Friday, August 26, 2016

Defending Taylor by Miranda Kenneally

Summary from Goodreads:
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?
I love all of Miranda Kenneally’s books. I really do. She writes such fun, real, and light hearted contemporaries. Her main characters almost always play some kind of sport. And while a nice part of the book involves practice and being active, another large part of the book deals with romance and family. This was the perfect book to take to the beach with me this past week. If Kenneally could always write books to time perfectly with my vacations, that would be the best.
I love how strong this main character is. Taylor takes the heat for something she didn’t do because she refuses to see herself as a snitch. Basically, she gets busted for having a lot of pills she’s not supposed to have. But, instead of letting her boyfriend get in trouble, she took the blame. She figured she wouldn’t get kicked out of school because her dad is a state senator. Little did she know that her dad would refuse to advocate for her.
She also brings down her dad’s campaign in election year. She looses her place in the soccer world. She possibly looses her spot in Yale early decision. She has to start over at a new school where everyone hates her and sees her as rich snob. And top it all off, her boyfriend lets it all happen and doesn’t seem to get that Taylor is done with him.
This is a book about learning what is most important. Everyone in Taylor’s life has different opinions about what is most important. And she takes all the backlash from everyone, never giving in. She is tough, strong, and I felt so sorry for her. She got help from a caring guidance councilor and an old crush. I love that this book highlights that it’s okay to not always know what you want. Taylor learns she has to go after what she wants and not just do what everyone else wants of her.
I love the friendships that develop on the new soccer team. I love the old crush. And mostly, I just love Taylor. This one resonated so strongly with me. We’ve all been in that place where we don’t know what decision to make, and it’s hard not deciding things based off of what everyone else wants. This is a great book to teach that focusing on yourself and your own wants is just if not more important.
Kenneally’s books definitely are a bit formulaic. They follow a very similar story arc each time. However, I know this going in. I expect it and enjoy it. I really liked this one and I hope Kenneally keeps writing. I give it a 10/10.

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