I was so ecstatic when I finally got my hands on Stealing Parker, the companion novel to Catching Jordan which I adored! While Stealing Parker was great, especially its ending, it was no Catching Jordan. In stealing Parker, we've got Parker, a girl that is out to prove to the world, or at least her christian community, that she is not like her mother; she likes guys. However once she notices the new assistant baseball coach, he is all she thinks about. I initially liked their relationship, I thought it would be another "Slammed by Colleen Hoover" situation and I was shipping them so hard. However once Corndog, A.K.A Will, A.K.A her archnemisis who lost the valedictorian to Parker showed up, I started second guessing my decision on who to ship.
Miranda Kenneally has written another brilliant sports related young adult novel. Trust me, the YA genre is missing this. However in Stealing Parker, Miranda heavily includes faith and what it means to be a christian. Parker has lost faith in god after her mom left and the people of her church turned on her family. I know this doesn't portray how all christians are, but man the people Parker lived around were so judgmental, hypocritical, and harsh. It is very hard to love your religion when you see the people representing it ostracize you and treat you like dirt. I felt for Parker, especially her older brother. I think Miranda portrayed their broken and fractured family really well. Yes, not all families are this messed up, but again, not all families are perfect. Some readers might say this is unrealistic, but these things do happen.
I felt this book was more about faith and believing in yourself and god as well as learning to accept people the way they are, whether you agree with their beliefs or not. Parker annoyed me at the beginning, I must admit that. However over time and after spending time with Corndog, she started to re-direct her anger and focus on what she already has. Miranda hooked me from the first page and created such realistic 17 year olds that remind you of how immature and cringe inducing we got when we were their age! It was a fun novel that also delivered some deep and meaningful messages to all the readers. I would recommend it to YA contemporary fans that want a meaningful contemporary.