Check out these awesome reviews of STEALING PARKER from Kirkus, Publishers Weekly, and RT:
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.
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 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.
RT Rating: 4 Stars
Review: 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.
When her mother came out last year and her parents divorced, it ruined Parker’s life. Her church rejected her, friends distanced themselves and everyone gossiped. Determined to prove she’s nothing like her mother, Parker starts making out with different guys each weekend, ignoring her growing reputation. When she develops a forbidden romance with the 23-year-old assistant boy’s baseball coach, Parker knows she’s in trouble, but she can’t seem to stop herself. When a wake-up call comes in the form of a life-or-death disaster, Parker must find the inner strength and faith to move forward — or collapse under the weight of her own mistakes.