Author: Miranda Kenneally
Series: Hundred Oaks #7
Published by: Sourcebooks Fire
Publication Date: July 5, 2016
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?
Ah, YA contemporary, what a rocky relationship we’ve had lately. Sometimes we’re on, sometimes we’re off. Thankfully, I know I can depend on Miranda Keanneally to turn me on. Wait, that sounds wrong. Anyway, you know what I mean. I know that I’m going to have a good time when I read one of her books, and Defending Taylor is no exception.
Taylor was on top. She was captain of the soccer team, went to a prestigious boarding school, had great friends, was one of the top students in her class, and had her future planned out. And then one choice turned it all to shit. She finds herself the black sheep of the family, starting a new school during senior year, and starts questioning what it is she really wants.
I love how Defending Taylor, along with the rest of the series, doesn’t shy away from certain subject matters, like sex, drugs, alcohol, and just the all-around pressures of being a young adult. Yes, it’s fun and sweet, but there are a lot of elements that many people that age can relate to. It’s crazy how teens are breaking their backs with AP classes, sports, extracurricular activities, etc. I was such a freaking slacker compared to them.
I really enjoyed Taylor. She’s a bit uptight and focused, but still has a great sense of humor. It was nice watching Taylor evolve and find herself throughout the book. Her parents pissed me off at times and made my heart hurt for her, but was happy with how it all turned out. And I loved the hell out of her siblings! They had such a great dynamic and closeness that I couldn’t get enough of.
I also liked Ezra lot, too. I was surprised by his … issue, but was extremely happy Keannelly touched on it. And gotta respect a guy who totally supports his girl. They have great chemistry, and I just love how they were together.
One of the things I most look forward to in each books, is getting a glimpse of previous characters, whether they make an appearance or are mentioned in passing. It’s ridiculous how giddy it makes me. Oh man, but I just have to say how the coach was so irritating! I know a coach just like him, who is always on his phone and lets certain teammates run the show. Grr!
Anyway, Defending Taylor was a lot of fun with lot of feels and a great message. No matter how much on the outs I am with this genre, I’ll always make time for this series.