Publication Date: July 5, 2016
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Reading a Miranda Kenneally novel feels like coming home to a comfortable place, where you get to visit with characters you met before and meet new ones as well. Her writing is always good and the stories well-paced. Defending Taylor is no exception.
Taylor, who has worked hard her entire life to make good grades and become a skilled soccer player so she can get early acceptance to Yale, has just been kicked out of St. Andrews, an elite boarding school, after covering for her boyfriend, Ben. Upon returning home, she faces the fall-out from her bad decision and the disappointment of her parents and siblings. The only person she can confide in is the boy she used to have a crush on, Ezra, but he’s off-limits because she’s decided, after the situation with Ben—no more boys.
I enjoyed reading Defending Taylor and did so within the space of a few hours. It’s an easy read. Now, I can imagine readers possibly not understanding Taylor’s motives for supporting Ben, who really was the one who should have spoken up and never let Taylor deal with the situation of his own creation on her own, but she had come from a secure (privileged) background and had certain expectations coming from that background. She just didn’t have the experience to know all of the possible scenarios that could arise; did any of us at 17 or 18? She thought she was doing a good thing by supporting Ben and making sure he kept his scholarship, because it was all that he had. She thought with her father’s connections, she would be okay, because her limited experience had taught her that was true. I think that’s noble. It just didn’t work out so well for her.
The relationship between Taylor and Ezra is sweet, but for those of you who are considering this for a young member of your household, there are sexual situations so this might be more appropriate for the upper range of the young adult spectrum.
I also like Taylor’s family. None is clichéd. The only stereotype is one of Taylor’s teammates, Nicole, who for some reason reminds me of Sadie from MTV’s Awkward, but maybe all “mean girls” do anymore.
I highly recommend Defending Taylor for those who like young adult novels with romance and sports and a touch of angst. It’s part of the Hundred Oaks series.
I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
From Amazon: Defending Taylor