Defending Taylor by Miranda Kenneally
Source: eARC from publisher for review
Summary 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?
Review of Defending Taylor by Miranda KenneallyI'm a big Miranda Kenneally fan. Her teen characters always feel authentic to me, and I've always thought she has an ear (and a soft spot) for characters who could easily be judged and misunderstood.
Taylor isn't a character who's initially easy to relate to - she's a privileged daughter of a senator, a girl who has had every possible advantage.
I was surprised, then, that Taylor has the strength of character to tough it out and suck up the consequences of what she's done.
I was also really touched by Kenneally's afterword, in which she talks about her own (past) workaholic and perfectionist tendencies and how she worked to conquer them.
Defending Taylor is a great addition to the Hundred Oaks companion books. This is a total standalone, but readers of prior books will find fun cameos by some favorite past characters.