Friday, July 8, 2016

Defending Taylor by Miranda Kenneally ~ Review

Source:  Received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review. 

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?


A classic young adult novel, Defending Taylor is so much about figuring our what direction two young people want their life to take and who they want with them in that journey.  Flawed and trying so hard to meet other peoples expectations, both Taylor and Ezra look past what they want until things blow up in their face.

I loved that this book demonstrates so well the effects of one mistake, one lie.  It seems that every other thing a person has ever done is deleted in the moment of a mistake and it's not fair.  It's not right.  That's the hard lesson that Taylor is learning.  But I wonder if she could travel back to that moment in time, if she really would have changed it.  Because that one mistake led her to a better choice.  Not perfect.  Life isn't perfect.  No, it led her to something different.

This story is certainly a great coming of age kind of tale with some great characters that I loved.  Taylor is a great daughter and really a great person.  She made a mistake.  She chooses to lie.  She paid way too much.  She learned so much.  I admire her determination and her insight about how that one mistake, one lie colored an otherwise spotless record.  And then there was Ezra who is facing his own questions about what life has for him.  I love that he was making choices to move forward despite a struggle.  I loved how his love for Taylor just drips from him.  This part of the story is a bit of a second chance story.  I enjoyed these two.

The story is not all rainbows and unicorns.  Lifes not that way.  Things don't always work out with everyone getting a good ending.  So true to life.  But I thought the ending was sweet and wish I could be fly on the wall for a certain spring break.

Beautifully written and real to life, this story is about making choices and figuring out who you are while the guy you crushed on for years is doing the same.  Great YA for YA.


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