Author: Miranda Kenneally
Series: Hundred Oaks #2
Published by: Sourcebook Fire
Publication Date: October 1, 2012
After a 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.
As I mention in my review of Catching Jordan a few weeks ago, I read Stealing Parker first by accident. Luckily, that didn’t have an impact on this book, since they revolve around different characters. With that being said, I loved this book so much! I couldn’t even believe how emotional it made me. I hate to admit this, but this book turned me into a blubbering mess! I sat up alone all night in the dark, while using up all the tissue from crying. I’m pretty sure not everyone will have that type of reaction while reading this, but it is one of those books that hit me very hard on a personal level. And because it hit so close to my heart, it’s especially difficult to discuss exactly why it did. So I probably won’t too much.
Honestly, Stealing Parker was not at all what I was expecting. I thought it was going to be a cutesy, fluffy romance, but I got something so much better! Parker has only a few months until her 18th birthday, and she learns a lot about herself during that time. After her mother left her dad for another woman, Parker experienced so much heartache from so many different directions. Her close friend turned on her, the people in her church made her feel bad, she felt betrayed and abandoned by her mother, and she didn’t quite know how to cope with it all. She quit playing softball because she didn’t want people to think she was a lesbian like her mom, and started kissing a lot of boys to prove something. I get it. Absolutely.
I completely 100% understood Parker; where she was coming from, her motives, her naivety and confusion. She’s not a bad girl, a slut, nor is she stupid. She is a girl who is learning to be her own person, to love herself and to not care what others think. People aren’t perfect, and often have to go down a certain path in order to find themselves. I can’t stand when people are judgmental like they were in this book, so it made me so angry and sad when Parker had to deal with that. Despite it all, Parker had a great attitude and sense of humor. I loved her voice. There was so much growth from Parker, it honestly made me proud.
This book is full of great characters. Will is such a good guy, and really showed Parker a different side to things. I loved Drew, Parker’s best friend, who struggles with his own issues. And of course, we get to see some familiar faces from Catching Jordan. I just want to keep the people of Hundred Oaks with me all the time. Just don’t get me started on Brian. Grrr.
Stealing Parker was probably one of my favorite reads this year. And I want to thank Miranda Kenneally for giving me one of the best sob fests I’ve had in a long time.
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...
I read Things I Can’t Forget immediately after finishing Catching Jordan (I went out of order). Yes, I’m completely obsessed with the Hundred Oaks Series. Catching Jordan made me laugh like crazy and Stealing Parker had me sobbing like a baby, but Things I Can’t Forget didn’t evoke such strong emotions in me like the first two. While I didn’t love this one as much as the first two books, I did love it nonetheless.
This book focuses on Kate, who we meet in Stealing Parker. After graduating, she has taken a job at a summer camp to earn some money. The same camp she attended when she was younger. Kate feels a lot of guilt for something she helped her best friend do, but she’s trying set things right. I loved how the story takes place over the summer, but we get to see what happened with her and her friend through the descriptions of her sketches. I thought that was pretty creative.
I really appreciated the honesty of Kate’s feelings; like when she was lonely, jealous, or unsure of herself. She was forced to question so many things about herself and her beliefs, and it was nice seeing her transformation. I especially liked that Parker and Will were there too, and played a big role in Kate’s growth. This is why I think it would be better to read Stealing Parker before this book, even though you don’t need to. Matt was a fun character too. He had such a carefree, laid-back personality that was a good match for Kate. And his family … haha … love them!
Things I Can’t Forget was another great book in an absolutely wonderful series. Oh, how I love them!
Read an excerpt HERE