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?
Title: Stealing Parker (Hundred Oaks #2)
Author: Miranda Kenneally
Publication date: October 1, 2012
Hm. Well. I had issues with Jordan in Catching Jordan, the first books in this series. I have similar issues with Parker. Parker, like Jordan, has mostly male friends. Unlike Jordan, Parker used to have female friends but they turned out to be bitches and, along with her entire church, turned on her when her mother came out as a lesbian. Parker is also (again, unlike Jordan) smart. A second semester senior, she’s already been named valedictorian. At least she has that going for her. And if you ask her, she has a lot more going for her: she’s hot (which she mentions quite a few times), she has tangly hair (what?), she views painting her nails (or not) as symbolic, and she is (was) a phenomenal softball player. All the guys love making out with her, but Miss Parker is still a virgin, never going past second base. She has to kiss all these guys, you see, because she’s out to prove that she’s not like her mom. That’ll show those good Christians!
Enter Brian, the new, young (he’s 23) baseball coach. He’s hot too. Awesome! They can be hot together! But Brian’s a grown man, not a high school kid, and he’s not content with steamy make-out sessions in his truck. He wants full-on sex (in his truck) and Parker’s just not sure she’s ready for that. Her confusion is realistic, but she disappoints me because she lets him go farther than she’s comfortable. She’s used to being in charge and suddenly she’s not the one with the power anymore and she just kind of gives up any pretense of being a strong woman and gives in.
As things heat up with Brian, Parker also finds herself more and more drawn to Will (aka Corndog). He’s someone she’s known for year, and was her rival for valedictorian, but she suddenly sees him in a new light. Will is supportive and caring, and probably my favorite character in the book. This is the point where I should mention that I read this book a month and a half ago and am only now returning to finish this review. I don’t really remember what I liked about Corndog, only that I did. I’m also not going to talk about Parker’s friend Drew because even though he was an important person in Parker’s life (especially at the beginning of the book), I only have a vague recollection of him.
Parker’s also dealing with all kinds of family issues: she’s not speaking to her mother since she came out, her father is wading into the dating pool again, and her brother is a drug addict. Some of these are not really resolved, although I do like the way Parker and her mom finally reconnect. I wish a little more time had been spent on that than on the relationship with Brian.
Given that my second Miranda Kenealley book was no better than the first and that I don’t like the way she writes female characters, I should probably make it my last. To go along with the sports theme started in Catching Jordan (and continuing through the rest of the series), Parker has to have a sport too. Hers is softball, but I never really felt like she loved softball. The book said she did, but I didn’t feel it the way I did with Jordan and football. As a runner, I do want to read Breathe, Annie, Breathe, though, so I don’t know what to do now.