Published 1 October 2012 by Sourcebooks
After her family's scandal rocks their conservative small town, 17-year-old Parker Shelton goes overboard trying to prove that she won't turn out like her mother: a lesbian. The all-star third-baseman quits the softball team, drops 20 pounds and starts making out with guys--a lot. But hitting on the hot new assistant baseball coach might be taking it a step too far...especially when he starts flirting back.
It is a truth universally known that hot guys who play sports achieve a higher level of hotness....and hot guys that coach sport? FIRE IN MY PANTS (see Coach Taylor as an example of this). I said BURNNNNN it’s HOT in here, we've got to make his clothes disappear! Ahem. So when I first heard about Stealing Parker I was like ‘MIRANDA WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN ALL MY LIFE YOU DELICIOUS DELIGHTFUL PERSON’. Because hot coaches are my jam….but this book was SO MUCH more than just a hot coach.
My girl Parker likes to make out with all the boys. I mean, who can blame her? They all play sports and are unfairly (unfairly because WHY AREN'T YOU REAL CORNDOG WHY) attractive. Plus, making out is one of my favourite things to do. But kissing boys because your mom is gay and you’re afraid people will think YOU are too? WHAT EVEN. I am all for some tonsil tennis but you should like the dude before you start exchanging saliva.
I love you Parker but this whole ‘I’m going to kiss all the boys because I don’t want people to think I like girls’ is STUPID, because you are smart and clever and have got ALL THE THINGS going for you and acting like someone you are not is NEVER a good idea. Also? Those people at your church are jerks. They’ll get what’s a-coming to them. Hopefully some kick ass divine intervention. (tell you a secret? I used to go to Sunday school TOO. I KNOW RIGHT?).
Brian. HOLY SMOKES. Damn is the coach one hottie. And y’all I really would jump this kids bones (I’m older than him SO THIS IT TOTALLY OKAY) (wait, what?). The ‘thing’ with him and Parker is a sealed deal…you see it coming from a mile off and some of the scenes are like wafting-your-face-to-cool-down-looking-around-to-make-sure-no-one-can-see-you-blushing-hot. But they all have that little niggle where you’re like EWWWWWW dude she’s a minor and you’re in a position of authority and DON’T BE SO GROSS YOU OLD GUY YOU.
Kenneally goes to town with the issues in this book…..religion, drugs, sex and sexuality and she does it with her standard aplomb. Her writing is self-assured and confident and whilst she covers all these issues the book never stepped into ‘issue territory’ where you feel like you’re being preached at to Do The Right Thing. The interactions between the characters are funny and all the secondary characters are as nuanced as the main cast; they’re not just page filler, they have a purpose and they fulfill it.I especially loved the little journal notes at the start of each chapter – they gave me the emotional connection to Parker that I needed to fight her corner
Packed full of poignant moments and zing worthy dialogue, Stealing Parker is a cracking second novel from a writer who is hitting it out of the park and claiming a home run of her own.