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On a Roll | Book Review: Stealing Parker by Miranda Kenneally

Stealing Parker is another Hundred Oaks hit!

Book Review: Stealing Parker by Miranda Kenneally

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stealing parker miranda kenneally

Title & Author: Stealing Parker by Miranda Kenneally

Genre: Young Adult – Contemporary, Romance

Release Date: October 1, 2012

Series: Hundred Oaks book

Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire

How I Got the Book: Bought


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

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?”

Still Loving It

By now you might be tired of hearing about the Hundred Oaks books, but I can’t stop reading them. That’s got to say a lot about them!

I’m now reading them in the order in which they were published – but, as I’ve said, is not necessary as they’re not direct sequels – and here we are at Stealing Parker.

I was really unsure about this book at first. The heroine is kind of….unlikable. Not in a personality way, but in her decisions. Parker has been a good girl (valedictorian, softball star) her whole high school career but since her mom upset her entire family, church and community with a scandal, Parker’s been willing to try new and wild things, like kissing all the boys ever.

With that in mind, as I read I, saw Parker make so many bad decisions that I wanted to shake her. As I say, liking the main character isn’t mandatory for me to enjoy a book but it’s always a bonus.

This is a story of actions and consequences and discovering if what people think is as important (and accurate) as you think.

Religion Retrospective

Stealing Parker incorporates faith and religion quite a bit into the story. Throughout the book, Parker writes prayers to God, pouring out her heart about her mom and venting her frustrations with how things have happened.

I appreciated the honesty shown in the story – especially that unfortunately churches can often escalate problems through gossip and condemnation instead of help through love and acceptance.

I’m a very spiritual person, and I wished so much that both the good and bad sides of faith and religion were shown in the story. I think readers only see the bad and negative side of things, but I understand why, as many people have had that experience.

I wanted to write to Miranda Kenneally and say – there really are good churches and good people of faith who wouldn’t have shunned Parker, but…it’s just a book, I know, I know.

Even though I was often frustrated with Parker and sad for her misguided actions, Kenneally knows how to craft a story, breaking your heart a little but giving you a satisfying ending anyway.


I was skeptical at first about this Hundred Oaks book – it featured an unlikeable character and unkind religious people – but I ended up loving it despite my hesitations. Hundred Oaks is a YA contemporary series I cannot recommend enough.

Every story is filled with heart, real-life high school situations and romance. I hope you read the series and know that Stealing Parker will not disappoint.

About Lisa Parkin

I'm a hardcore lover of young adult fiction and have been reviewing books since 2011. Other interests include Downton Abbey, heat lightning storms, Harry Potter land and (begrudingly) one orange tabby.
  • Eva

    Wait until you get to Things I Can’t Forget (my review HERE) — it is my favorite of the series and deals with similar themes.

  • Kayla @ The Thousand Lives

    I had the same experience with this one, but I’ll admit that it’s my least favorite in the series. I struggled so much with the religious aspect that I hardly could pay attention to Parker’s other decisions! But I’m very glad that you’re enjoying this series, and I’m looking forward to your other reviews!