friend, Parker's life is turned upside down. Not only is she confused, torn, and upset that her mother has abandoned her, but the church which is such a huge part of her life has turned against Parker and her family, publicly ostracizing them. Furthermore, Parker must now leave behind her good-girl image to prove that unlike her mother, she isn't a lesbian, and as she begins to earn a not-so-good reputation, she also quits playing softball, the sport whose love she shared with her mother. Thus, when a hot new baseball coach comes into the picture, Parker can't help but want more - even if it's from a teacher. In the middle of this mix is her growing friendship with ex-valedictorian-rival, Will, more commonly known as Corndog, and her emerging suspicions about her gay best friend. Now, Parker must struggle to come to terms with what happened to her family, her passion for softball, and ultimately, what's really the right thing to do.

I think the premises of Stealing Parker is fascinating, and honestly, I wish Kenneally had simply stuck with it. We don't have many contemporary novels taking on lesbian mothers and the impact that that situation has on a family, so I was looking forward to reading this one. Unfortunately, however, while Parker's mother is a huge part of this novel and Parker's life, an equally large portion is Parker's student-teacher relationship with Coach Brian Hoffmann. In all honesty, I felt uncomfortable reading about their relationship, simply because of the subject matter, but more than that, I wasn't a fan of the way in which it was handled. I feel as if student-teacher relationships stem from issues in both the student and the teacher's life and while I definitely understood Parker, I didn't quite come to understand Brian the same way. Furthermore, the ultimate conclusion to this relationship wasn't what I was hoping for in terms of punishment and my biggest qualm has to lie with the fact that this relationship took away from many of the other qualities that Stealing Parker had going for it.

You see, Parker's student-teacher relationship took time out of her friendship with Corndog, which I wanted to see more of, her rocky relationship with her father and brother, which I wished had more depth, and even her own tangled feelings towards her mother. While I did appreciate that Kenneally touched upon all these issues, I wanted more. I didn't feel as if a student-teacher relationship was necessary to drive the point about this novel home and towards the end, it felt as if things came together a little too easily, simply because their complex plot threads couldn't be further explored because the student-teacher relationship exhausted practically everything else. Thus, while I found myself enjoying the story of Parker's growth and her very cute romance with Corndog, I wasn't completely satisfied with it by the end of this novel. (Or the lingering questions about Parker's church, friendships, brother, or her father's potential girlfriend for that matter...)

Alll of that aside, Stealing Parker is still a novel I enjoyed reading. It was a quick-read, although not a read-in-one-sitting novel like Catching Jordan, but it kept my interest and my eagerness for Kenneally's next contemporary novel is still present. I have a feeling that fans of contemporary novels will adore this one and for someone like me, who always looks for something more in a story and for whom contemporary is not a favorite genre, this is simply bound to be another "black sheep" read. Nevertheless, if you're looking for another character to connect with, another sports-oriented novel to pick up, or just another story with fantastic friendships, Stealing Parker is, without a doubt, the book for you.

You can read this review and more on my blog, Ivy Book Bindings.
Profile Image for ♥Rachel♥.
1,851 reviews846 followers
November 10, 2013

4.5 Stars.

Parker Shelton is a high-school senior that’s gone through some major hurt in her life. Her mother took off with another woman leaving Parker, her father and brother to deal with the damage. Her “good friend,” Laura, not only abandoned her but takes pleasure in her family’s fall from grace. She uses every opportunity to make fun of Parker, insinuating that Parker bats for the other team just like her mom. Parker feels the need to prove Laura and other gossipers wrong, by quitting the baseball team, losing weight, and kissing every cute boy possible. Trouble with that is she really misses baseball, doesn’t like hurting boys, and doesn’t care for the reputation she’s getting.

When her best friend Drew proposes that she take a job as a manager to his baseball team, Parker sees this as a way to get close to the game she misses. Complications arise when she meets the new junior coach, Brian and he starts paying attention to her. Brian makes Parker feel special and she can’t help but feel a connection with someone just as passionate about the game as she is. Parker is and should be off-limits to Brian. He’s twenty-three and a school teacher, and Parker isn’t even eighteen yet. To add more confusion to this situation is Will, aka, Corndog (yes the name is ridiculous, but there’s a story behind it). Will starts paying more attention to Parker and they connect on so many levels. She’s shied away from Will in the past, first because of her heartless “friend” Laura, and then later because they were both competing for class valedictorian. That competition is now over, the decision has been made, and Laura is no longer in the equation. Suddenly, Will is prominently in the picture, so easy to talk too, and so very understanding.

This story tugged on my heart. I felt so bad for Parker. She had the rug pulled out from under her and instead of having her friend Laura to support her, she uses it as an opportunity to crush her like a bug. Jealous much?!! You bet, as you’ll see! In addition to having no support from Laura, her dad basically checks out and Parker is left to step into the role her mother held, doing the household chores and cooking for the family. Parker was easy to relate to and like. She was never bitter or hateful, even when she had reason to be. Also, I would’ve liked her less if she continued on kissing a bunch of boys and kicking them to the curb. Once she clues in on the effects of her behavior you see some definite changes. I had mixed feelings for Drew, Parker’s best guy friend. In some instances he was really supportive of Parker but still, something turns me off of him in the end.

I fell hard for Will. Here’s a quote I loved:

“Hey,” he says, giving me a bright grin, showing off the dimple in his right cheek. Yeah, yeah, I know you’re hot, Corndog. I fight the urge to roll my eyes. Thanks to the years he’s spent baling hay on his dad’s farm, Corndog has gone from not to hot, from scrawny to sinewy, from geek to god, and now has to beat girls off with a stick.*

Yep, he’s wrapped in a drool-worthy package but the insides are quite nice too *swoon*! Who can resist a boy who’ll sit and watch a chick-flick with you and enjoy it? Will was there for Parker when she needed him most. Plus, you can’t help but admire the way he cares for and loves his little brother. Oh my heart!

I did want a little more with a certain couple in the end, but I’ve been assured by Miranda that I get my wish in her next novel: Things I Can't Forget. I loved Catching Jordan so much that I have to say, I was a little afraid to read this and be disappointed. I had no reason to worry. Stealing Parker stole my heart and I can’t wait for Miranda Kenneally’s next story!

Random favorite quote that had me laughing: “You were in the equipment shed with Corn Fritter?” “Corndog,” Will, Dr. Salter, and I say simultaneously.*

You can read this review and more at The Readers Den.

*Quotes are taken from an uncorrected proof and may change in the final copy.
Profile Image for Reynje.
272 reviews962 followers
October 12, 2012
2.5 stars

I liked this more than Catching Jordan, and there were some aspects I enjoyed, but overall this was a bit frustrating and fairly predictable.

Also, I truly don't mean to offend anyone from Canberra, but when Brian lists Canberra as one of his ideal honeymoon destinations during a game of MASH, I actually *screech-laughed*.

WTF? Of all the places in Australia to choose.. Sorry, no. Just no.

*chortles* Canberra...
Profile Image for Kels.
315 reviews165 followers
January 28, 2016
I've only read two books by Miranda Kenneally, and already I'm a fan of her writing style. Her prose is casual, uncomplicated, and absolutely addictive. There is just a fluid ease in the way that she writes that makes it hard to put her books down. That being said, I'm not a fan of the content in this particular book.

I planned on writing a full on review for this book, but I think Keertana's review pretty much says it all, and is far more eloquent and well put together than anything I could come up with. Click her name to check out her amazing review!

This was a pretty low 3 star read for me, but despite my disappointment with this book I still plan on continuing with the series! That darn Kenneally has me hooked with her writing skills.
Profile Image for Jillian .
431 reviews1,778 followers
October 19, 2016
3.5 stars
this was cute and exactly what i needed -- a fluffy ya romance
Profile Image for Devyani.
420 reviews6 followers
October 6, 2012
oh the cover is OUT !!

You know it's sort of cute but ermmm....
the guy's legs are set up on top of each other in such an angle it almost makes him look ......*coughs*


(yes , my eyes do notice A LOT )
Profile Image for Laura.
559 reviews331 followers
June 19, 2015
4 stars. No, 4.25 stars!

Okay, so this one will be hard to write about, I think. For a few reasons. For one, there are a lot and some slightly contradicting emotions. And secondly, I can't say the name of the hero without spoiling this whole story for you which will make it hard to talk about the different characters. But I'll give this a try anyway.

I wish I hadn't quit the team last year. I wish I hadn't let my former friends influence everything I did. I wish I had understood that people will always interpret my actions in different ways.

What I love most about this story is the overall positive message for young girls actually just people in general. The heroine Parker makes many, many mistakes throughout the book, and I'd be lying if I said I wasn't very frustrated with her at times, but she fails, she gets up, she learns, and she tries again. She goes through some great character growth. From the girl she is in the beginning of this story, to the one she is in the end, she's made amazing progress and changes so much for the better and it sure taught me many things on the way.

But all I can do is try to be the best me I can be.

I think a lot of people will be able to identify with Parker. I mean who doesn't have a fall out with some friends as a teenager? Or even later. Who doesn't have some family issues, whether they're big or small. Who doesn't feel lonely from time to time? And who doesn't want to be taken seriously, to matter to someone? I bet most people can relate to that and therefore to Parker. I sure did. And Miranda Kenneally's writing is exactly my cup of tea. Her contemporaries are so much more than you would expect from the cute blurb and the playful covers. Sure, they're a ton of fun, with sweet banter, hilarious and relatable characters and awesome scenes. But her stories are never just that. Okay, I gotta admit I've only read one other book of hers besides this one (Breathe, Annie, Breathe - which by the way is probably the best contemporary I've read this year, just sayin'), but I have a feeling I will like her others just as much! And I will read them. Soon. But I digress.

Parker is not in the best situation at the beginning of the book. Her mother left to be with another woman. Her brother drinks a lot, is constantly high and lives in his own world. And her Dad is meters deep in denial. So what does a girl do who wants to prove to everyone, including her former friends, that she's not like her mother? Well, Parker drops 20 pounds and kisses lots of boys, proving that she's not the 'butch' her ex best friend Laura said she was. (Side note: why does this judgmental and generally awful human being have to have my name? It was very weird to angrily mutter about a Laura.) Anyway when she starts managing the baseball team because her friend Drew wants her to, she gets to know their new coach. Twenty-three. Gorgeous. Fresh out of College. And of course, totally off limits. Which doesn't faze Parker at all. And from there, the fun begins. If you'd call bad decision after bad decision fun. I think I actually threw my book away from me one time because I was so frustrated. (The book wasn't harmed, don't worry.) But yes, this is why I can't give more than my super annoying rating of 4.25 stars. I swear, I normally never do this, and it usually pisses me off when people give such crazy exact ratings, but I can't help it here! *shrug* Forgive me?
So yeah, the story was super cute, had some very insightful parts and phrases, a veeeeery adorable hero and a relatable heroine. But there was this middle part that really pissed me off. I know why it happened. I don't judge my girl Parker, but it doesn't change the fact that I was FRUSTRATED. It took away from my enjoyment and since I'm someone who takes that into account when rating a book, I'll have to go with this rating. Hopefully that explains it a little.

"What are you doing here?"
He shrugs and rubs his palms together. "Bored. I don't have any homework or practice or chores so I thought I'd see what you're doing."
"Me?" We've never hung out before. [...]
His mouth slides into a smile. "Yes, you."

The hero is actually my second favorite thing about Stealing Parker. I won't say much, but I will say this: he's extremely adorable, very caring and sweet and made me smile many times. Butterflies! At times I was screaming at Parker that she doesn't deserve this cute guy at all and that she better get her shit together. I swear, I would've crawled into the book and slapped her, trying to defend him if I could've. He's the sweetest and he deserves a nice, loyal girl. Thankfully, Parker does get her shit together in the end, he gets what he deserves and I was happy. So there's that.
Parker's friends Drew and Tate are awesome! Really funny, genuine and.. simply two guys I could imagine hanging out with, being silly with just like Parker did. I really love the way Miranda Kenneally makes her characters come alive, so you feel like you're right there with them. Actually, the whole baseball team was really funny to read about, the way they flirted with Parker and acted like giant goofballs.
The people from Parker's church however are major judgmental jerks and deserve to rot in hell, just like they always say Parker will. I had to let this out. Sorry, not sorry. I was so so pissed on Parker's behalf. I still am, actually. People like that are the worst.

I pedal past Dairy Queen and get a major hankering for a Dilly Bar. I do a U-turn and thrust my arms out again, pretending I'm a bird. I've really lost it, but I don't care. It feels good.

If you're in the mood for some sweet, but insightful contemporary that makes you smile and laugh and throw your hands in the air in frustration, well, then this one's probably a good match. Go, read some Kenneally!

Find me on the blog:

descriptive text here
September 13, 2017
Parker Shelton used to love softball, until her mother shocks everyone and leaves her father for another woman. Parker deals with an immense amount of fallout from her religious community and friends. She becomes a social pariah in her town but when her mom leaves she makes sure everyone is clear of one thing: Parker likes boys and is definitely not a lesbian like her mother. Even if her reputation suffers from it and people thinks she is "easy", she would rather have that then have people think she is a butch, softball-playing lesbian.

But she misses the sport, so when her best friend Drew asks her to manage the statistics for the guys team she agrees. She soon meets the new intern-coach, Brian, who Parker falls for even though he is six years older than her. Brian started off okay but soon progressed into creepy territory, especially with their late night meetings in his truck. I personally feel like he was definitely taking advantage of her and never had any serious feelings for her at all beyond trying to get into her pants. Oh, and also live out his high school days...some of things he said made him seem like a complete loser.

Luckily there is another love interest in the novel that made the whole thing worthwhile.

Parker is a very endearing character. Even when she is making obvious mistakes you can't help but love her. She single-handedly made me enjoy this novel. There were a few tear-jerking moments for me and I think Kenneally did an excellent job of tackling difficult issues like betrayal, family, friendship, coming out, and religion. The evolving relationship with her mother was really well done and the most interesting aspect to me, well besides the romance! The biggest downfall was this book was way too religious heavy for me. I guess I'll be honest and say that it sort of fit my stereotype of how I view a lot of religious people so it didn't necessarily ruin the book for me...but I could have done without it. It was interesting to see Parker's perspective, and her confusion on why things happened the way they did but I was totally lost when she would have inner battles with her personal relationship with God (something I can't relate to at all).

I think most people can relate to that feeling of everything going wrong when you finally figure out what you actually want. I only wish we got a bit more of a HEA because the romance was a bit rushed at the end. So besides that, and the religious aspect, it was still a very good novel and I am looking forward to continuing the series.

|Featherbrained Books Blog | Twitter |
Profile Image for Jennifer.
662 reviews2,254 followers
July 12, 2012
Parker Shelton's mom left her family for another woman. Her church and friends all turned on her so Parker quit softball, lost 30 pounds, and started making out with all different guys to prove she is not like her mom. I felt so devastated that Parker was abandoned in this difficult time. She has one great friend Drew who stood by her. Drew wants to spend time with Parker and suggests she help out with his baseball team and do the stats. Parker meets the hot 23 year old Coach Brian Hoffman exactly 52 days before she turns 18.

I have to admit I did like Brian. I felt like they really did understand and need each other for awhile. They have some hot scenes together too. But as Parker snuck around with him more and more she realized she needed more. She always used guys but begins to feel used and learns that it doesn't feel good. I think Brian truly cared about her but all it could ever be is a hidden affair otherwise he risks losing his job and his teaching career that has just started. I think he was a good guy but was just going through his own thing. For a short time they made each other forget their problems. I also liked that Parker took responsibility for her actions. She was almost 18 and knew what she was doing.

Parker is valedictorian and has always had a rivalry with the runner up Corndog. Everyone calls him Corndog and he was the cutest thing. Parker's very evil ex friend Laura always tried to take everything from Paker. When they were young Laura told Parker she liked Corndog so Parker stayed away from him. Corndog begins hanging out with her again and Parker realizes she may be able to have something real and meaningful but she also can't help enjoying her time with the coach. What I like about this book and the companion novel is that while there are two love interests in the books I never feel like it is the typical love triangle. In both books it was more about the girl figuring herself out and what truly works. Both guys had their good and bad qualities and both were good for Parker at times but Parker just grew into herself and into one guy more. I loved the developments that happened with both guys, it felt natural and realistic.

My only complaint about this book is that gets a bit more religious than I normally like but it never does feel too preachy. Parker is dealing with feeling like God and her church abandoned her and also dealing with morality. How far do you go to be happy? It is a hard line to decide. She often writes prays on a napkin, sort of like diary entries. They let us into her feelings and past experiences. It was easy to relate to Parker's issues even without being religious. How sometimes bad things happen and others judge and abandon when they should be supporting you. Her church was an unhealthy environment. She does attend Corndog's church and saw more support there but wanted to support her dad by continuing to attend her church. I thought she should have found a new church.

More than just romance the book also dealt with family issues. Parker's mom leaving left her father devastated and her brother turning to drugs. Moving on was difficult for everyone and I felt tears at times as Parker tried to deal with her feelings of abandonment. Conflicting emotions for loving her mother and hating her for leaving. Quite a few heart wrenching moments but plenty of humor in the book as well. I loved Drew and Corndog's scenes. Parker played off them well and even talks about how they would reenact Seinfeld. I included a scene between Parker and Corndog below. Great romance, friendship, humor, and overcoming obstacles to find yourself, I found the book heartwarming, inspiring, emotional and realistic. I might have liked Catching Jordan a tiny bit better but this was another favorite. I loved it!

"But you're still thinking of me as your archrival."
"I'm Princess Peach, and you're Bowser," I say with a laugh.
"You think I'm an ugly dinosaur-dragon dude who kidnaps women for fun?"
"It's better than being a plumber like Mario. At least Bowser has all those castles. He's rich!"
"So it's all about money for you?"
"Any man of mine's gotta give me lots of presents."
"Oh yeah? Like what?"
"Nail polish? iTunes gift certificates?"
"A guy doesn't have to be rich to manage that. I can definitely afford to buy nail polish."
"I can't wait to tell all the guys you're gonna buy me nail polish."

"In these novels, all the problems could be solved if characters would talk to each other."

"Maybe all friendships don't fizzle. Maybe, like the kaleidoscope, the colors just change."
Profile Image for Beth Hudspeth.
528 reviews263 followers
January 7, 2016
The Hundred Oaks series took a darker turn with Stealing Parker. It is not something I didn't like, but something I just didn't expect. Catching Jordan seemed more light hearted. It had a few more serious themes, but ultimately surrounded around a main character, Jordan, who was happy. Stealing Parker's main character, Parker, was depressed and going through a tough time in her life. Her mother has left town to pursue a relationship that will make her happy. Parker is having a tough time back at home with people judging her about her mom's decision which is making Parker make some bad decisions with boys, school and her body.

Apparently "love thy neighbour" changes to "judge thy neighbour" if your family doesn't follow the church playbook.

I liked the book overall, it just wasn't anything spectacular. The relationships were likable, except with Brian. I just felt sleezy reading these parts. I guess that's how the author meant it, but it just wasn't enjoyable for me at all. Not because of the teacher thing, I have read books in the past that I liked with a teacher/student relationship. Not because of the forbiddenness of it, the author just portrayed it in a way that was likable, unlike Kenneally. Unteachable for example, is a dark portrayal of that forbidden relationship and it is done in a way that is gritty and raw. It is one of my favorite books. Slammed is a light hearted romance with a teacher/student relationship that is great. It can be done, but just wasn't pulled off well here.

Maybe all friendships don’t fizzle. Maybe, like the kaleidoscope, the colors just change.

I love Will "Corndog" and Parker's relationship. It was nice to see how he helped bring her out of some of the fog. The only thing that really rubbed me the wrong way about this was Drew, Parker's best friend. He has just finally come out to Parker and has a thing for Parker's crush, Corndog and doesn't want Parker to be with him... CORNDOG IS NOT EVEN GAY. This was so stupid to me, like be a good friend and realize that! I did love how after Corndog found out he was still friends with Drew, it showed his maturity and loyalty to his friendships. I guess Drew does come to his senses in the end, but it just really got on my nerves.

Parker is really hurt my her mother and is shutting her out completely, but when you really need your mom, you can put everything aside and she will be there for you. I really love Parker's mom, she is so understanding and loves Parker unconditionally.

Other than the few complaints it was a pretty good book. Probably won't be continuing this series though. To be honest, the real reason I went ahead with this was because I wanted to see even a glimpse of Sam and Jordan. I got the glimpse a couple of times and it was lovely.
Profile Image for Liz* Fashionably Late.
435 reviews386 followers
July 22, 2015

I found the whole plot pretty formulaic and while the author tried to tackle important issues I think it failed to really drive home the point.

The religious aspect was too heavy in the story and I didn't like the way things were solved with her church. Still, Parker's relationship with her mother was the best of the book. The teacher-student relationship was as disastrous as it was expected to be, the way she struggled with Brian's pressure was painful to read but what I really hated was the way it was handled by the adults.

The romance was okay, I guess, but nothing outstanding like Sam and Jordan's story.

Profile Image for Sarah.
820 reviews150 followers
October 23, 2012
{This review was originally published on Clear Eyes, Full Shelves.}

I am not one to seek out books I know I won't like--that's not how I roll. Despite that my negative reviews generate more pageviews and more comments, I have zero interest in reading things that don't appeal to me. There are far too many books in the world to waste my precious reading time that way.

As a result of that, I know some of you will be surprised that I read Stealing Parker after Miranda Kenneally's debut, Catching Jordan was a quick "did-not-finish" book, due to its ridiculous implausibility and extremely troubling themes.

Nevertheless, I couldn't resist trying Stealing Parker, as I am desperate for a quality sports-themed read and I've grown to adore baseball. (Guess who saw a perfect game--in person--this summer? That's right, this girl!) Unfortunately, while I did finish Stealing Parker, it was a struggle. I am certain many readers will enjoy in this book, but for me it was too shallow and too inauthentic to recommend.

Seventeen year-old Parker is a former high school softball star who quits the team, loses 20 pounds and starts kissing inappropriate boys after her mother announces she's a lesbian and moves away to live with her girlfriend. Her mother's news scandalizes Parker's conservative small town and particularly Parker's family's church community.

In this slim novel, Kenneally attempts to tackle all of the issues Parker faces, including crises related to faith, family and friendships--not to mention Parker's extremely ill-conceived flirtation and eventual relationship with the baseball team's new assistant coach.

The storyline about Parker's strained relationship with her mother and the resulting fallout in the family's community is the most compelling and authentic. This news rips apart Parker's family, and in her conservative small town people are quite unkind and my heart sort of broke for Parker as she feels so very lost as her old friends push her away and her family crumbles.
The day Laura told everyone I was probably just like my mom— a butch softball player who probably likes girls— Drew crawled into my bed and held me until I cried out every tear in my body. He held me all night long. Even with everything that’s happened to me, I have to thank you for letting me keep Drew. Written on February 17; kissed and tucked away in my Bible.

Unfortunately, this is only a small piece of the main storyline--it pops up here and there when Parker reflects on her attempts to be a better girly-girl (she spends a lot of time tangling her hair in a specific way that is apparently very appealing to teenage boys), and the end of the book deals with her reconciliation with her mother--but that's not the meat of Stealing Parker.

Instead, the bulk of the book focuses on Parker's crush on the 23 year-old baseball coach, and their subsequent (extremely inappropriate) relationship. Brian, the coach, is a tough character to peg. Much of the time, he seems like a sad, lost 20-something wallowing in an extended adolescence. Parker's attention is probably flattering to him. But, really this should have been a warning sign,
He has two bumper stickers: one is for the Braves, the other reads CO-EXIST and is covered by all these symbols that I recognize from Brother John’s PowerPoint presentation on devil worshipping signs.

That's right, a Braves fan and a "co-exist" bumper sticker--a smart girl like Parker should've known better.

I had a number of issues with the believability of Brian's character. While he's essentially interning so that he can become a P.E. teacher and coach, he seems wholly unaware of the behavioral expectations of someone in his position, and oblivious as to the potential ramifications of his choices.
I blow warm air onto my hands and rub them together. “Is this okay? I mean, are we allowed to talk off school property?”

He thinks for a few secs. “I haven’t read the school handbook. I have no idea. But we’re not going clubbing or anything. We’re just getting food, right?”

“Right.” Totally cool. I’m totally cool. Breathe. “Why do you want to get dinner with me?”

He lifts a shoulder, chewing his gum. “We both gotta eat.”

“Don’t you have plans? A family? A girlfriend? A wife?”

He laughs and jingles his keys. “Let’s go.”

Wha-huh? He hasn't read the handbook? I come from a family of educators and worked for a school district--trust me, he would have read the handbook and known that socializing with a student in this manner (he later orders a PBR at the restaurant) is alone grounds for dismissal in many school systems.

I wear the shortest shorts I own and try to look as sexy as possible, even when doing sit-ups. He barely looks my way! But then at night, we message on Facebook. That’s the wonderful part.

Their relationship rapidly progresses, as Parker sneaks out for clandestine make-out sessions that appear that they'll soon escalate to something more serious. At this point, I began believing in Parker's story again, because Kenneally handles Parker's confusion over whether or not she's ready for the direction she feels this relationship is headed.

At the same time, Parker frets over her brother's apparent spiral into drug and alcohol abuse and begins a friendship with the book's most charming character, Will AKA "Corndog," a player on the baseball team. All of these complications seem poised to collide and create quite a disastrous situation for Parker. But, despite all that, the stakes never feel that high and I never found myself wondering if Parker would be okay.
Parker effectively faces zero consequences for her choices.While I sympathized with Parker because Kenneally does a good job of conveying how lost Parker feels following her mother leaving, I could not stomach the fact that everything comes up roses for her in the end. There's not a lot I can say regarding the specifics without massive spoilage, but let's just say that in the real world things are not sewn up so neatly, people are not so forgiving and when you give up something/one you love, it's not easy to get it/him/her back.
Just goes to show that a trip to a new church won’t automatically make me a good person. I don’t deserve any of this.

The thing is, I felt like Parker did deserve what she got--and she deserved far more. Growing up means owning up to your actions and taking responsibility for yourself, and yet seventeen year old Parker doesn't have to suffer much more than a bit of embarrassment.

I love contemporary young adult fiction when it's done well, but one of the keys to my enjoyment is realism in terms of the effects of characters' actions. This is one of the reasons I love Megan McCafferty's Jessica Darling series so much--for all of the characters, when they mess up, they've got to face the music in some way. It's painful, it's ugly, but it's also real. Stealing Parker never reads as real.

Furthermore, in both of the books in this series, sports are simply window dressing for generic teen stories.

People play or participate in or even act as sports spectators for lots of reasons--but in the end, they have reasons. Kids play sports to fit in, escape their home lives, to excel or out of pure passion. I grew up in a small town much like the town both of Kenneally's books take place in and nearly everyone that Friday Night Lights-style small town showed up for football games because that was a way to part of something. In both Stealing Parker and Catching Jordan, there's no "why," there's no passion and there's no emotion in the sports narrative.

For a lot of readers, that omission won't be a problem, but for me, as someone who loves sports, loves the highs and lows, sports as a simple backdrop isn't enough. People who are heavily-invested in sports like the characters in these two books supposedly are, feel something about sports, but these characters simply don't.

Near the end of Stealing Parker, there's an extended scene involving an softball game between the baseball and softball teams. Little details, such as when Take Me Out to the Ball Game is traditionally sung and how a rundown out (or a "pickle"--which is one of my favorite baseball colloquialisms) is executed, are a bit off in that scene, which further made the baseball elements read like unnecessary, inauthentic window dressings.

Finally, my biggest problem with Stealing Parker is that it simply scratches the surface of a lot of issues without delving into them in a meaningful way. That doesn't mean that I'd prefer it be an "issue book," but rather that if a book is going to tackle religion, family schisms, homophobia, inappropriate student-teacher relationships, drug abuse, eating disorders and first love, that's a hefty order, and I expect that not all of those things be neatly tied up with a bow and delivered to the main character in a tidy little package of resolution. Those are big issues and coming to terms with those things should be messy.

I know this book (and its companion, Catching Jordan) has legions of devoted fans, and I can see why--Kenneally's writing is fluid and her books move at a comfortable pace. In fact, when I initially finished reading Stealing Parker, I gave it a tentative three stars on Goodreads, because there's nothing technical wrong with the book, and I realize that I'm in the minority in my dislike for this novel.

But I want more. At its best, contemporary young adult fiction at its best explores the messy awkwardness of growing up, even in books that appear fluffly on the surface (I'm thinking of books likeAnna and the French Kiss, Such a Rush, Bittersweet), there's realism and depth. Unfortunately, Stealing Parker misses that mark completely.

FNL Character Rating: Jess Merriweather would roll her eyes at Parker's shallow self-absorption, poor decision-making and lackadaisical approach to sports team management.

Disclosure: Received for review from the publisher via NetGalley.

Initial reaction: I liked this way more than Catching Jordan, which I could not finish. There was some stuff I liked (ie, the way the Extremely Inappropriate Relationship was handled), but quite a bit that frustrated me (the sports stuff felt like filler, the resolution was too tidy, the mom story was the most interesting relationship and it was a very small part of the novel, the main character read as younger than she was and the religion stuff was strangely handled). Still looking for that perfect YA sports novel. :-/
Profile Image for Princess Bookie.
960 reviews97 followers
June 8, 2012
Please Please Please Miranda send the tour site this ARC when it comes out!!! Love Catching Jordan!!!!!


My Thoughts: You don’t have to read Catching Jordan to read this, but I still suggest you do! Read it first!

Back in September I was soooo excited when I first got a glimpse at Stealing Parker on goodreads! So Excited! After reading Catching Jordan and falling in love with it, I knew I would read whatever Miranda wrote next.

Stealing Parker is just as sweet and excellent as Catching Jordan was. Aren’t these titles catchy?

Catching Jordan was a wonderful debut. But unlike football, I do actually enjoy baseball. I played when I was younger, I watched it on tv, so I know a little bit about it.

We are introduced to Parker whose known around town to kiss a lot of boys. Ever since her mom left to pursue a relationship with a women, Parker has lost weight and quit the softball team and she wants everyone to know she’s not like her mother, so she kisses a lot of boys. Even Parker’s church is talking about her mother. Everyone knows. Parker dropped the weight so she doesn’t look butch, and all she does is hang out with her best friend Drew.

Lets talk about the main characters for a second.

Parker was exactly the kind of main character I want to read about. She’s bright, talented, full of courage, caring, strong spoken, and funny. She’s the kind of girl I’d end up friends with. Even though she has problems with her family, you can see how much she truly loves them.

Drew who is Parker’s best friend. Drew was a sweet guy. He would stick up for Parker when nobody else would. He would fall asleep in Parker’s bed watching Harry Potter. He was brave enough to be who he was and admit it to his friends.

Corndog who is Drew’s other friend. Corndog was pretty darn funny. Who drives a lawnmower down the street to see how fast it would go? Corndog was a pretty nice guy.

Brian who is the assistant baseball coach. First thought when reading the summary, hot baseball coach, yum.... But then again, Parker is only 17, even though you know it is bad, you still want to read about this relationship. You want to know what is going to happen. Brian should have known better but he was young and didn’t have much experience with this kind of thing.

And yep, Jordan and Henry are mentioned in the book!

Parker is popular, but I don’t quite know if its in a good way, at least not since her mom left. All the boys make jokes to her about putting out, they tease her, and Corndog tells her not to hurt Drew. He just assumes he’s next up on her to do list. Crude. Parker is also smart, she’s so smart she was competing with Corndog for valedictorian. She’s going to go to a great college and she’ll have an amazing future.

Now, lets talk about the plot. Okay, so a 6 year age difference? This isn’t that big of a deal in the real world, except that Parker is still a minor. But you still think to yourself, a hot older guy, a book about baseball, best friends, and a guy named Corndog. You just know this book is gonna be funny and great.

And it was... Simple as that. It was freaking awesome, and I loved it. I loved the characters, I loved the plot, I loved Parker, Drew, and especially Corndog. And I even liked Brian there for a while. There were so many moments throughout the novel that my heart warmed. From the minute Parker picks up Bo to the moment Drew tells Parker his secret. This book is full of win win win!!!

From a catchy title, to a beautiful cover, to a amazing story, this novel is everything I wanted it to be and more. Well done, Kenneally, well done! Thanks for making me truly happy and giddy while reading this novel! Now, I shall go hop down the road like a bunny with a huge smile on my face!!!

I was even surprised how many secrets come out through the novel, and who Parker ended up with. I was a little surprised when that happened, because when I started the novel, I thought it was going to be someone else.

Overall: Loved Loved Loved! One of my favorites of the year. If you like stories about forbidden relationships, this is the book for you! If you like books about friends and baseball you’ll enjoy this! Or if you're a fan of contemporary YA, you’ll love this as much as me! Truly a wonderful, delightful, and amazing novel! Kenneally, please write faster!

Cover: Oh gosh, it's amazing. I love the way they are laying there holding hands, and the baseball glove is between them. I also love how we can’t quite see their faces. And the grass! It just makes me want to go lay outside right now!

What I'd Give It: 5/5 Cupcakes
------------- I'd Give it 100 cupcakes if I could-----------------

Taken From Princess Bookie
Profile Image for Zemira Warner.
1,569 reviews1,040 followers
March 11, 2013
I deserve a medal for dealing with this type of books.

Spoilers ahead!

There are authors who's have great ideas and you just can't wait to get your hands on a copy and when you do, you just die because the book is everything you've dreamed of. Well, something similar does happen here. Whenever I read a Kenneally book, I yell and shake my head because the characters do the most moronic things they could think of in order to 'learn their lesson'. I swear, I yelled so much while Jordan was picking that other guy instead of seeing Sam and I wanted to slap some sense in Parker for even thinking of baseball coach/gym teacher... oh my, I forgot his name. Oops. Lemme check. Brian! (Yuck!) Why choose him over Corn Fritter, pardon Corndog or just simply Will. He is the perfect match but no, she has to go for the older guy. Why take the car when you can walk, right? So much drama, especially near the end.

I had so many mixed feelings while reading this book. On one note I liked Parker, then I didn't, I liked the use of religion in this book but I didn't like the religious people and I absolutely hated the teacher-student relationship. And this is what I'm gonna do. I'm going to talk about myself. Haha bet you didn't expect that. Well, I do love to share way too much personal info with strangers.

Let's just start

1. Parker's rebellion - Since Parker's mum ran away with her girlfriend, people from their church have kept their distance. Her friends talked behind her back, saying she is just like her mum, so the only thing Parker could think of is start loosing weight and kiss a lot of boys. I understand why she did those things, because a couple of years ago I was a 17 too and people were talking all sort of nonsense about me, that I was a freak, devil worshiper and whatnot. I dealt with all of my anger pretty well. I went and cut my hair, wore a lot of insane outfits and every time I saw someone giving me the stink eye it set me of to do something more crazy. So, the only difference between me and Parker is that she chose to take it out on guys while I sort of gave the finger to the rest of the world.

2. Religion vs. Religious people - Religion is very important in this novel. Every couple of pages Parker writes a letter to God saying how her life sucks and then burns it. Her is a quote from the book that caught my eye. Most people probably just read it and moved on when they should just stop and think about it.

“I can talk to God while I’m walking the dog or running in the woods just the same as if I’m at church.”

YES! I agree with this all the way! My uncle died a couple of months ago and I was really upset so when a really religious neighbour sat next to me and started to talk some bull about going the the mosque (my parents are Muslim) I told her I forgot all Arabic prayers a long time ago and she said it's easy to learn it again so I told her I'm just going to pray to God with my own words, not something someone else wrote (because when you say something from the heart, rather than what you memorized it's more sincere) she was watching me like I've grown another head. I also know a lot of 'religious people' who are all sweet but when you dig under the surface you see they cheat, lie, steal it just makes me sick and I can't stand those phonies. I would rather be myself with no one around me than being something I'm not and having all the friends in the world.

3. Teacher- student relationship- *sigh* What to say about this that I haven't yelled while reading? I yelled Stay away from him! He is your teacher! When that didn't work out I tried with Stop cyber stalking the man! Stop chatting with him and sending texts! Even that didn't work so I because afraid Don't kiss him! Nooo! Don't! You moron! I hate you! And finally I got desperate Please, don't have sex with him! He is too old for you! Ahhhh! I'm usually all for student-teacher relationships in books but this one just wasn't working.

I guess I should finally give up on Miranda Kenneally books even though every time I read the blurb for her latest book I get excited. Kenneally and Kody Keplinger just don't work for me even though they write about topics which seem very interesting.

You can read this review and much more over at YA Fanatic.
Profile Image for Michelle.
71 reviews154 followers
February 3, 2013



1. I LOVED THIS NOVEL! The story is so cute and fun. I couldn’t put this book down; I needed to know what was going to happen next. The pacing was great and there was never a dull moment. So much drama, romance, kissing, sports and more! This book was a step up from its companion novel ‘Catching Jordan’, which was also excellent.

2. I really loved Parker. Sure she had committed a few mistakes but everyone does! I loved seeing her grow and mature as the novel progressed. I enjoyed reading about her relationship with Christianity and I loved how the author showcased these little prayers Parker would do. These prayers and her view of God really showcased who she was and what she was going through. She was just a girl trying to find herself.

3. The romance was so addictive, heart warming and awesome! The love triangle was so intense and both boys were likeable (except when one decides to be a douche for a while). Of course it was obvious which one was going to come up on top but that didn’t limit my enjoyment. Every moment spent with Will and Parker made me smile and squeal; LOVED IT. TEAM WILL!!!!!

4. The ensemble male cast is the best! Like ‘Catching Jordan’ Miranda is able to create a loveable bunch of guys who are Parkers own protective heroes. They always had her back and they definitely were hilarious. They’re just so fun and add a special spark to the novel.

5. I thought I should mention this even though it’s not REALLY a big deal. Because this is a companion novel we have little cameos from Sam and Jordan, the adorable couple from Miranda’s previous novel. Every time Sam or Jordan would appear I couldn’t help but giggle and smile, it just made me happy to see those two again.

Profile Image for Grace (LovingDemBooks) Z..
189 reviews1,420 followers
June 4, 2017
Buy this book on: | Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Audible | BookDepository (FREE WORLDWIDESHIPPING) |

2.5 out of 5 stars (Please read my rating system further below). Miranda Kineally's books may just be the fastest and easiest things to read EVER. Sadly, this one has to be my least favorite so far out of the books I've read by her )):

My rating system: (I do use half stars.)
5 - I do not use the 5 star. Not because a book might not be worthy, but because a book is never perfect.
4 - I loved it! There weren't too many flaws, and I had no trouble getting through it. (A 4 star rating is the highest rating I've ever given a book.)
3 - I enjoyed the book, but there we're flaws that made me enjoy it less.
2 - I finished the book, but there were too many flaws for me to enjoy it.
1 - I could not finish the book, and I probably did not finish it....
Profile Image for Dee.
302 reviews
October 6, 2012

Hmmm that was definetely a cute-sy story. Just wasn't exactly what I had hoped for, but it was still good otherwise. I really liked Parker (the MC) and her growth throughout the story. She was strong and she was independent. She was willing to even separate herself from people whom she knew were hurting her. I loved how she managed to stay strong and maintained her resillience even with all the misfortunes being hurled straight at her. So characterization-wise, this book wins it. I liked the supporting characters as well. Parker's boy best friend, her dad, brother and the baseball team. They were hilarious. I also liked how it spoke of the truth and how it tackled topics that involved faith, family and friendship. I enjoyed this book and read it thoroughly. Will definitely is a total package (SOUTHERN GUYS FOR THE WIN!!) and he made me blush lots of times just because he's so sweet and dedicated to Parker. *Sigh* I would recommend this book to fans of a good contemporary romance, cute guys complete with the bod and the brains and messed up heroines.
Profile Image for ~Tina~.
1,092 reviews159 followers
September 2, 2012
4.5 star

Parker Shelton loves softball, but she gave up the sport when her mom left her family for another women. Embarrassed and shattered by her broken family, Parker gives up on the game just to spite her mom and then goes out of her way to prove that she's nothing like her, and does in fact like boys. She loses the butch look and drops 30 pounds and hooks-up with random guys, earning her a bit of a rep that she's not exactly comfortable with, but doesn't really do anything about it. She losses her friends and is scared to really commit. But when Brian, the new assistant coach starts to pay some much craved attention to Parker she starts to feel things that she shouldn't be feeling for a guy who's six years older then she is. It's forbidden but it still feels good. But then there's Will Whitfields (aka Corndog) who use to be her academic archrival but lately he's been a friend and someone she can depend on.
But soon enough Parker doesn't recognize herself when she looks into the mirror and when her world comes crashing down she begins to realize that she's more lost then she realized.

I absolutely adored Kenneally's debut novel, Catching Jordan. It stars a female football star who's friends with a bunch of guys. I don't know why but I found that concept extremely sexy. Stealing Parker is a lot like Catching Jordan, but in ways it also felt very different. But one thing remains the same, Kenneally really know how to combine sports with heart-soaring romance that is edgy and warm at the same time.

This book features another hit of characters that I just adored.
Parker is the kind of character you really want to see through to the very end. She's confused and hurt about what her mom put her family through. She's not mad that her mom left her for another women, she's just mad cause she left. So when her church turned on her family and her friends started to act different around her as well, she just snapped. You can't lose anyone if you don't actually get to close. So hook-ups are the next best thing. She may not always make the best decisions but I still love that she's an athlete and a valedictorian. I love that she's not intimated by a bunch of guys and that's she's strong and kind and has a big heart.
Will is the kind of guy that grows on you. I didn't like him at first, but once he and Parker became friends and started to hang out I started to enjoy their chemistry. I love the way he takes care of his brother Bo and I loved how he stands up for Parker and I really loved that he didn't wig-out when he found out about Drew.
Brian isn't a bad guy, I think he did care about Parker in his own way, but he was all wrong for her. It felt like he was only with her to live out his 'high school day' again. She reminds him of better days and I think he kinda used her to compensate for being a failure in his own life.
I also loved Drew, but I was a little sore with him at the very end. He shouldn't have acted the way he did. But he does score cool point for the HP love, so I'll find it in my heart to forgive him.
Sam Henry and Jordan fan's will be happy to see them appear in this book. We see Sam more then Jordan and it's very little scenes, but it was still nice to see them together and happy.
But what I really loved most about these characters were the fun carefree spirit that they all have with each other. Playing baseball, the banter and digs. Playing childhood games like MASH or freeze tag or even watching Harry Potter. It was just a lot of fun to read about a great group of characters living large when it's good and being there for each other when it's bad.

The story line was filled with good old fashion angst and drama. The good kind, the kind that curls your toes and completely consumes you till the story is done, which is why I read this in one sitting.
But I have to be honest, the only thing that I didn't really care for was the religious aspects of the story. It's not necessarily a bad thing, but I dunno, it just...didn't fit the flavor of the story-line. When I hear- sports and hook-ups and drinking and swearing and lusting- the last thing I expect is a girl who's very Christian and I wasn't prepared for how largely religion played into the story.

With that said, I still think this was another amazing book by Kenneally. Everyone losses themselves at one point of their lives. Everyone. This was a brilliant portrayed story about finally knowing what you really want in life and even though you may feel like your world is coming undone, you just have to keep moving before you find yourself again. And it doesn't hurt when you have real friends to back you up, family that's always been there to support you and finally finding someone you can love.
Stealing Parker stole my heart! Another win by Miranda Kenneally. I can't wait to read her next book; Things I Can't Forget.

Big thanks to ♥Rachel♥ at The Readers Den for sharing your copy. I'm Hugging you girl!!

This review and more can be seen at WinterHaven Books:
winter haven books
Profile Image for Tee Loves Books.
939 reviews
September 12, 2012
This was my first read of Miranda Kenneally's work, so I wasn't sure what to expect from her writing. Coming off of a lot of racy YA books and contemp/adult romance novels, this one was very light for me, but I didn't appreciate it any less. Kenneally is a very good story-teller and created a good voice for the heroine, and this was a sweet story of young love.

Parker's world was completely torn apart when her mother came out and left Parker's dad for another woman. The congregation at the church they were so closely involved in shunned them, Parker's tomboy-ish athletic abilities were flaunted as possible signs she herself was also gay, Parker's older brother slowly began slipping into his own abyss, and her dad's only response was to say they should pray. Determined to rise above, Parker quit baseball and slimmed down to a more feminine shape, ditched the friends who were taunting and talking about her, and attempted to prove her heterosexuality by making out with one boy after another. That is, until Brian Hoffman walked into her life. The sexy new 23-year-old baseball coach should clearly be hands-off, but they can't help the undeniable attraction between them. But as she and Brian cross the line, Parker begins to question whether or not Brian really wants her for something beyond what she may eventually give him physically. And when her long-time rival turned sweet friend Will starts working his way into Parker's heart, she wonders if she was all wrong about the girl she's become.

First off, I really loved Parker for most of this story! She's such a strong, intelligent heroine with an awesome sense of humor that made it obvious why all the boys loved being around her so much. I loved that she was a confident tomboy deep down, but she was all beauty and temptation for them on the outside. I had to remind myself at times that this was a YA book geared more toward the younger age range, because unlike a lot of the other books in this genre I've come across lately, she actually thinks like an immature teen. She's the typical 17-year-old, questioning everything and blaming God for her problems when they become overwhelming. She makes decisions based on her naive view of the world, and she finds herself in a few messes because of it. I didn't like how she handled things with Brian, just because even though she's technically a child at 17, she should have been more concerned with the potential outcome for him. She was very selfish about their relationship, but I'm glad that in the end she was regretful about the way she handled things.

I absolutely loved Will, he was so sweet and just absolutely perfect for Parker!! He kind of came out of nowhere for me, but once he was really in the picture I just fell hard for him!! I did like Brian at first, and of course he was such a hunky temptation, but his attitude towards Parker as their physical relationship grew just made me mad that he'd do what he did. So Will really took center stage for me, and as drama unfolded for this group of close friends, I couldn't help but wish they'd somehow end up together.

Overall, this was a really sweet story and I think it'd be a phenomenal read for younger YA readers because it really sends some great messages about choices in life, faith, open-mindedness, and taking responsibility.
Profile Image for ambsreads.
656 reviews1,397 followers
September 6, 2016
I'm not going to fully review Stealing Parker, why? I just can't be bothered, honestly. I enjoyed this book, it was realistic and the lack of slut-shaming and sexism filled my heart. My problem, however, was Parker felt like she had to prove she likes boys and the heavily religious aspect to the story. As a person who isn't religious I don't particular want it shoved in my face. I mean, it's a super cute read and definitely won't disappoint. If you want a fast, fluffy read them this is for you!
Profile Image for Patricia.
1,025 reviews114 followers
Want to read
March 15, 2013
She's 17, he's 23. Give me this book.
Profile Image for Avery.
328 reviews86 followers
October 3, 2012
When I was presented the opportunity to read and review this book I jumped at the chance to do so (despite never having read "Catching Jordan"- yet), as it came so highly recommended to me (in fact, some of my friends who had read it had trumpeted author Miranda Kenneally as the next Stephanie Perkins and those of you who know me know that I LOVE Stephanie Perkins). Therefore, you could say that I had extremely high expectations- expectations which were not met in any way, shape, or form.

When I first started this book I felt that there was something off about the writing, something that I can't put on my finger on- I don't know if I found the writing to be too simplistic or juvenile or if I found that Parker's perspective was too jumpy and erratic- and it just spiraled downward from there. Admittedly, Parker rubbed me the wrong way from the get-go, I found her to be so superficial, selfish (for all but that one instance at the very end of the book), and the likes of- she possessed essentially every characteristic that I despise in a female character. I lost track of the number of times that she referred to herself as "hot", talked about how many boys liked her, described her tangly hair, and painted her nails (all but describing the entire process).

As my opinion of Parker was as such I had an extremely difficult time connecting to her, in fact, I had an extremely difficult time connecting to any character and the story line itself (admittedly, I also had quite a difficult time writing this review, because, in all honesty, I cared so little for this book to really be bothered to form a solid opinion of it). While I did quite like Brian in the beginning of the novel my opinion of him quickly soured as his true character was revealed. Additionally, while I did like Corndog a fair bit, I wish that he had been a bit more complex. Drew, Parker's best friend, was the brightest moment of the story for me, however my opinion of him was tarnished a fair bit by the assumptions that he made towards the end of the novel. Additionally, I had a bit of a difficult time with the religious aspect of this novel- while I withhold judgement about other's religions, I, at times, felt that this novel was a bit too "preachy"- barely a page passed without some mention of it.

All in all, while I personally was not a fan of this novel I believe that fans of Kenneally's "Chasing Jordan" will love this novel. Furthermore, despite said complaints I do intend to read Kenneally's other books, hopefully in doing so will allow me to reconsider my opinion of this book!
Profile Image for Sarah Louise.
778 reviews348 followers
February 2, 2017
I'm not a sports fan, but how refreshing to finally see a lead female character as the sports star. Parker Shelton plays softball. That is, she used to until her mother left to be with a woman, instigating Parker's church associates and friends to condemn her family. After all the teasing and ridicule, Parker wants to make one thing clear: she's not a lesbian like her mother, and she'll suffer the consequences of a bad reputation with the boys to prove it.

After a little persuasion from her best friend, Drew, Parker finds herself managing the statistics for her high school baseball team. That's where she meets Brian, who's cute, but also the coach and six years her senior. This is my first experience with a student-teacher relationship, or, I guess, coach-student relationship, and I can definitely tell you I am not a fan.

Brian's only twenty-three, so it's not like he's old enough to be her father, but it still doesn't excuse the fact that, as a position of power at the school, he should know better. Their middle of the night escapades, on his part, felt so disgusting. Parker wants a solid relationship, but of course that cannot happen between them, yet Brian continues their secret, expecting more and more of her along the way.

Then there's Will, a player on the baseball team, who answers to the nickname Corndog. I know, but I promise there's a cute story behind it. There's always been a friendly rivalry between the pair, and the connection between these two felt so genuine. He's just one of those characters that's simply good. He'll go out of his way to help you, and with the way the school is treating Parker, she needs that. It's probably obvious, compared to my opinions about Brian, Corndog was my hopeful choice.

Growing up in a religious household, Parker remains true to her core values. Considering how her family dynamic has changed since her Mom left, there's a lot of incorporation of her personal relationship with God, including uncertainties in faith. It doesn't help that her Dad has a strict outlook on life, is completely self-absorbed, and I'm just baffled by his expectations from Parker. The evolving relationship with her Mom was a great balance.

For not being labelled as Christian Fiction, I wasn't expecting this approach in the story. It really addressed the idea of staying true to yourself, rather than conforming to people who are judgmental and only believe in a narrow path. I really enjoyed this one.
Profile Image for Giselle.
1,057 reviews906 followers
April 12, 2016
An Advanced Reader Copy was provided by the publisher for review. Quotes pulled from the ARC may be incorrect and may be subject to change.

Parker gains a reputation after her mother left her family for another life. Now she wants to change and remake her reputation. Becoming a bit of a player, Parker ends up becoming a shadow of her former self. Will it be too late for the old Parker sit up and notice that she’s becoming a person she can hardly recognize?

Lots of angsty topics about love, sex, friendship and family! And this is why I have dubbed Mrs. Kenneally one of my favourite contemporary authors. Her writing style is just so easy to get lost in and her plots are always about change and growth so you just know the characters will be better off in the end.

Such real characters with such intense emotions and will-power! I loved how Parker validates what she does by blaming her mother. It’s so teenagerish (is that even a word?) that I’m sure many others have remembered their teenage years to be just as dramatic. These characters aren’t afraid to back-stab each other in the back or are so completely self-involved that they don’t care who they hurt. The story just grows on you, and you just want them all to be happy in the end.

Another Miranda Kenneally fave for my collection! Stealing Parker grabs your heart and doesn’t let go until the very end!
Profile Image for Lauren.
495 reviews21 followers
September 13, 2015
I will not be finishing this book due to the morals and a certain scene that made me uncomfortable. No, just no. I would definitely not recommend this book. This was to old for me. Does anyone have some middle grade recommendations or clean YA recommendations?
Profile Image for Debby.
583 reviews540 followers
April 18, 2021

My heart hurts right now. Though less cheery and bantery than Catching Jordan , Stealing Parker hit me right in the feels and was so meaningful... I need to just take a moment. *breathes out* Phew. I'm okay.

I didn't know what to expect at all, going into this book. I hadn't read the premise, since I got it for my birthday from Christina and was resolved to read all the Miranda Kenneally books in existence anyway. The two others that I'd read, Catching Jordan and Breathe, Annie, Breathe were much more romance-centric than Stealing Parker, I think. Stealing Parker was more about character growth to me, with the bonus of a romance. But as with all Kenneally books, the characters are realistic and fantastic, and the relationship dynamics blew me away.

Parker instantly stole my heart, to be honest. I wasn't expecting it. Her family has been torn apart after her mother came out as a lesbian and left. This admission became hot gossip for the community, and soon parents were warning their children to stay away from Parker, because her family of sinners would make her a bad influence. The way that Parker is ostracized, which causes her to develop some serious trust issues, definitely got to me. I could relate to that. A lot. She's not even that much of a deviant - sure, she makes out with multiple guys, whenever she feels like it, but she doesn't have sex with them. Her own frustrations with her mother have her lashing out, trying to prove she's not like her, but in the end, that doesn't much help her image. A lot of the book deals with how you are perceived by others and finding the confidence to be who you are regardless of what they think, and I absolutely fucking loved that. Parker grows in a big way, which really makes me want to hug her forever. She's flawed, but she learns, and it makes her so real.

As with the other books in this series, sports play a role - and this time it's baseball and softball. I'll admit I actually love baseball, and I went to multiple games while I lived in Houston (ASTROS), so I loved that element of the book. It's less sports-heavy than Catching Jordan, because Parker quit softball to distance herself from her mother and her ex-best friend Laura, but she becomes the manager of the baseball team. I love her descriptions of seeing the sport and instantly having the desire to be around it and participate as much as possible - I have that relationship myself with swimming.

But anyway, baseball team = hot boys and shenanigans. I love Kenneally's boy characters. They are so fantastic. Not only do we get glimpses of SAM FUCKING HENRY which made me ecstatic, but Parker's few close friends also stole my heart. Drew is wonderfully supportive, the only person Parker really trusts anymore. And then there's Corndog (or as her dad calls him, Corn Fritter) who is charming and hilarious and sweet. I just love the camaraderie - also how they likened themselves to the Seinfeld characters when hanging out at the diner. Forever lol.

But then there's the romance. The premise will have alerted you that there's a student-teacher thing going on here. That's a complicated subject, because in fiction, it can be quite charming. And indeed, Kenneally brought the chemistry that did have me swooning for them at first. But Kenneally writes realistic fiction and not escapism. When it comes down to it, student-teacher relationships are not exactly healthy. I was seriously impressed by how it was handled. She kept me on my toes with where this romance was going. I had no clue. There were some surprises and betrayals that absolutely broke my heart. I felt just as betrayed as Parker did, and I just felt so much sympathy for her. She makes mistakes, sure, but with everything she's been going through for the last year, she's just lost and looking for love and support wherever she can get it. I... I need another moment.

Luckily, it doesn't stay too heavy. Kenneally really has a way of making even these subjects which can be pretty icky turn out light in the end. She's a fan of happy endings, which I'm happy about because if the emotional rollercoaster went on for much longer, I may have burst out crying. Parker turns out all right in the end. And then the ship is glorious and I just fucking wish we had more time with them because asdjfkl; asdfjkl; my feelings.

I also have to say that I'm deeply impressed by the way that religion is dealt with in Stealing Parker. I'm not religious at all - I was pretty much raised atheist and have only attended church about 3 times, each time having immense difficulty staying awake. Parker actually is religious. She grew up going to the same church with the same people every Sunday, and I liked how that really added this human element of community to it. After her mom left and Laura ditched her, Parker finds herself in a really complicated relationship with her religion. Though her father still wants her to go to church, she never feels comfortable there - constantly feeling the judging eyes of this "community", which has pretty much labeled her a sinner, slut, and a bad influence. She starts doubting her faith, because how could God let her family have to face so many struggles? It seriously made me feel a lot of intense things, in spite of my having no faith at all. It made Parker so real and multidimensional, and the way her struggle is resolved with the help of her mom really brought a tear to my eye.

Summing Up:

Miranda Kenneally is turning out to be one of my favorite contemporary romance authors. She makes me feel SO MANY THINGS ALL OF THE THINGS. I wanted to cry at one moment. I wanted to dance and flail in the next. But these characters, especially Parker, are just so real. I haven't even mentioned how heartbreaking the family dynamics are - with Parker's brother and Corndog's brother and asdfjlk; There's too much greatness in this book, I can't handle it. I just wish we'd had a little bit more time at the end - this book is seriously so short.

GIF it to me straight!

Recommended To:

Everyone needs Miranda Kenneally in their lives.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,347 reviews

Can't find what you're looking for?

Get help and learn more about the design.