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Stealing Parker
Cover of Stealing Parker
Stealing Parker
Hundred Oaks Series, Book 2
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"A hero who will melt your heart."—Jennifer Echols, national award-winning author of Such a RushParker Shelton pretty much has the perfect life. She's on her way to becoming valedictorian at Hundred...
"A hero who will melt your heart."—Jennifer Echols, national award-winning author of Such a RushParker Shelton pretty much has the perfect life. She's on her way to becoming valedictorian at Hundred...
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  • "A hero who will melt your heart."—Jennifer Echols, national award-winning author of Such a Rush

    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?

    Praise for Catching Jordan:

    "A must-read for teens! I couldn't put it down!"—Simon Elkeles, New York Times bestselling author of the Perfect Chemistry series

    "With a clever, authentic voice, Kenneally proves once and for all that when it comes to making life's toughest calls-on and off the field-girls rule!"—Sara Ockler, bestselling author of Fixing Delilah


  • From the book

    the day i met brian hoffman

    52 days until i turn 18

    Bubblegum Pink is the nail polish of the day.

    Matt Higgins will definitely like it—he's into all things girly-girl, so I add another coat before blowing on my nails. Tonight we're meeting at this field party, and I fully expect we'll make out behind a hay bale or something.

    Drew is lounging on my bed, reading Cosmo. "So I signed you up to be manager for my baseball team."

    "What?!" Careful not to mess up my polish, I mute the TV and sit up to face him. "Why?"

    "I can't stand the idea of you holed up in your room while I'm playing ball this spring. You should come to practice tomorrow morning." He smells a perfume ad, cringes and sticks his tongue out.

    My heart pounds faster than light speed. I hate baseball. I know, I know. That means I'm not a true American. It probably means I'm not human. But I gave up foam fingers, peanuts, and the Atlanta Braves when my mom announced she's a lesbian and ran off with her friend who was more than just a friend. A year ago January, she divorced my dad, and I divorced her dreams of me playing softball for Hundred Oaks.

    "No way," I say, examining my nails.

    "Come on, Parker!" He thumbs through the magazine. "Please?" he whines.

    "What's involved?" I try to act nonchalant, but Drew looks up with a knowing smile. He's lived down the street from me my whole life—I'll do anything for him.

    "Taking stats and helping with equipment."

    Taking stats is way easy. I could do it in my sleep.

    "It'll be a cinch," Drew says, reading my mind. He shows me a cartoon couple using a dining room table for Kama Sutra maximum effect. "Jesus Christ," he says. "Is that move physically possible?"

    "Try it out with Amy and let me know."

    He glances at me sideways, then turns the magazine vertical and studies it closely. "I'm flexible, but not that flexible."

    "Can you imagine needing a hip replacement at seventeen? You could get a cane with flames painted on it."

    "Or maybe one with skulls."

    "Pirate ships!"

    "Don't change the subject...So there'll be plenty of guys for you on the team." He snorggles. That's our special word for snorting and giggling. It'll be in Webster's any day now.

    I have to admit I love the way cute guys look in baseball uniforms. Plus, I'd get to spend more time with Drew. Lately, his idea of fun has been going to Jiffy Burger with Corndog and Sam Henry and acting like they're the characters from Seinfeld, talking about nothing. Drew invites me along sometimes when they need an Elaine, because I'm really good at punching Corndog (George Costanza) and yelling "Get out!" and Drew says I dance worse than the real Elaine. But it's been getting kinda old. How many times can those guys debate who has better fries: Sonic or Jiffy Burger?

    And what else do I have to do this semester? It's February, I've got a 4.0, and classes don't matter at this point—the only way Vanderbilt could revoke my early admission would be if I went on the news and advocated for Tennessee to secede from the union.

    On the other hand, this could be a lot of work. I'd probably end up doing hard stuff like lugging water coolers around and washing dirty jockstraps or something.

    On the other hand, I don't want to be lonely.

    Jockstraps it is.

  • When I was five, Mom discovered a recipe for homemade edible Play-Doh. We loved cooking together, especially fancy stuff like foie gras grilled cheese. We sat at the kitchen table, which was covered by the previous week's comics, and mixed flour and sugar and peanut butter together and rolled it into...

About the Author-

  • Growing up in Tennessee, MIRANDA KENNEALLY dreamed of becoming an Atlanta Brave, a country singer (cliché!), or a UN interpreter. Instead she writes and works for the State Department in Washington, D.C., where George W. Bush once used her shoulder as an armrest. Miranda loves Twitter, Star Trek and her husband. Visit mirandakenneally.com


  • Publisher's Weekly

    September 3, 2012
    Parker Shelton wants everyone to know one thing about her: she likes boys. After her mother divorced her father for another woman, Parker has made it her goal to be seen with guys. Lots of them. But when not-quite-legal Parker sets her sights on the boys’ baseball coach, things get dicey—even for her. Parker is also growing closer to her academic rival, Will, a thoughtful, chivalrous guy who her newly out BFF Drew secretly has the hots for, too. Further complicating matters: a brother who’s constantly drunk or high, a father who thinks the church has all the answers, and a former friend intent on taking Parker down. Kenneally (Catching Jordan) writes with heart, earnestly tackling such challenges as being a teen with a gay parent and being unsure of one’s faith. Parker’s insecurities, her desire to be loved, and her uncertainty about how far to take her steamy but illegal relationship are realistic. Not only will readers want to see Parker find true love, they’ll also hope she learns to love herself. Ages 13–up. Agent: Sara Megibow, Nelson Literary Agency.

  • Kirkus

    September 15, 2012
    Readers of this teen novel will appreciate its realistic and witty dialogue as they navigate its tightly packed plot. High-school valedictorian Parker's life has been a crush of sad confusion since her mother left the family to move in with her girlfriend. Ostracized by many of her friends and her church, Parker has quit the softball team and taken to making out with random guys in a heartbreaking effort to prove to her tormentors she's not a lesbian like her mom. When she meets a hot 23-year-old assistant coach at her school, he seems to be a kindred spirit. As things progress and they become physical, however, he seems more interested in trying to convince her to have sex than in talking. Bits of Parker's journal-style writing featured throughout very effectively serve to bring readers into her corner. In a sweetly described romantic turn, she also begins to fall for a longtime acquaintance, but her best friend Drew finally comes out to her and drunkenly confesses a secret crush on him. All of this, plus the poignant details of her home life with a depressed father and drug-abusing brother, eventually drives her to contact her mom and face herself. With characters this nuanced, many teens won't mind all the issues flying fast and furious. (Fiction. 14 & up)

    COPYRIGHT(2012) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • School Library Journal

    October 1, 2012

    Gr 8 Up-A companion to Catching Jordan (Sourcebooks, 2011), this novel is set in the same Tennessee high school and has similar elements (a smart, athletic girl in a love triangle with hot, athletic boys), this time with baseball and softball at the center instead of football. And the formula works. Parker Shelton considers herself a good Christian girl; she is a talented athlete, a churchgoing virgin, and the valedictorian of her class. But while she should be worry free, the drama has just begun. To start with, Parker's flirtatious ways have resulted in a not-so-favorable reputation. While it isn't entirely based on fact, Parker does start secretly dating both the 23-year-old high-school baseball coach and the captain of the team. Her usual support system-her best friend, her church, her family-has grown distant for a variety of reasons, leaving her to flounder. By the end, though, Parker has recommitted to protecting herself and doing what is right for her, and has reconnected with some of the strongest people in her life. The teen finds herself in tough situations not because she is foolish or a victim but because of complicated interpersonal, familial, social, and religious reasons, inviting readers to empathize with and not judge her and her peers. Kenneally's respect for her characters is clear, making both Catching Jordan and Stealing Parker positive additions to the teen romance genre.-Jennifer Miskec, Longwood University, Farmville, VA

    Copyright 2012 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Booklist

    September 15, 2012
    Grades 8-12 Parker's life has done a 180 in the past year, ever since her mother left her father for a woman. Parker's quit the softball team to avoid the whole butch softball player who probably likes girls stereotype and fools around with multiple guys to drive home the point: she's not like her mom. But when Parker becomes team manager for the boys' baseball team, she starts to fall for 23-year-old assistant coach Brian Hoffmanexactly 52 days before her 18th birthday. Meanwhile, Parker's brother is getting high, she's not speaking to her Mom, fellow churchgoers have shunned her, and former rival Will is becoming a friend. And that's just for starters. It's an everything-but-the-kitchen-sink problem novel, but Kenneally (Catching Jordan, 2011) manages to keep the balls mostly in the air. Parker's notes to God and the role of religion in her life sometimes feel like afterthoughts. Still, this breezy read may speak to sports fans, reluctant readers, and girls who like forbidden love mixed with happy endings.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2012, American Library Association.)

  • Kirkus Reviews "Readers of this teen novel will appreciate its realistic and witty dialogue as they navigate its tightly packed plot."
  • RT Book Reviews "Kenneally has hit a home run! She uses a deft hand to deal with big issues: a complex sexual dynamic, a volatile family situation and a crisis of faith. Solidly developed and lovable characters, a complex plot and some humor make this a great read. With all the romance-based YA out there, Kenneally definitely stands apart."
  • Once Upon a Twilight " Stealing Parker in 5 words: Cute with a capital C!"
  • Los Angeles Times "[One] of the season's most highly anticipated titles."
  • Supernatural Snark "The romance takes a more meandering route to get to its final destination, delighting us with tension while also sometimes cruelly playing with our fragile hearts to keep us coiled tight the entire time we're reading. Ms. Kenneally is quickly becoming a favorite contemporary young adult author, and I am more than eagerly anticipating what romantic roller coaster she'll take me on next."
  • Xpresso Reads "I'm certain you will laugh, and I guarantee you will swoon, Sealing Parker is a fantastic companion to Catching Jordan with its own set of wonderful characters."
  • Hobbitsies "Stealing Parker had me absolutely captured in its spell – I refused to put it down until the very last page. I was sobbing and giggling and fanning myself from the swoon."
  • YA Love Blog "Miranda Kenneally really knows how to hook a reader! . . . Miranda Kenneally tackles some heavy issues, but she does so with ease and charm."
  • Jean Book Nerd "Stealing Parker is originally fresh, funny, daring, and touching with totally unforgettable characters."
  • Addicted to Novels "I had high expectations and wondered whether or not the author's sophomore novel would be as good as her first. Would it make my heart skip a thousand beats? The answer to this question is plain and simple. Yes...yes, yes, YES!"
  • Young Adult Books Central "Kenneally has a knack for writing authentic friendships, down to the stupid nicknames and inside jokes. I just love how real the bonds are between the characters, even the painful ones, like with Laura and Parker. . . Miranda Kenneally's books are so incredibly enjoyable."
  • My Keeper Shelf "Stealing Parker is a completly addictive young adult book that had me laughing one minute and crying the next."
  • Mundie Moms "What football is to Catching Jordan, baseball is to Stealing Jordan. One of the things I really enjoy about Miranda's books is the way she mixes together sports, with first crushes, those "fabulous" teen high school years, and the message she conveys in her books. . . .This is a fabulous companion to Catching Jordan, and much like it's predecessor I think fans will laugh, swoon a few times and find something relatable about it's main character."
  • Fictionators "Miranda Kenneally is some kind of genius. She perfectly captures the way a teenage girl would feel and accurately depicts the adults around them."
  • Candace's Book Blog "Stealing Parker was a fantastic book with all the elements I enjoy in contemporary YA. I like books with issues, but I enjoy some lighter moments as well, things that lighten up the more serious aspects. And Miranda Kenneally completely delivers!"
  • The Book Celler "Stealing Parker by Miranda Kenneally was a definite win. I will read anything Miranda Kenneally writes. Her stories just fascinate me. They're the kinds of books I can reread over and over and still laugh and cry with the characters and never get bored."
  • The Book Swarm "STEALING PARKER is filled with plenty of banter, cute guys, a sweet girl, and — yay! — a baseball-field's worth of romance."
  • Katie's Book Blog "Miranda Kenneally is quickly becoming one of my favorite contemporary author; right up there with Jennifer Echols, Sarah Dessen, and Sarah Ockler . . Stealing Parker is another must-read from Miranda Kenneally."
  • Gone with the Words "WOW! Stealing Parker was really, really great...I really love the authenticity and the honesty in Miranda's writing. I seriously cannot wait to read more from her."
  • The Story Siren "Miranda Kenneally, I LOVE YOU!!"

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Hundred Oaks Series, Book 2
Miranda Kenneally
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