I HAVE BEEN WAITING FOR THIS BOOK FOR OVER A YEAR!!! And I finally got my hands on it!! I was sent an electronic Advanced Reader Copy by Sourcebooks Fire on NetGalley for an honest review. And don’t worry, even though I have loved Kenneally for a long time, this review will still be my honest opinion.
‘Defending Taylor‘ by Miranda Kenneally was published earlier this month (on the 5th July 2016). It is a teen/YA romance fiction novel, set in Franklin, Tennessee. It’s the seventh book in the ‘Hundred Oaks‘ series. It does have some mature themes. [you can buy a copy here!]
The novel follows Taylor after she is expelled from a private boarding school and starts her senior year at Hundred Oaks. She has to face backlash from the event which got her expelled, and reconnecting with Ezra, a gorgeous boy from her past.
I really enjoyed this book; maybe not as much as the first two ‘Hundred Oaks’ stories, but they are some of my all-time favourite books. The story was great, and I never felt like it was worn out or overdone. It had Kenneally’s characteristic writing style and witty dialogue. There were just enough pop culture references to make it feel relevant. And all in all everything culminated in a short but sweet high school romance for mature audiences.
Taylor as a main character was good. She has her moments of great strength of character, and moments where she is just a bit of a bratty teenager. I think that as I get older, now a few years out of my teens, I have a shorter fuse for silly teenage characters. You know, the ones who seem to make ridiculous decisions because they don’t think things through. Or because they don’t think about how their actions will affect their future or other people. Though I suppose it is pretty realistic.
But everything else she goes through is really interesting too. She struggles with figuring out what to do after school, she struggles with making friends and fitting in, and she has a complicated, though not bad, home life and relationship with her family.
The romantic interest, Ezra, is pretty awesome. What I like about him, other than his dreamy appearance and personality, is that he has a great friendship with Taylor from the start. I am a fan of enemies to lovers relationships, but sometimes it’s just nice to have a friends to lovers relationship; where they have their differences and maybe tiptoe around each other, but you know they both like each other from the beginning.
The story introduced a new sport into the ‘Hundred Oaks’ world, soccer. As someone who isn’t sporty, but enjoys sports in my books and movies, I love how Kenneally incorporates sport into her stories. Soccer was no different. The story didn’t revolve around soccer, and the way it was worked in felt very organic. I really got how important it was to Taylor.
Something else I always love about Kenneally’s books is their reference to the other books in the series. Taylor’s family is friends with the Goodwin’s from ‘Racing Savannah’, and we get to see a glimpse of a number of characters in one chapter. Seriously, cameos in books are what I live for.
Taylor. Despite cringing at some of the decisions she makes, I can also understand why she makes them. She’s a realistic character who grows a lot by the end of the story.
The party at the Goodwin’s mansion. Hells to the yes!
“Mom wants me to date somebody with ‘proper breeding’, as if I’m a horse or we live in regency England.”
I honestly can’t believe that I had this ebook on my Kindle for nearly a month before I actually got around to reading it! And then an extra week to write the review! I’ve still got a couple reviews in the works that I haven’t had time to write.