By: Miranda Kenneally
Released: July 5, 2016
Purchase the Book: Amazon
*A copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review
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? (Goodreads)
I really enjoyed Defending Taylor. I love Miranda Kenneally's contemporary books and this was another great Hundred Oaks book.
Defending Taylor is the story of Taylor who is kicked out of private school after covering for her boyfriend. She has worked so hard for years to be perfect and now she has to start all over again.
Taylor was a well developed character and someone that I could really connect with. She pushes herself so much to be perfect and she doesn't take the time to have fun. She's too worried about trying to make her parents proud and focusing on the future. Taylor has her flaws and she hasn't always made the best decisions. However, I understand the place that she's coming from in making these choices.
This book had quite a few interesting side characters. I loved Taylor's older brother Oliver and wanted even more of him in this book. However, I really loved Ezra and I found his personal side storyline to be really interesting. The chemistry between Taylor and Ezra was strong and they were so cute together. They've known each other for years and have a bit of a complicated past. I loved the way the relationship between them developed though. I also loved seeing the return of some previous characters from the other Hundred Oaks books. It's always fun to find out what they are up to.
The plot was paced fairly well and I flew through this book quickly because I just couldn't put it down. I often find this is the case with Kenneally's books. She does a great job with writing real characters in real situations. I did wish it was developed a bit more in certain places though. I really wanted to see more of Taylor's relationships with her friends. I also wanted to see more of Taylor playing soccer because it's something she is so passionate about. Once I finished the last page, I just felt like there hadn't been enough soccer.
Overall though, I really enjoyed Defending Taylor and I loved the whole message of this book. I definitely recommend picking this one up, especially if you're a fan of the Hundred Oaks books.