Title: Stealing Parker
Author: Miranda Kenneally
Year Published: 2012
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Price: Rp. 80.000 (preorder price on Opentrolley, regular price Rp. 108.000)
Parker Shelton's life was perfect. She has been chosen as valedictorian, she has secured her place in Vanderbilt, and she was a great softball player. But all were ruined after her mother admitted that she was a lesbian and leave the town with her partner, Theresa. Being left behind, Parker's life had never been easy ever since. Her church community alienated her family. She was disappointed at her father and brother. Her best friend left her. Parker was afraid that she would end up like her mother so that she tried to prove that she wasn't a lesbian. Losing pounds and started making out with boys, all Parker wanted to do was to prove that she was different from her mom. As she felt furious about her life and wrote letters to God about her feeling, Parker's life didn't stop moving and bringing new things to Parker. Good things also perhaps?
What would the future hold for Parker? Would she finally find her happiness?
Wow, wow!! Probably the best book I read in 2012 (Not certain, since it's only October.. Still 2 months left). This book, although is said to be Catching Jordan's (Miranda Kenneally's first novel) companion, really has different feel than Catching Jordan. Yes, Parker and Jordan live in the same community and go to the same school but Parker's life is way too different than Jordan. While Jordan's problems were more about football and boys, Parker's problems are more serious than that. That's why, I find Stealing Parker is less entertaining than Catching Jordan. However, I love Stealing Parker more than Catching Jordan.
The issues brought in this book are quite serious: Religion and Sexuality. Yep. Two themes that are still taboos in Indonesia (although in reality so many people deal with these two things a lot, still, we don't discuss them openly). Parker once was a church's activist and she really was faithful to God but her church community's treatment to her after her mother's lesbian thing revealed really hurt her so that she started to question: "Does God really love her?" Through her letter, we can understand the reason of her anger to God that led her to make some bad choices. Her mother being a lesbian also brought fear to her since people alienated her because they believed that Parker would bring bad influence to her friends. Parker's voice was so strong so that we can totally understand what she really thought and feel sympathy for her. We can totally feel how lost she was and definitely wanna be her friend.
However, this book is not all about anxiety and anger but also has some sweet moments. Parker actually had never lost all of her friends. She still had Drew, her across-the-street-neighbor-and-best-friend, and also Corndog a.k.a Will, the captain of the Softball Team she managed. Corndog is totally a sweetheart! I love him so much! He actually totally cared about Parker but he couldn't be close to her because of their previous competition on being a valedictorian. The high school party scene and the prom scene also exist in this novel with a lot of cameos from the previous novel, Catching Jordan. Henry was still a dork and I love his and Jordan's prom costume so much! So, although this book seems to talk about serious topics, it also doesn't lose it's teenage-y feel.
Overall, this book is great and kinda gave me a slap on my face since I am a church activist too and sometimes maybe I had acted like Parker's church friends in judging other people, although really, I'm not as extreme as Laura and her father. This book really gives something thoughtful to its reader.