Release Date ~ October 1, 2012
ARC received from Raincoast Books for review
After her family's scandal rocks their conservative small town, 17-year-old Parker Shelton goes overboard trying to prove that she won't turn out like her mother: a lesbian. The all-star third-baseman quits the softball team, drops 20 pounds and starts making out with guys--a lot. But hitting on the hot new assistant baseball coach might be taking it a step too far...especially when he starts flirting back.
As part of the Home Run Blog Tour highlighting Miranda Kenneally's sophomore book, Stealing Parker, I am thrilled to be able to share with you some of my thoughts on the book, a special guest post from Miranda, AND a giveaway for one of you lucky readers to win a copy of this new release!
Catching Jordan was one of those books that completely took the YA book world by STORM- and even I had to admit that I was pleasantly impressed by Miranda's debut release. Needless to say, there's been a fair amount of anticipation surrounding Stealing Parker as a result.
And while I wasn't completely sold on Stealing Parker's story, it struck me as an excellent companion to Catching Jordan and proves that Miranda has a very strong voice to contribute to the YA world with her stories.
- Realistic, flawed characters:
My favourite part about Miranda's stories is that she doesn't shy away from asking hard questions and tackling tough issues and making her characters deal with them head on. She doesn't tiptoe around anything, and I think Stealing Parker is a devastatingly good example of this as Parker finds herself in a situation just begging to blow up in her face. She's often struggling with where she needs to draw the line, and I appreciated how her actions did have some ugly consequences - because Parker was living in the real world.
- Complicated questions:
Remember how I mentioned that Miranda doesn't shy away from the tough issues? It's easy to see why Parker feels like she's dealing with a life crisis when you consider her fairly young age, lack of guidance from those around her, and the numerous changes she's had to adapt to in her life. Parker has to question everything she's known and relied on in her life, from her faith to her parents and even her closest friends. There's just something so raw about Parker's life, and I imagine a number of readers will be able to relate to at least some of these issues in one way or another.
And I personally wished we had delved a little bit deeper into Parker's character. I loved all the layers to her, and all of her messy mistakes and flaws but I don't think it was completely driven home for the reader. I can easily see how some may get tired of her at first, because she is so good at hiding the real Parker behind a mask that I'm not sure she truly shines through by the end.
Overall, I don't think Stealing Parker is quite as effective as Catching Jordan - it felt like there was a little too much heaviness for so few pages and like a bit more balance to the story could have worked better. But for fans who appreciate strong contemporary reads that aren't entirely simple, Miranda's books are an excellent place to begin.
The Art of Making Mistakes by Miranda Kenneally
Why messing up is one of the most important things you can doI love reading reviews of my books. I always listen to what people have to say in hopes I can make my writing better. However, there’s one thing I’ll never change about my books, no matter what: I’ve seen some readers get upset when my characters make mistakes.
My characters make big mistakes and small mistakes. Some decisions have serious repercussions on the life of not only my main character, but sometimes on the lives of others.
When I was a teenager, I did some very dumb things. Like, one time my parents told me I couldn’t go to the Aerosmith concert, but I took their car and went anyway. My parents got really upset. Sure, I loved the concert, but afterwards I had to live with the guilt of hurting my parents and doing something I knew was wrong. They grounded me for a month!
Another time, I told a friend a serious lie because I thought it would impress her. She was always doing things that were “cool” and I wanted to feel cool too. I wanted her to think I was worthy of our friendship. Instead of thinking I was cool, she told a bunch of people what I said and spread the gossip about me all over school. What made it especially bad was that some people knew it wasn’t true. I was so embarrassed and ashamed. And I was sad that my “friend” wasn’t a true friend. But I learned from the mistake. I learned not to lie anymore, and I learned that true friends will love me for who I am, not what I’ve done.
When I’m writing a book, I’m not scared to have my characters screw up. If we don’t screw up, we can’t learn, and then we can’t become better people.
Sourcebooks has VERY generously offered up ONE finished copy of Stealing Parker to one reader!
Just fill out the Rafflecopter form & good luck! :)
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