Thursday, November 8, 2012

Last night was the Get Real tour at Anderson's Books, with four YA authors: Miranda Kenneally, Laura and Lisa Roecker, and Janet Gurtler, who all write contemporary young adult fiction. I'm never sure what type of turnout these events will have. Last night, Anderson's was double-booked (nice pun, eh?) with one event in the bookstore and this one in the gift shop Two Doors East, which might have contributed to a smaller crowd.

I met Miranda, who read a partial of my manuscript a few months back (I mentioned this in yesterday's post). She introduced me to her editor, who's name I recognized from work judging RWA contests. Small world! Sourcebooks, the publisher for all of the above authors' books, is headquarted in Naperville so they had a bunch of people there. I love talking books and picking the brains of industry folk, so it was a great night.

On to my book review!

Stealing Parker
Miranda Kenneally
YA Contemporary
Published: Oct 2012

I loved Catching Jordan in the same way I loved watching Friday Night Lights; it's about football but not really about football. In fact, I was amazed to hear the author say last night that she knows nothing about football and consulted with friends and family for all the terminology. Who knew?

Stealing Parker is set in the same universe--Jordan makes a few appearances--but the story involves Parker and her love/hate relationship with softball (which the author confessed she knows a LOT about). Parker quits the team after her mother leaves their family--for another woman. The memories of her mom taking her to baseball games and practicing with her made it too painful to stay on the team. At the start of the book Parker is known as a flirt, a girl who's friends with all the guys, and not with too many girls, which we all know spells trouble (jealous girls, guys spreading rumors about her reputation). Parker gets talked into helping out with the boy's baseball team, which fuels the bad-girl rumors, especially when she starts flirting with the new assistant coach. He's straight out of college, and hot.

I was impressed by how the different issues were handled; Parker's feelings of betrayal by her mother, her frustration with a father who turns to church to solve his needs but is blind to the struggles she and her brother are facing, and the distrust among her girlfriends. Parker is relatable, just as Jordan was in the first book. This one takes on a more serious edge, which is fine, but it's not quite as fun a read as Catching Jordan. I really like the sports angle and the guys-as-besties themes in both her books. The pacing is pretty quick--sometimes I felt like certain issues and scenes were rushed. A lot happens in this book, so maybe that's why. I'd recommend it for fans of Catching Jordan.


  1. I got Catching Jordan last week when it was an Amazon Kindle deal--if I like it, I'll check out this one. Thanks for the review!

    1. Catching Jordan was so unique and relatable. I recommend it a lot!

  2. Great review! I picked up a copy recently, and I'm looking forward to it.


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