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Review: Defending Taylor (Hundred Oaks) by Miranda Kenneally

Blurb from Goodreads:
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?
My Review:
I'm a bit worried -- this used to be one of my all time favorite series but the past two books in it have just been just okay for me.  Books 1-5 were five stars for me and just so, so good but I have been a bit underwhelmed by both last year's release and this year's, Defending Taylor.  I think what was different for me with this book versus the other books in the series that I loved is that I felt a lack of understanding in the romance -- it seemed like so much tell rather than show and I've never had that problem with this series before.  This should have been a slam dunk for me since I love politics and I played soccer for 14 years but it just felt off; I didn't enjoy reading it. Don't get me wrong, I still think MK writes absolutely amazing female characters and I think every teen should read this series -- all of the books feel realistic in their characters, in their plot and in the situations; this series is also one of the best examples of honestly dealing with sex in YA.  That being said, I don't think we were given enough info about why Taylor was so interested in either her ex boyfriend or Ezra and vice versa -- snippets of scenes between them were recounted by I was missing that spark. The rest of the book outside of the romance worked for me because it felt so genuine, another thing I love about this series, but the romance was a pretty big part of this book.

For me, I feel a bit like the author should take a break from this series but I know a lot of people loved the release last year, Jesse's Girl, and will probably love this one, too.  I just wanted something more. Defending Taylor comes out next week on July 5, 2016, and you can purchase HERE.
My first class is calculus 1, the most advanced math course Hundred Oaks offers.  Just a week ago, I was taking an advanced calculus quiz at the University of the South.  St. Andrew's is one of the best prep schools in the country, and they offer seniors the opportunity to take courses at the university, which is up the road.  Even thought I was still in high school, the professors treated me just like a college kid.  I was only in the course for two weeks, but still.  It was insanely difficult.  The truth is, unlike everyone else in my family, I hate math.  I have to work at it harder than anything else in my life.


  1. I just finished this one. It was actually my first in the series. It was so quick and cute but kind of agree with you on the romance. I would have liked more on it. Still the sex in this book was done so well. Great review!

  2. I have loved this series in the past as well but lately it hasn't worked for me either. Not sure if my tastes have changed or what but at least this wasn't a complete disappointment and you did still like it.

  3. Sorry to hear that this author hasn't worked for you. But at least, she has been able to write a good female characters. Many authors don't focus on them as much so I do admire an author who does a good job with them.

  4. I read and enjoyed the first two books in this series, but I could never get into the third book, put it down and never got back to it. I guess my love of YA had cooled considerably by then. Sorry to hear this didn't quite knock your socks off, Eva. Great honest review! :)

  5. Its a shame when a favorite series starts to fizzle out! I have heard so many great things about this series and I do hope to read it one day. great review!

  6. Isn't it so disappointing when a favorite series starts to slip and you're left wondering what happened? I've only read one by Kenneally - Breathe, Annie, Breathe. I picked it up on a whim at the library and thought it would be a cutesy/fluffy read. It was *so* much more than I expected. So much more depth and emotional than I counted on. I vowed to read more from MK but haven't yet. It sounds like I should stick with her backlist, though, and maybe give this one a pass. Sorry this one wasn't up to par with the others for you, Eva.

  7. This book is on my TBR. I've only read one in the series but I thought it was good. I can't wait to read this and see how different my opinion of it is from yours lol

    Xoxo. Lexi @ Lexi Swoons

  8. I haven't read ANY books in this series yet!! And I call myself a Contemporary lover. Shame on me! Anyhow, I really really want to read SOMETHING by Miranda Kenneally. I have Breathe Annie Breathe, maybe I'll go with that one??

  9. I haven't read any of these, but I do know that people seem to love them! I'm sorry this one and the previous release weren't five star reads for you though!


  10. I'm sorry to hear you didn't enjoy this one as much as the first few! I still have to read it. It'll probably be the next thing on my list. My favorites in the series are still Catching Jordan, Things I Can't Forget and Breathe, Annie, Breathe.

  11. That title was so familiar to me, I had to click over to Goodreads because I bought a Jesse's Girl a few years ago. Different book. New to me series but one that looks good. I wish the last few in the series had been better for you.

  12. Thank you so much for reading my review and linking back to yours! I am so glad that someone else agrees with me on this one. I have read so many rave reviews and I guess I can understand why people love it. I just had a difficult time connecting to the MC. Honestly, there have been a few books in this series that I am just meh about. My favorite is still Breathe, Annie, Breathe and that is the first one I read by her. Great review!


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