I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Defending Taylor by Miranda Kenneally
Also by this author: Racing Savannah
Series: Hundred Oaks
Also in this series: Racing Savannah
on July 5th 2016
Genres: Young Adult Fiction, Romance, Contemporary, Social Themes, Emotions & Feelings, Sports & Recreation, Soccer
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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?
Praise for Jesse's Girl:"A a fun, sexy, suck-me-in read."-Katie McGarry, author of Nowhere But Here and Pushing the Limits"An absorbing story...highly enjoyable."-Kirkus"Inspires as it entertains."-Publishers Weekly
Defending Taylor by Miranda Kenneally proves that Kenneally just keeps writing better and better books. I basically inhaled the latest Hundred Oaks book. Kenneally takes on soccer in Defending Taylor. I started this book yesterday and then woke up this morning and basically did not stop reading it until I was finished. What I am saying is, make sure you have a copy of this book to read as you soak up the sun this summer.
Taylor is home from her boarding school called St. Andrews when Defending Taylor begins. It turns out she has been expelled. We do not immediately find out why she was expelled. Instead, we read about her just starting school at Hundred Oaks High School. She is really missing her old school. All we know is that it has something to do with her ex boyfriend Ben. Taylor has broken it off with Ben though. The only thing she finds herself looking forward to is soccer, even though the team is much worse than her old team at St. Andrews. Taylor finds herself connecting with an old friend/crush due to an insatiable appetite for caffeine. Defending Taylor boils down to being about moving past a big mistake and following your own path, not one that others have set for you.
It seems like some people are divided on Taylor as a character. Here is the thing, she does make a lot of bad life choices. However, in the book she is only 17. Who among us did not make bad life choices at 17? When I was 17 I only ran when chased or for gym class. I also had zero clues as to how to use makeup. Taylor’s life choices are a little worse, but she’s a kid. I was able to empathize with her and felt like the girl deserved to catch a break. She works really hard and is so persistent. She has the kind of character that I can really respect and could definitely see as a successful person.
Also, Taylor is extremely privileged, her dad is a US Senator, so her family isn’t exactly hurting for money. I actually had more respect for Taylor because she did not use her dad’s name to get by. There is a small acknowledgement of her privilege in Defending Taylor, so I will take it.
The soccer aspect in Miranda Kenneally’s latest book is really cool. I loved how passionate Taylor was about her chosen sport. Not just about the athletics, but about the bond that the team has. There’s this ball hog girl on the team named Nicole and I kept hoping that maybe she would come around and be a bit more than the bitchy girl stereotype, but that didn’t happen. However, her character does provide a good contrast for Taylor – because Taylor is a total team player. I think that sports are a bit lacking in YA. So, the inclusion of soccer (which most girls at my high school except myself played) was really awesome.
I guess it has truly been awhile since I’ve read a Hundred Oaks book because I was not quite expecting it to be so steamy. There’s this connection between Taylor and Ezra, the blast from her past. I think the romance and the kissing and the hooking up is what really drove my reading Defending Taylor so fast. If you’re looking for sex positive YA, you have come to the right place. I will leave it at that.
Read Defending Taylor by Miranda Kenneally for a refreshing young adult book that is sex positive, sporting, and not at all boring.
Other reviews of Defending Taylor by Miranda Kenneally:
Book Nerd – “I pretty much devoured this in one sitting.”
The Quiet Concert – “The love interest and romance were on point”
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