Monday, June 27, 2016

Defending Taylor - Review

Defending Taylor (Hundred Oaks, # 7)

By: Miranda Kenneally

Expected Publication: July 5th 2016 by Sourcebooks Fire

304 pages

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Sports

Source: Publisher via NetGalley (Thank you!!)

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Goodreads description--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?

You guys, I never do this, but I finished Defending Taylor about two weeks before I sat down to write this book review. I've always had a self imposed rule of letting no more than 48 hours go by without writing my review for fear of forgetting too much. Of course, that also was from a time when I was reading much more frequently, and that amount of time might have had me finishing one or maybe even two other books in that time frame. So I apologize if this review isn't one of my better ones.

As the description says, Taylor made a mistake. But the biggest mistake she made was taking the fall for something that she didn't do. It was an honorable choice but one that wasn't without dire consequences. My biggest frustration with Taylor was how bitter she ended up being with the person who was at fault. If you're going to take the fall for someone then you can't exactly get mad when things go south for you. I mean it sucks, but that's a part of the choice that you made.

Ezra is Taylor's brother's best friend. So he's pretty much always been around. And well, Taylor has had a crush on him for years. She thought they might be moving toward something back when she turned 16, but Ezra missed his chance. Of course there was a misunderstanding that caused a long portion of time and distance between the two. The thing I really enjoyed about Ezra was his determination to find his own path. Despite his parents' money, he chose to follow his own desires. Yet, sometimes we really should ask for help, and Ezra could have made things easier on himself if he'd done just that.

Miranda Kenneally's books have been up and down for me. For the most part, I really like them or really hate them. I've really enjoyed Catching Jordan, Breathe Annie Breathe, and Jesse's Girl, but I really took issue with Stealing Parker and Things I Can't Forget. While Stealing Parker and Things I Can't Forget are much more in your face with their view of God, Miranda Kenneally decided for a much more subtle approach with Defending Taylor. My issue with this is that the comment wasn't necessary at all. It didn't further explain the characters or situations that the characters were facing. It was just placed there with no real benefit to the story. Even though Parker and Kate had more obvious things I took issue with at least their opinions can be defended against. The little "nugget" placed in Defending Taylor was so small it could easily be ignored. And I probably would have ignored it had it not been for my prior experience with Miranda Kenneally's work.

Other than that one thing, I really didn't have any problems with Defending Taylor. I was pretty interested in the storyline and read it as quickly as can be expected for my current stage in life. I liked the lessons that the characters learned even if I didn't fully love Taylor's bitterness from taking the blame no one asked her to take. Overall, I'd give Defending Taylor 4 Stars. Have you read Defending Taylor? What did you think? Let me know!

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