Bitsy Words: Jesse’s Girl | Stitching Snow | Serafina and the Black Cloak

20th Jul 2015 Morgan @ Gone with the Words 2015, Bitsy Words, Reviews, Reviews by Morgan

Bitsy Words: Jesse’s Girl | Stitching Snow | Serafina and the Black Cloak

Bitsy Words: Jesse’s Girl | Stitching Snow | Serafina and the Black CloakJesse's Girl by Miranda Kenneally
Series: Hundred Oaks #6
Published by Sourcebooks Fire
Pub Date: July 7th 2015
Pages: 304
Format: eARC | Source: NetGalley
Buy the book! | Goodreads
4 Stars

Practice Makes Perfect.

Everyone at Hundred Oaks High knows that career mentoring day is a joke. So when Maya Henry said she wanted to be a rock star, she never imagined she’d get to shadow *the* Jesse Scott, Nashville’s teen idol.

But spending the day with Jesse is far from a dream come true. He’s as gorgeous as his music, but seeing all that he’s accomplished is just a reminder of everything Maya’s lost: her trust, her boyfriend, their band, and any chance to play the music she craves. Not to mention that Jesse’s pushy and opinionated. He made it on his own, and he thinks Maya’s playing back up to other people’s dreams. Does she have what it takes to follow her heart—and go solo?


Thank you Sourcebooks and Netgalley! This was adorable; I really liked Maya’s vibe, all the music, and her relationship with Jesse. It was great to see how they progressed over days/weeks/months and felt believable despite his celebrity status. I especially loved their Ferris Bueller day!! And her friend Dave. And SAM AND JORDAN!! It got a little cheesy in the second half but I read it in an afternoon so I obviously enjoyed it :) Her family was wonderful and it was a great summer read. “You know I wish that I had Jesse’s girl…”

 

 

Bitsy Words: Jesse’s Girl | Stitching Snow | Serafina and the Black CloakStitching Snow by R.C. Lewis
Published by Disney Hyperion
Pub Date: October 14th 2014
Pages: 328
Format: Hardcover | Source: Library
Buy the book! | Goodreads
4.5 Stars

Princess Snow is missing.

Her home planet is filled with violence and corruption at the hands of King Matthias and his wife as they attempt to punish her captors. The king will stop at nothing to get his beloved daughter back—but that’s assuming she wants to return at all.

Essie has grown used to being cold. Temperatures on the planet Thanda are always sub-zero, and she fills her days with coding and repairs for the seven loyal drones that run the local mines.

When a mysterious young man named Dane crash-lands near her home, Essie agrees to help the pilot repair his ship. But soon she realizes that Dane’s arrival was far from accidental, and she’s pulled into the heart of a war she’s risked everything to avoid. With the galaxy’s future—and her own—in jeopardy, Essie must choose who to trust in a fiery fight for survival.


I really loved this, I’m so glad I gave it a chance!! I had a few issues but overall I thought it was wonderful. While I certainly understand the comparisons to the Lunar Chronicles, Stitching Snow is unique and stands on its own, while still being perfect for fans of that series. Essie is self-sufficient, badass, and brave (she cage fights!) and I loved the droids, especially Dimwit. I also loved learning about Essie’s past, and Essie’s relationship with Dane (total hate-to-love). They learn to work together and trust each other despite many obstacles. The setting and worldbuilding was extensive but not confusing, the villains were disturbing, and I loved all the Snow White allusions throughout the story. I’d definitely recommend it for fans of Cinder, fairy tale retellings, sci fi, awesome characters, and standalones! (Reading Challenges: FairytaleRC, 365 Days of YA)

 

 

Bitsy Words: Jesse’s Girl | Stitching Snow | Serafina and the Black CloakSerafina and the Black Cloak by Robert Beatty
Published by Disney Hyperion
Pub Date: July 14th 2015
Pages: 304
Format: eARC | Source: NetGalley
Buy the book! | Goodreads
4 Stars

"Never go into the deep parts of the forest, for there are many dangers there and they will ensnare your soul."

Serafina has never had a reason to disobey her pa and venture beyond the grounds of Biltmore Estate. There's plenty to explore in the shadowed corridors of her vast home, but she must take care to never be seen. None of the rich folk upstairs know that Serafina exists; she and her pa, the estate's maintenance man, have secretly lived in the basement for as long as Serafina can remember.

But when children at the estate start disappearing, only Serafina knows who the culprit is: a terrifying man in a black cloak who stalks Biltmore's corridors at night. Following her own harrowing escape, Serafina risks everything by joining forces with Braeden Vanderbilt, the young nephew of Biltmore's owners. Braeden and Serafina must uncover the Man in the Black Cloak's true identity before all of the children vanish one by one.

Serafina's hunt leads her into the very forest that she has been taught to fear. There she discovers a forgotten legacy of magic that is bound to her own identity. In order to save the children of Biltmore, Serafina must seek the answers that will unlock the puzzle of her past.

Thank you Disney-Hyperion and Netgalley! Serafina was a great surprise. I loved the writing and the atmosphere of the Biltmore Estate and surrounding grounds. For some reason I thought the book would be set in England but it was set in the South which added a lot of grit and character to the story, as well as Serafina herself. The Chief Rat Catcher! The book starts off on a unique and macabre note, it was fantastic. I loved that it was a historical fiction mystery mixed with the supernatural. It was engaging, well-written, scary, mysterious, and captivating. The word choice and vocab was interesting and one of the things I enjoyed most. I also loved the graveyard scene in the woods. “Rest in peace and don’t return.” So creepy!

Serafina’s friendship with Braeden was really wonderful; I liked getting to see her open up and work together while still keeping the essence of herself and her bravery. My only caveat was that the ending seemed abrupt, a little too tied in a bow. I thought there would be more of a giant struggle with the antagonist, or some consequences for Sera and her father. But it actually made it better for its intended MG audience. I would recommend this book without hesitation to people who enjoy historical fiction, mysteries creepy supernatural stories, friendship, brave and resourceful girls, and grand old-fashioned storytelling.

 

 

About Miranda Kenneally

Growing up in Tennessee, Miranda Kenneally dreamed of becoming an Atlanta Brave, a country singer (cliché!), or a UN interpreter. Instead she writes and works for the State Department in Washington, D.C., where George W. Bush once used her shoulder as an armrest. Miranda loves Twitter, Star Trek and her husband. Visit www.mirandakenneally.com

Morgan @ Gone with the Words

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Review: Breathe, Annie, Breathe by Miranda Kenneally

13th May 2015 Jess @ Gone with the Words 2015, Reviews, Reviews by Jess

Review: Breathe, Annie, Breathe by Miranda KenneallyBreathe, Annie, Breathe by Miranda Kenneally
Narrator: Nancy Wu
Series: Hundred Oaks #5
Published by Sourcebooks Fire
Pub Date: July 15th 2014
Pages: 306
Length: 7 hrs and 41 mins
Format: Audiobook | Source: Purchased
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance, Young Adult
Buy the book! | Goodreads
5 Stars

Annie hates running. No matter how far she jogs, she can’t escape the guilt that if she hadn’t broken up with Kyle, he might still be alive. So to honor his memory, she starts preparing for the marathon he intended to race.

But the training is even more grueling than Annie could have imagined. Despite her coaching, she’s at war with her body, her mind—and her heart. With every mile that athletic Jeremiah cheers her on, she grows more conflicted. She wants to run into his arms…and sprint in the opposite direction. For Annie, opening up to love again may be even more of a challenge than crossing the finish line.

Miranda Kenneally sure knows how to get me every. time. She knows how to write good people in tough situations. I root for them, fall for them, every. time. Breathe, Annie, Breathe was no different.

I loved Annie. She was tough and vulnerable, and determined. Her dedication to the marathon training was really admirable, considering she was never into running. The pains that came along with the training scared me from ever thinking of attempting it myself, but who knows. Right now I’m just trying to make a 5K without passing out. Now, her reason for wanting to run this marathon was just heartbreaking. I could really feel her grief throughout the book. But those moments of happiness that were brought on by new friends and new experiences really made my heart swell with happiness for her.

Jeremiah Brown is one of those new friends I mentioned. If you read Things I Can’t Forget you may remember him. He was Matt’s younger, player brother. Matt Brown is one of my favorite boys ever. He’s just the best kind of guy. Anyway, this book takes place a few years after Things I Can’t Forget. Matt & Kate are out of college, and Matt helps train people to run in marathons and such. That’s how Annie meets Jeremiah and I have to say, I was skeptical that Jeremiah would be what Annie needed. I mean, he was a player, no? Well, people grow up eventually, and he certainly seemed to have done some growing. It must be a Brown thing, because he made me swoon just as much as Matt did. These two will be the death of me!

I loved how slow Annie and Jeremiah took their developing friendship… but I was ready for them to be more than friends pretty much from the get-go. HAHA But that’s just what I wanted, not what was right for them, or what was right for Annie, to be more precise. They have this one hot, explosive moment early on, which had me fanning myself and grinning like a fool, then it’s a lot of sweet and fun between the two. I loved it all.

Sidenote: Having listened to all audiobooks in this series the last couple of weeks, I can say with certainty that Annie has been the character who swears the most. HAHA I just found that tidbit super amusing. Girl loves her f-bombs. And, I mean, who doesn’t?

There are A TON of cameos in this one that made so so so happy to read about. All our “originals” (from Catching Jordan, Stealing Parker, and Things I Can’t Forget) are grown-up and out of college, and now all their siblings (from Racing Savannah) are starting college! So cool to read about.

Audiobook Notes: The narration was on point. Great timing and accents. Nancy Wu delivered perfect emotional portrayal of this story. Highly recommend it on audio!

 

About Miranda Kenneally

Growing up in Tennessee, Miranda Kenneally dreamed of becoming an Atlanta Brave, a country singer (cliché!), or a UN interpreter. Instead she writes and works for the State Department in Washington, D.C., where George W. Bush once used her shoulder as an armrest. Miranda loves Twitter, Star Trek and her husband. Visit www.mirandakenneally.com

Jess @ Gone with the Words

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Review: Racing Savannah by Miranda Kenneally

23rd Jan 2014 Jess @ Gone with the Words 2014, Reviews, Reviews by Jess

Review: Racing Savannah by Miranda KenneallyRacing Savannah by Miranda Kenneally
Series: Hundred Oaks #4
Published by Sourcebooks Fire
Pub Date: December 3rd 2013
Pages: 304
Format: ARC | Source: NetGalley
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
Buy the book! | Goodreads
5 Stars

They’re from two different worlds.

He lives in the estate house, and she spends most of her time in the stables helping her father train horses. In fact, Savannah has always been much more comfortable around horses than boys. Especially boys like Jack Goodwin—cocky, popular and completely out of her league. She knows the rules: no mixing between the staff and the Goodwin family. But Jack has no such boundaries.

With her dream of becoming a horse jockey, Savannah isn’t exactly one to follow the rules either. She’s not going to let someone tell her a girl isn’t tough enough to race. Sure, it’s dangerous. Then again, so is dating Jack…

 

I love when a book surprises me and Miranda’s books do that every time. I always think I know how things will play out but the characters and story never go how I think. The characters are always way more layered and the story is always so much more than a love story.

Savannah is probably my favorite of Miranda’s characters so far. She just has this amazing will and drive and I completely admired her for it. I related to her insecurities too, even though I never was as strong as she. I think overall, she’s the most relatable of all the Hundred Oaks girls.

Savannah had a complicated love interest in this story. Her and Jack’s relationship was never going to be easy, with him being the boss’s son and all, and essentially him being her direct boss. I thought Jack was a great multi-layered character. He struggled with so many things because he wanted to please so many people in his life, especially his father. I definitely felt for him. The parents in this story are very present and I loved seeing that they loved their children very much. They each had their struggles but overall they were supportive in the end.

I loved learning more about horse racing thanks to Racing Savannah. I already had an idea of how it all works thanks to the show Wildfire, but this book brought a new understanding of it all. It’ll make you want to go to a race, that’s for sure!

Like in all past Hundred Oaks books, Racing Savannah does have a few appearances by past characters. There’s even a wedding!! You’ll have to read it and find out whose wedding though. ;) It’s always such a fun treat to see who we’ll see and probably the best way to get a glimpse of their happy lives now.

Basically, you need these books in your life. Each one is better than the next and leaves me wanting more, more, more!

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About Miranda Kenneally

Growing up in Tennessee, Miranda Kenneally dreamed of becoming an Atlanta Brave, a country singer (cliché!), or a UN interpreter. Instead she writes and works for the State Department in Washington, D.C., where George W. Bush once used her shoulder as an armrest. Miranda loves Twitter, Star Trek and her husband. Visit www.mirandakenneally.com

Jess @ Gone with the Words

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Waiting on Wednesday: Racing Savannah

13th Nov 2013 Jess @ Gone with the Words 2013, Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday: Racing Savannah

Waiting on Wednesday: Racing SavannahRacing Savannah by Miranda Kenneally
Series: Hundred Oaks #4
Published by Sourcebooks Fire
Pub Date: December 3rd 2013
Pages: 304
Format: Paperback | Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
Buy the book! | Goodreads

They’re from two different worlds.

He lives in the estate house, and she spends most of her time in the stables helping her father train horses. In fact, Savannah has always been much more comfortable around horses than boys. Especially boys like Jack Goodwin—cocky, popular and completely out of her league. She knows the rules: no mixing between the staff and the Goodwin family. But Jack has no such boundaries.

With her dream of becoming a horse jockey, Savannah isn’t exactly one to follow the rules either. She’s not going to let someone tell her a girl isn’t tough enough to race. Sure, it’s dangerous. Then again, so is dating Jack…

 

I’m a HUGE fan of Miranda and this series, so OF COURSE I’m looking forward to reading this soon! :D Her covers are always the best, aren’t they?!

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About Miranda Kenneally

Growing up in Tennessee, Miranda Kenneally dreamed of becoming an Atlanta Brave, a country singer (cliché!), or a UN interpreter. Instead she writes and works for the State Department in Washington, D.C., where George W. Bush once used her shoulder as an armrest. Miranda loves Twitter, Star Trek and her husband. Visit www.mirandakenneally.com

Jess @ Gone with the Words

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Review: Things I Can’t Forget by Miranda Kenneally + Guest Post

21st Mar 2013 Jess @ Gone with the Words 2013, Guest Posts, Reviews, Reviews by Jess

Review: Things I Can’t Forget by Miranda Kenneally + Guest PostThings I Can't Forget by Miranda Kenneally
Series: Hundred Oaks #3
Published by Sourcebooks Fire
Pub Date: March 1st 2013
Pages: 320
Format: ARC | Source: Publisher
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
Buy the book! | Goodreads
5 Stars

SOME RULES WERE MEANT TO BE BROKEN.

Kate has always been the good girl. Too good, according to some people at school—although they have no idea the guilty secret she carries. But this summer, everything is different...

This summer she's a counselor at Cumberland Creek summer camp, and she wants to put the past behind her. This summer Matt is back as a counselor too. He's the first guy she ever kissed, and he's gone from geeky songwriter who loved The Hardy Boys to a buff lifeguard who loves to flirt...with her.

Kate used to think the world was black and white, right and wrong. Turns out, life isn't that easy...

I’ll tell you what I soon won’t forget…this book, that’s what!

Miranda’s books have always struck a chord with me. I’ve always been able to relate on some level, therefore making her books really memorable for me. But what she did to me with Things I Can’t Forget was beyond that. I hung on every word of this book like it my life depend it on it.

I’ve often found myself struggling with religious beliefs and my meaning in this life, whether there’s a heaven and if I’m headed there when I die or I’ll just seize to exist. My point is, all those things made it easy for me to empathize with Kate. Because even though we may not have struggled about the same things sometimes, I’ve struggled with something having to do with who I want to be. Kate’s a girl whose world is no longer as black and white as it used to be and it’s affecting her deeply. I felt sad for Kate a lot while reading this book. I even cried for/with her at certain moments in the story. I just felt for her.

One of the things I loved most about this book was the fact that it was about good people. Everyone was likable. Well, except maybe for the camp director. What a B! lol But anyway, for this book to be filled with so many good people and the story not be boring is, to me, a great accomplishment. Better yet, to have the love interest be unbelievable swoony and amazing, funny, and sexy is like the Holy Grail. It’s nice to not have a boy break the girl’s heart in a book every now and then, y’all! We don’t always want to read about bad boys, right?! Think of Wes from The Truth About Forever…Matt is on that level. SA-WOON!

Another great part about this book was Matt and Kate’s families. They were loving and supportive and GOOD PEOPLE! I love reading about close families. They make me smile more than anything.

I loved how big a role Parker and Will (from the previous book, Stealing Parker) played in Things I Can’t Forget. I felt better to see how well she was doing and I can’t think of a better person to help Kate with what she’s going through.

This is for sure my favorite Hundred Oaks book so far. I’ve loved every book more than the last and I hope that trend continues, but Things I Can’t Forget will definitely hold an irreplaceable spot in my heart. :)

Guest Post

Top Ten Secret List: Learn about ten upcoming characters from THINGS I CAN’T FORGET and RACING SAVANNAH (Dec. 2013)

1. Kate Kelly: Kate is the heroine of THINGS I CAN’T FORGET. Kate is 18, a recent high school graduate, and she’s working as the arts and crafts director at a summer camp, where she meets up with Matt Brown, the boy who gave her her first kiss.

2. Matt Brown: Matt is the love interest in THINGS I CAN’T FORGET. Matt is 20, in a fraternity, and plays the guitar. He’s also training to run a marathon barefoot! He’s getting over a bad breakup with his ex-girlfriend when he meets Kate. Is Kate really the girl for him, or will dating again just lead to more heartbreak?

3. Emily Mansfield: Emily is Kate’s former best friend. They got into a fight after high school, and without her, Kate doesn’t know who she is anymore.

4. Ian Hot Boy With No Last Name: In THINGS I CAN’T FORGET, Ian is the wild crazy guy who cracks me up. He likes to fool around with his girlfriend in inappropriate places and refers to many people as “douches,” but he has a big heart and a soft side. I never gave him a last name, but I love him. Ha!

5. Parker Shelton: In STEALING PARKER, Parker doesn’t have many girlfriends. In THINGS I CAN’T FORGET, she doesn’t get along with Kate at first, but as they get to know each other, is there a chance for a real friendship?

6. Savannah Barrow: Savannah is the heroine of RACING SAVANNAH. She’s 17, a senior in high school, and she works at a high-stakes horse farm, doing everything from hauling hay to shoveling manure to mopping floors. She’s been living in the servants’ quarters all her life, but she wants nothing more than to become an exercise rider and work with the horses that compete in big races like the Kentucky Derby.

7. Jack Goodwin: Jack is the farm owner’s sexy son. Jack is being groomed to take over the farm one day, so his father makes him manage the estate and staff. Even though he’s attracted to Savannah, Jack knows he won’t be considered a responsible, gentlemanly farm owner if he goes after a member of his staff.

8. Marcus Winchester: Marcus is the villain of RACING SAVANNAH. Marcus is a rival farm owner’s son, and he has a past history with Savannah, which doesn’t make Jack too happy.

9. Rory Whitfield: Rory works on the horse farm in RACING SAVANNAH. He’s the younger brother of Will Whitfield (Corndog!) from STEALING PARKER. Rory lives next door to Jack and Savannah and he’s Savannah’s closest friend. Rory is in the drama club and wants to sell a screenplay to Hollywood.

10. Vanessa Green: Vanessa is the younger sister of Ty Green, the love interest from CATCHING JORDAN. Vanessa has a thing for Rory Whitfield… and is rather shocked that Rory has Star Wars sheets and sleeps with a Chewbacca stuffed animal.

About Miranda Kenneally

Growing up in Tennessee, Miranda Kenneally dreamed of becoming an Atlanta Brave, a country singer (cliché!), or a UN interpreter. Instead she writes and works for the State Department in Washington, D.C., where George W. Bush once used her shoulder as an armrest. Miranda loves Twitter, Star Trek and her husband. Visit www.mirandakenneally.com

Jess @ Gone with the Words

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Waiting on Wednesday: Things I Can’t Forget

16th Jan 2013 Jess @ Gone with the Words 2013, Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday: Things I Can’t Forget

Waiting on Wednesday: Things I Can’t ForgetThings I Can't Forget by Miranda Kenneally
Series: Hundred Oaks #3
Published by Sourcebooks Fire
Pub Date: March 1st 2013
Buy the book! | Goodreads

Kate has always been the good girl. Too good, according to some people at school—although they have no idea the guilty secret she carries. But this summer, everything is different…

This summer she’s a counselor at Cumberland Creek summer camp, and she wants to put the past behind her. This summer Matt is back as a counselor too. He’s the first guy she ever kissed, and he’s gone from a geeky songwriter who loved The Hardy Boys to a buff lifeguard who loves to flirt…with her.

Kate used to think the world was black and white, right and wrong. Turns out, life isn’t that easy…

Read an excerpt here.

Last year I become a Miranda Kenneally fan when I read Catching Jordan and Stealing Parker. I really enjoyed both of those!! And so now she’s on my auto-buy author list. :) CANNOT WAIT FOR THIS ONE!!

Check out my reviews of Catching Jordan and Stealing Parker!

 

About Miranda Kenneally

Growing up in Tennessee, Miranda Kenneally dreamed of becoming an Atlanta Brave, a country singer (cliché!), or a UN interpreter. Instead she writes and works for the State Department in Washington, D.C., where George W. Bush once used her shoulder as an armrest. Miranda loves Twitter, Star Trek and her husband. Visit www.mirandakenneally.com

Jess @ Gone with the Words

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Review: Catching Jordan by Miranda Kenneally

26th Nov 2012 Jess @ Gone with the Words 2012, Reviews, Reviews by Jess

Review: Catching Jordan by Miranda KenneallyCatching Jordan by Miranda Kenneally
Series: Hundred Oaks #1
Published by Sourcebooks Fire
Pub Date: December 1st 2011
Length: 281
Format: Paperback | Source: Purchased
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
Buy the book! | Goodreads
5 Stars

What girl doesn't want to be surrounded by gorgeous jocks day in and day out? Jordan Woods isn't just surrounded by hot guys, though-she leads them as the captain and quarterback of her high school football team. They all see her as one of the guys and that's just fine. As long as she gets her athletic scholarship to a powerhouse university.

But everything she's ever worked for is threatened when Ty Green moves to her school. Not only is he an amazing QB, but he's also amazingly hot. And for the first time, Jordan's feeling vulnerable. Can she keep her head in the game while her heart's on the line?

I cannot begin to tell you how THOROUGHLY I enjoyed Catching Jordan. I could not put it down. It was as if the show Friday Night Lights and all of Sarah Dessen’s books had a baby. Yup, that good.

What I absolutely admire most about this book is how authentic these character’s felt. The second thing I like is the fact that there’s a girl who not only is the captain of the football team, but an all-state quarterback. WHOA. I liked that it wasn’t a joke either. I thought, “Oh, a girl on the football team…I bet she gets a lot of crap from the guys.” But NO! They respect her! Everyone does! And I loved that about this story. I loved Jordan’s drive, but I also loved watching her get all girly when facing the hottest guys she’s ever laid eyes on. Those moments when she’s vulnerable and unsure of herself are what really made me connect with her.

But I haven’t told you my favorite part about this book….which is the love interest twist. If you haven’t read this book yet, DO NOT READ BEYOND THIS POINT! ……So I kind of knew Sam would turn out to have had a lifelong thing for Jordan. I saw that one coming. What I did not expect was that Jordan would pick him. They never pick the best friend!!! I was SO happy, y’all!! So, so happy. Because let’s face it, Ty was all that and a bag of chips, but Sam Henry, flaws and all, completely stole my heart. But he was bad sometimes, wasn’t he? I know, I know! He was terrible at times. But I guess there’s only so much a boy can take before he falls off the deep end. I’m just glad he was able to quit being a butthead. SPOILERS OVER, PEOPLE!

So with all that being said, I can assure you that Miranda Kenneally has gained yet another fan in me. I can guarantee that her books will be on my insta-buy list from this moment on. (<–Total Shania Twain moment I had right there. You know you sang it, too.)

Note: This review was written before I read and reviewed Stealing Parker. Check out my review of it HERE!

 

 

About Miranda Kenneally

Growing up in Tennessee, Miranda Kenneally dreamed of becoming an Atlanta Brave, a country singer (cliché!), or a UN interpreter. Instead she writes and works for the State Department in Washington, D.C., where George W. Bush once used her shoulder as an armrest. Miranda loves Twitter, Star Trek and her husband. Visit www.mirandakenneally.com

Jess @ Gone with the Words

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Review: Stealing Parker by Miranda Kenneally + Guest Post!

21st Nov 2012 Jess @ Gone with the Words 2012, Guest Posts, Reviews, Reviews by Jess

Review: Stealing Parker by Miranda Kenneally + Guest Post!Stealing Parker by Miranda Kenneally
Series: Hundred Oaks #2
Published by Sourcebooks Fire
Pub Date: October 1st 2012
Pages: 242
Format: ARC | Source: Publisher
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
Buy the book! | Goodreads
5 Stars

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?

WOW! Stealing Parker was really, really great! I don’t even know where to begin.

I guess lets start with Parker. Parker is a girl whose world was completely turned upside down when her mother decided to reveal that she’s gay. Parker is so lost that I just wanted to jump into the pages, take her hand, sit her down and tell her all the things she’s learned by the end of this book. It really broke my heart to see how lost she was, guys. I FELT for her, I really did. And all those bad decisions! It was like watching a train wreck about to happen. What also really got to me was all the people in her life that turned on her after her mom came out…especially her church. It’s one of my biggest problems with some churches and with people who claim to be Christian, how utterly ugly they are to other human beings. It gets my blood boiling, so lets move on before I start throwing f-bombs on this review. I was also really disappointed with the adults in Parker’s life. Way to be there, guys! I can’t believe nobody thought it strange or thought to talk with Parker about what she’s been going through, or why she quit playing softball so suddenly. Her feelings of abandonment came through so clearly and loudly. I had a lot of feelings with this book, ok! SO MANY FEELINGS!

So I had to be realistic going into this book and knowing that OBVIOUSLY the coach thing was not going to work out. Because while all those fun, flirty moments that developed into forbidden, steamy make-out sessions left me ALL KINDS of hot and bothered, I knew they were wrong. And like Parker questions, why do all those wrong things feel so good?! GAH! All I could do was wait for sh*t to hit the fan. And it was awful ya’ll and I felt so awful for her. Not him. He should’ve known better.

Who Parker does actually end up with is actually a little bit harder to pinpoint at the very beginning. You meet the boys in the book, and while you think it might be the best friend, if you’ve read Catching Jordan you know it won’t be him, so it leaves us wondering if the coach thing is really what we’re going with. I liked the slow development of this aspect of the story a lot because, for me, it gave some unpredictability, which is always nice.

Overall I completely loved this story because of how real it felt. I really love the authenticity and the honesty in Miranda’s writing. I seriously cannot wait to read more from her.

Now check out what Miranda Kenneally has to say about the importance of making mistakes…

Guest Post

The Art of Making Mistakes: Why messing up is one of the most important things you can do.

I love reading reviews of my books. I always listen to what people have to say in hopes I can make my writing better. However, there’s one thing I’ll never change about my books, no matter what: I’ve seen some readers get upset when my characters make mistakes.

My characters make big mistakes and small mistakes. Some decisions have serious repercussions on the life of not only my main character, but sometimes on the lives of others.

When I was a teenager, I did some very dumb things. Like, one time my parents told me I couldn’t go to the Aerosmith concert, but I took their car and went anyway. My parents got really upset. Sure, I loved the concert, but afterwards I had to live with the guilt of hurting my parents and doing something I knew was wrong. They grounded me for a month!

Another time, I told a friend a serious lie because I thought it would impress her. She was always doing things that were “cool” and I wanted to feel cool too. I wanted her to think I was worthy of our friendship. Instead of thinking I was cool, she told a bunch of people what I said and spread the gossip about me all over school. What made it especially bad was that some people knew it wasn’t true. I was so embarrassed and ashamed. And I was sad that my “friend” wasn’t a true friend. But I learned from the mistake. I learned not to lie anymore, and I learned that true friends will love me for who I am, not what I’ve done.

When I’m writing a book, I’m not scared to have my characters screw up. If we don’t screw up, we can’t learn, and then we can’t become better people.

 

 

About Miranda Kenneally

Growing up in Tennessee, Miranda Kenneally dreamed of becoming an Atlanta Brave, a country singer (cliché!), or a UN interpreter. Instead she writes and works for the State Department in Washington, D.C., where George W. Bush once used her shoulder as an armrest. Miranda loves Twitter, Star Trek and her husband. Visit www.mirandakenneally.com

Jess @ Gone with the Words

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