Stealing Parker by Miranda Kenneally
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Publication Date: October 1st 2012My rating: 4.5 Stars
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?
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 quote that had me laughing: “You were in the equipment shed with Corn Fritter?” “Corndog,” Will, Dr. Salter, and I say simultaneously.*
*Quotes are taken from an uncorrected proof and may change in the final copy.