Reviews, ya contemporary, ya romance

Book Review: Defending Taylor by Miranda Kenneally


Goodreads Summary:

There are no mistakes in love.

Captain of the soccer team, president of the Debate Club, contender for valedictorian: Taylor’s always pushed herself to be perfect. After all, that’s what is expected of a senator’s daughter. But one impulsive decision-one lie to cover for her boyfriend-and Taylor’s kicked out of private school. Everything she’s worked so hard for is gone, and now she’s starting over at Hundred Oaks High.

Soccer has always been Taylor’s escape from the pressures of school and family, but it’s hard to fit in and play on a team that used to be her rival. The only person who seems to understand all that she’s going through is her older brother’s best friend, Ezra. Taylor’s had a crush on him for as long as she can remember. But it’s hard to trust after having been betrayed. Will Taylor repeat her past mistakes or can she score a fresh start?


I love reading an authors work as the years pass by because you see how their writing changes and how much better it gets overtime. It is pretty incredible really. At least I think so. From the very beginning I loved Miranda’s writing and that still has not changed. Especially if her writing keeps getting better which I didn’t think it could be possible. Alright enough gushing over her, let’s get to the real reason I am writing this review.

Defending Taylor is not your ordinary story. We get a glimpse into the life of a powerful family, yet it is not all the color of roses. The story also doesn’t follow your typical rich girl in a political world story. Taylor is just a girl who decides to cover for her boyfriend whom she loves and doesn’t want him to lose his scholarship to the private school they both attend. She thought she could cover for him because her father is a senator, but little did she know her father would not move a finger to help her. She ends up having to change schools and goes to Hundred Oaks now. There she learns to navigate the world and that any decision you make whether good or bad has the potential of being life altering.

I do want to point out that I loved how great and supportive Ezra is throughout the book. He is literally her other half. He is working through some issues and with encouragement and help from Taylor he is able to overcome his shame and get help.

Defending Taylor is about growing as a human being and being careful about the decisions you make. I know I may have made this book sound too deep maybe, but it is a great story with great characters. Like I said… Miranda’s writing is on point yet again.

Rating: 5 out of 5

Vero Signature copy

Reviews, ya contemporary

Book Review: Stealing Parker by Miranda Kenneally

Stealing Parker (Hundred Oaks #2) by Miranda Kenneally
Stealing Parker (Hundred Oaks #2) by Miranda Kenneally

(Author Edit 12/22/2014: I just wanted to add that I know I wrote a negative review about Stealing Parker and I vowed not to ever read any more of Keneally’s books, but I will say that I gave her a second chance and I absolutely love them! Please read her books! I will say that this one is still not my favorite for obvious reasons, but please don’t let my review sway you from reading any of her other books!)

Goodreads Summary:

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?

What I Like:

Miranda Kenneally did it again. I did not see that end coming at all. I guessed something would happen but not how it ended up happening. Yes, I am being very vague because I don’t want to spoil the story for anyone. I love that Kenneally writes stories that can seem cliche and adds her own twists that make it new and refreshing. The theme of sports within her books is something I like a lot. I think that hasn’t been done in YA, or at least not recently. I adored that Will and Parker were characters that were relatable. They both have crappy family issues going on. Both are not experts at dealing with difficult life circumstances but together along with some good friends, they figure it out. Somewhat, but that’s how life is. The ending isn’t perfect but it is believable. I love the open-endedness at the end of the book.

What I Dislike:

Here comes the bad stuff. I am sad to report that I will stop reading books written by Miranda Kenneally. Why? Because I don’t like an author trashing my believes. I dislike that she is making Christians look really bad. Yes, there are hypocrites within the church. Yes, there are some people in the church that are judgmental. What irritated me was the fact that the character, Parker, made the assumption that all Christians were the same. You may say, “but Veronica, Parker goes to another church and they don’t treat her like crap?” Well, Parker’s reasoning in the book is that they don’t judge her because they don’t know what happened. If they knew, she would become a social pariah again. It seems to be that the Christian characters being portrayed in the book are what I would call “Cultural Christians,” and not the real deal. The Christian characters in the book also disregard the bible and it is all about your personal relationship with God. Actually, it is supposed to be about both.

Another thing I disliked was Parker’s dad and his inability to stand up for himself. He seemed to read the bible so much in the book. I guess he forgot to read the book of Joshua where God calls us to be brave and not to worry because he will always be with us. It seemed to be that Parker’s dad was not being brave at all but was hiding behind the church as an excuse not do to anything in regards to all of the family issues. Okay, my rant is over.


Overall, the story line was good, but I hated the incorrect portrayal of Christians. My reviews are a combination of the writing and my personal opinion on them. That’s how I calculate the rating.

Rating: 3/5

(The only reason it got a 3 was because the story line was great. If I only took into account what I disliked, It would be a 2.)

Rating System:

1/5: I hated it.

2/5: It had some redeeming qualities but overall, not a good book.

3/5: I liked it (A fun read).

4/5: I really like it, but something was missing.

5/5: I love it! It’s as close to perfection as it can get!