I love the SLJ review for Stealing Parker!
KENNEALLY, Miranda. Stealing Parker. 242p. Sourcebooks/Fire. Oct. 2012. pap. $8.99. ISBN 978-1-4022-7187-8.
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