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Tuesday, October 16, 2012

HOME RUN Blog Tour: Stealing Parker by Miranda Kenneally (Review + Guest Post + Giveaway)

Genre:Contemporary Fiction, Drama, Romance
Publication.Date  October 1st 2012
Published By:  Sourcebooks Fire
WebsiteMiranda Kenneally | 

Stealing Parker - Goodreads
My review copy:Advanced reader copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Where to get:

Red-hot author Miranda Kenneally hits one out of the park in this return to Catching Jordan's Hundred Oaks High.

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.

Apparently "love thy neighbor" changes to "judge thy neighbor" if your family doesn't follow the church playbook.
Good friends don't question stalkerish tendencies, and well, Drew's a great friend.
This was stupid. Why did I think I could rejoin the team and everything would be okay? Because Brian, a twenty-three-year-old hot guy who knows nothing of my life, thought it would be a good idea? Well, it's not. 
When God created the Earth, he had such a sick wicked sense of humor. He made everything that's wrong feel really, really good.

     A charming, intelligent and emotionally rich story, Stealing Parker is even better than Miranda Kenneally's previous novel, Catching Jordan. It's possibly the best thing that happened to fans of YA contemporary romance this year. One incredibly sweet, devilishly hot, sometimes even totally inappropriate (but absolutely delicious) book that is sure to disarm even the toughest and pickiest of readers! 

     Parker used to lead a charmed life. She was one of the best players on the high school softball team, she had friends, popularity, beauty and a perfect family. And everything was going smooth for her, until her mother ran away with another woman and Parker's perfect life crumbled to pieces. Her best friend stabbed her in the back, people stopped talking to her and she became a social pariah, "a butch softball player who probably likes girls". To Parker, it seemed that even God has turned his back on her and her family. Hurt, confused and angry, she quit softball team and lost 20 pounds. To prove that she was not like her mother, she took extra care to look as girly and cute as possible and started hooking up with different boys every night (just kissing, tho!). And then a new hot guy showed up in town and everything quickly spun out of control. Now, the reputation that Parker created for herself and all the bad choices she made along the way are threatening to destroy everything she cares about: her relationship with her father, her friendship with Drew, being the valedictorian, and - most importantly - the love she so desperately needs. 

     In many ways, Stealing Parker is similar to Catching Jordan. Once again we get a group of characters that defy the romantic stereotypes and a lead heroine that is feisty, witty, bold and impossible not to adore. And once again the plot involves sport (in this case, baseball), a complicated love triangle, and a whole lot of sparkly and highly amusing back-and-forth between the characters. What makes Stealing Parker even more appealing than Catching Jordan is its intensity and maturity. This book touches on some difficult and important areas such as homosexuality, religion and teacher-student relationships. Kenneally wrote a romantic story that is so much more than just that, a novel that explores many themes - from friendship, first love, trust, acceptance, forgiveness to sexuality, bigotry, addiction and rejection. And she did it in the utmost graceful, convincing and emotionally affecting way. I quickly found myself entirely engrossed in the story, in love with the characters, and unable to put the book down. 

     Keneally's writing style is right up my alley. Her prose is honest, very natural and fresh. It's infused with real emotions. At times you feel like a puppet and Miranda Kenneally is the puppet master - she'll make you laugh out loud and clap in excitement and then merely 2 pages later you'll be tearing up and sobbing quietly. And she'll also make you think about all the issues she brings to life in her book. Reading Stealing Parker is an all-around wonderful experience. There's not a single person I wouldn't recommend this book to. 

     And one last thing I just have to mention: Corndog (Will) is so adorable! I loved the chemistry between all the characters - it was charged and intense - but I definitely loved the sweet, tender, shy and innocent chemistry between Corndog and Parker the most! And I couldn't stop laughing each time Parker's dad would mess up Corndog's nickname and change it to Corn Fritter! 

     Don't hesitate to pick this book up. It's an incredibly well-written, beautiful story that balances romance, drama and comedy perfectly.

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As part of the Home Run blog tour organized by the wonderful folk at Sourcebooks Fire, I get to share with you today this incredibly interesting guest post by Miranda Kenneally!


Peanut Gallery: Where does Miranda get her inspiration? Find out as Miranda speaks about her idea origins. As a bonus, Miranda shares the best advice that she ever got about being a writer.

Geez, this is a pretty hard question. I get my inspiration from all over the place. From conversations I have with friends and people at work. From inside jokes with my husband. I read lots of books, and see how my favorite authors write plot arcs and characterization, and then I set out to do that too, but with my own edge. I often look through my junior and high school yearbooks to remind myself of how I felt when I was younger. I also like to read my old diaries. One time I got a book idea from a true fact under a Snapple lid. Another time I got a book idea because somebody had broken into my car!

I got the idea for the “Jerry Rice fake baby home ec” project in Catching Jordan because I remembered this time I was out on the football field in junior high, and a football player was pushing another player around in a stroller.

The best advice I ever got as a writer?

- An editor told me my strongest skill as an author is writing groups of teens goofing off and talking about nothing, so now I try to have my characters bantering while doing lots of wild and wacky things while trying to move the plot forward. And I have a great time doing it! I try to write silly scenes that I hope people will enjoy reading.

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As part of the blog tour, Sourcebooks Fire has generously offered to give away a finished copy of Stealing Parker to one lucky US reader! 

The giveaway is open to US only
ENDS: October 30th
You must be 13 or older to enter.
Please enter via Rafflecopter below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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About the Author
Evie is the Blogger behind Bookish. She enjoys reading many different genres, especially YA, Paranormal, Contemporary Fiction and Fantasy.
She loves talking to authors and is always happy to welcome them for interviews, and guest posts. She also likes spreading the love for awesome books and  chatting with fellow book-worms.
You can find Evie here: Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Shelfari | The Library Thing


Molli @ Once Upon a Prologue said...

I loved this one, too, Evie. I think I liked it a little MORE than CJ. I could relate a bit more to Parker. And I just wanted to squeeze Corndog to bits. He was so adorable and amazing! <3

fakesteph said...

I'm really looking forward to reading this one. I've heard so many good things about it!

Jaime Lester said...

I finally read Catching Jordan after reading a TON of reviews that were all positive. And I am so very glad that I did. I loved every single page. When I heard about Stealing Parker, I knew I had to read it. After reading your (fabulous) review, I gotta get my hands on this book. If I love it half as much as Catching Jordan, it will be right up there as a favorite! Thanks so much for the giveaway!

Arga Litha said...

Its so gratest story that I ever read :)

just one more word: awesome!

Jessy said...

Poor Parker. I just have to see how she makes it through this bad situation.

Karina A. said...

I heard great things about this book although I haven't read Catching Jordan yet. I love that the book has touched different themes delicately. Thanks for the review!

Amy said...

I really need to read this book. I still need to read Catching Jordan too. I have that scheduled in for myself in December. They sound like books I would love so I am making time for them. Thanks for the great review and guest post!

Kaci Boutwell said...

If I didn't already want to read this book as bad as I do, your review would've made me want to read it! I absolutely love Miranda Kenneally! I agree with you that her writing is honest, natural, and fresh. Great review! Fingers crossed I win! =)

Stina Butcher said...

This sounds like just my kind of book. Thanks for the review and giveaway!

Tiffany Mahaffy said...

Aww... Great review! Totally sounds like a contemporary read that I would love!! the fact that you enjoy the writing so much is a huge seller :D

Christine said...

I still have to read Catching Jordan, but it's moving up on my TBR list with all the buzz about this next installment! Thanks for the review and giveaway :)

Crystal B. said...

Great review!!! I read Catching Jordan and loved it so I'm sure I will love this one as well especially since you have it five stars :D

Leigh Smith said...

I've been looking for a good contemporary read lately and I think I've found it. Can't wait to read this one!

Sarah Handrich said...

Awesome review! I think I loved this book more than Catching Jordan.. It is one of my new favorites and I can't wait to read more from Miranda!

Bookish in a Box said...

I enjoy characters that defy stereotypes, especially when they're like-able and funny in the process. Stealing Parker sounds like one I'm definitely going to have to pick up.

Sunny Duvall said...

This just sounds really good! It sounds humorous and like I'll really like Parker. I can't wait to read it!

Grace Lo said...

I've heard so many good things about both Catching Jordan and Stealing Parker, but I can honestly say this is the best review of Stealing Parker I've read yet. I like how your review showed Stealing Parker as this really amazing read just in general, but also picks out heavy topics on the side. Do want!

Sofia Lazaridou said...

Great review!The book is similar to Catching Jordan in more than 1 way

Shelver506 said...

Gosh, now I want to read it just so I can learn the context for those quotes.

liane_sh said...

I'm really looking forward to reading this book . Thanks for the review :)

Biondy said...

one of my friend also gave a god review for this book. Probably I'll try to read this book.

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