Author: Miranda Kenneally
Series: Book Two in the Hundred Oaks Series
Published By: Sourcebooks (Oct. 1. 2012)
Source: ARC Copy Provided by the Publisher (in exchange for an honest review)
Genre: YA Realistic Fiction
My Rating: 4.5 Stars!
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?
I absolutely loved Catching Jordan, the first book in this series and Keneally's debut novel. So I admit, I had some pretty high expectations for this one.
Maybe a little too high, if I am being completely honest with myself. I was pretty positive this one was going to be just as great as Catching Jordan and that maybe, just maybe, I would even love it more so.
I hate it sometimes when I do that. It probably really isn't fair to the book or the author. I should just come into every book without any expectations at all, good or bad. That way, I hopefully will never be disappointed.
And while I wouldn't say I was disappointed with this one, I was a little sad that I didn't instantly love it like I did with Catching Jordan.
The main character Parker, was...well, a little shallow and slightly immature and just hard for me to relate to. Yes, she had a rough time with her mom leaving and the events that followed. The town was pretty craptastic to her and her family. Whether they agreed with her mom's partner choice or not, they really had no right to judge or to shame Parker, her brother Ryan and her father. They had nothing to do with her mom's choices and decisions. And the fact that is came from a church that preached Christianity was even worse for me. It really bothered me.
Her mom's choices and the opinion of the town consumed her and kept her from a loving mom that really wanted to be in her life and that was just heartbreaking. Even though I didn't like all her choices, I did understand them to an extent.
While I didn't instantly love Parker, she did grow on me with her sarcastic sense of humor and easy banter between the boys and I found myself caring for her more and more as the story progressed.
I love that in Keneally's books, there seems to always be two really great guys for the heroine. And while there are two really fantastic swoon worthy guys, only one is the right choice and it never leaves you trying to pick a side. To form teams because you know who the right choice is and you agree with it.
Can I talk about the friendship? I love the banter between everyone. It is always so funny and real. It makes me wish they were all my friends too and I was a part of their inner circle.
And even though they all joke around you can just feel the bond and love they all have for each other as well. That really, they would do anything for one another. I love that about Keneally's books.
I love that we got small glimpses of Henry and Jordan. That was very nice and something I was secretly hoping for. So I am so glad the author let us have those moments (even if I wish there would have been just a few more).
I was so proud of Parker by the end of this read. For being herself and for being strong. I didn't think I would get emotional like I did but I did. I got teary eyed. At the sadness and well as the happy.
This was another home run (pun intended!) for Keneally.