Stealing Parker

First Lines: Bubblegum Pink is the nail polish of the day.  Matt Higgins will definitely like it–he’s into all things girly-girl, so I add another coat before blowing on my nails.

It’s been a few years since I’ve read Catching Jordan, but it’s still one that I remember fondly.  I just never got around to continuing the series to see what some of these other girls go through.  Until I finally remembered to look for this book when I was at a larger library than my local one.

Parker’s life couldn’t be better.  She’s an all-star player on her school’s softball team and she’s on track to be her class’s valedictorian. But then her mom’s scandal rocks Parker’s life and suddenly, no one will talk to Parker.  So Parker decides it’s time for a change.  She quits softball, drops 20 pounds, and becomes the school flirt.  Because why kiss one boy when you can kiss three?  Or four?  Why stop there, when the new baseball coach is majorly cute?  …But how long before Parker loses herself?

This was an interesting story.  It’s really not all the fluff you think it could be.  It actually deals with a lot of heavy topics, ones that people are usually uncomfortable talking about.  I applaud it for doing that.  Also, I really love that this series is a series of sports books for girls.  Do you know how rare that is?

While I didn’t necessarily like Parker at times, I found I understood her. I got why she acted the way she did.  She sometimes took drastic action when it didn’t require that and she often acted…immaturely?  That’s not quite the word I’m looking for, but it’s close.  Recklessly?  That’s closer.  Anyway, I was glad that she was able to finally see things from another perspective than her own by the end.

I also liked the romantic lead in this story, who shall remain nameless (even though it’s pretty obvious from the beginning who he will be).  I felt that when I didn’t like Parker, he was there to drive the story onward.

One of the hard topics this book focuses on is faith and the church.  While I don’t want to go into details, I have felt many of the same emotions Parker feels about the people at church.  It’s so frustrating that church teaches acceptance and yet the people at church are some of the most judgmental.  I thought that was an interesting direction for the story to go in because it’s so downplayed in books, if it’s even present at all.

There was one heavy topic that just bothered me.  I hate when stories pull in the student-teacher relationship angle.  I know it happens in real life.  I see it on the news in my community from time to time.  But as a teacher myself, the frequency of it makes me feel like teachers get a bad rep when it’s just a few who do this.  And I knew I was getting into that with this book.  I just wish we could find some other taboo topic to focus on.

Overall, I found this book to be a fast and thoughtful read that was romantic and silly while still managing to be serious and reflective.

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