Author: Miranda Kenneally

Saying Goodbye to the Hundred Oaks Series | ARC Review: Coming Up for Air

Posted June 26, 2017 / Book Reviews / 6 Comments
Saying Goodbye to the Hundred Oaks Series | ARC Review: Coming Up for Air

This is it! The end of the Hundred Oaks series by Miranda Kenneally. I’ve looked forward to each new installment since I read BREATHE, ANNIE, BREATHE back in 2014. I thought because of the cover that it wasn’t included in the same series, so I read it first. I ended up going back soonafter and reading the rest of them in order. Some of these books are all-time favorites and MK became an auto-buy author for me. I thought the final review for the final book would be a great place to share how much I love the series as a whole and rank them in order of favorites. Favorites, Ranked:     #1- Catching Jordan – 5 stars – Football This one had me at football, but I love friends-to-more! #2 – Breathe, Annie, Breathe – 5 stars – Running Clearly my expectations for the rest were high right off the bat. #3 – Jesse’s Girl – 4.5 stars – Music There was something so addicting and cute about this one! #4 – Coming Up for Air – 4 stars – Swimming Super steamy and a wonderful conclusion to the series!    #5 – Stealing Parker – 4 stars – Softball I loved reading about Parker and c’mon… Corn Dog. #6 – Defending Taylor – 4 stars – Soccer Taylor was a frustrating character, but the story was good. #7 – Racing Savannah – 3.5 stars – Horseback Riding This one just lacked a spark I can’t put my finger on, but still good! #8 – Things I Can’t Forget – 3 stars – Camp Too much religion […]

ARC Reviews: The Lost & Found and Defending Taylor

Posted July 4, 2016 / Book Reviews / 5 Comments
ARC Reviews: The Lost & Found and Defending Taylor

I kind of just sat here and stared at my screen until I thought of words. This book was really, truly fantastic. If you like character-driven novels with adorable side characters too, read it. If you love road trip stories, read it. If you’re a fan of light magical realism, read it. If you’re a book blogger who can relate to internet friendships becoming real, read it. Honestly… I could go on like this for days. Frannie and Louis are online pen pal-type friends who met on a virtual support group website. They both end up on trips to Austin, TX (for different reasons, but also to see each other for the first time). As a special note of magical realism, the two of them are constantly losing things. They literally just disappear. Frannie has lost letters, photos, super soakers; Louis has lost tennis rackets, fabric, money. They start finding each other’s items as they travel towards each other, as if by magic. The entire story was just so endearing. I LOVED Frannie and Louis, and I almost equally loved their “partners” in the story. Frannie travelled with her cousin, Arrow, and Louis went with his twin sister, Willa. They all had such interesting backstories. Plus, diversity! Arrow was adopted from Vietnam, Willa lost her legs in an accident, and Louis/Willa were half Indian. All of these aspects were so seamlessly integrated into the story and discussed organically; it didn’t feel like diversity for the sake of diversity. Each character was […]

Review: Racing Savannah

Posted July 6, 2015 / Book Reviews / 4 Comments
Review: Racing Savannah

Maybe I gave myself a little series burnout (since this is the third book I read in a row) and I just wasn’t as excited to read it or invested in the characters. I may not like books about religion, but I apparently (not surprisingly) also don’t like books about horses. I couldn’t get myself to care much about them or the racing aspects, which did take up a lot of time within the book. It took me a little while to get into the story because for some reason it just felt different than her other books. I don’t know how to explain it. Aside from the horses, there was quite a bit of romance here. It was a forbidden love kind of story, where Savannah works for Jack’s family in the horse barn and lives in their “staff quarters” with the rest of her family. Jack is trying to prove that he can run the business successfully and needs to impress his father, so naturally there’s some conflict surrounding their relationship and keeping it hidden. Jack seemed like a decent guy but I really didn’t feel much for him or them. I wasn’t swooning or shipping them, to be honest. Maybe cowboys just don’t do it for me or something. Thinking of him tipping his cowboy hat at her just seemed cheesy instead of cute. That’s probably just me, though. My favorite part of this book was the group of friends that Savannah joins. Vanessa and Rory, in […]

Review: Things I Can’t Forget

Posted July 2, 2015 / Book Reviews / 2 Comments
Review: Things I Can’t Forget

This was not an easy book for me to read. You’d never guess that, considering I read it all in one night. Because of Kenneally’s writing and my love for the rest of this series, I’m really tempted to bump my rating up… but I just can’t do it. Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad I read the book and got to see some of my favorite people again (Parker and Will, obvs). The events in this series kind of roll into each other for the rest of the books, so it’s awesome catching glimpses of people like JEREMIAH who I already know is going to be PERFECT in Breathe, Annie, Breathe. I don’t think you have to read this series in order (obviously I didn’t for the most part) but it really helps in that aspect. Anyway, again I’ll probably be divisive in my thoughts on this. It seems like most people really enjoyed this book. It was hard for me to let myself enjoy it because of the main character and her beliefs. I like to think I’m an understanding person that can respect others’ opinions, but that doesn’t mean I WANT to hear about some of them for 320 pages. I really can’t do it. I’m surprised I was able to push by some of that and eventually grow to (kind of) like Kate. Kate has always been the epitome of a good girl. She’s been kissed once, never EVER does anything bad, goes to church, and […]

Review: Stealing Parker

Posted June 29, 2015 / Book Reviews / 0 Comments
Review: Stealing Parker

I adored the first two books I read by Miranda Kenneally: Catching Jordan and Breathe, Annie, Breathe. I read BAB first because I didn’t think it was included in the series. (At that time, it didn’t have the Hundred Oaks name next to the title on Goodreads!) I absolutely, unexpectedly LOVED it. I decided to go back and read her other books in the series, especially because CJ was about FOOTBALL which, as you know, is my entire life. Also loved it. So why the major hesitation to embark on the rest of the series? Religion. Gah. I don’t want to be divisive on here, but I will say that I was raised an atheist and continue to strongly hold those beliefs. As a result of that, it’s extremely hard for me to enjoy books that feature religion, praying, church, etc. in any way, shape, or form. This book wasn’t completely about church, but it was pretty strongly included. Definitely enough to make me roll my eyes a lot. I feel kind of bad saying this, because people are certainly free to believe whatever they believe, but it just doesn’t work for me. Did it dampen my enjoyment of this book? Yeah, definitely. Did I still really enjoy the book overall? Yes. I thought that Parker was kind of annoying at first and I was very excited for the impending character development that MK is famous for. Although I will say, I don’t understand what she meant by the fact […]

Blog Tour Review: Jesse’s Girl

Posted June 17, 2015 / Book Reviews / 3 Comments
Blog Tour Review: Jesse’s Girl

I love Miranda Kenneally’s books. I just binge read the middle few books in the series (since I previously read Catching Jordan and Breathe, Annie, Breathe out of order) before getting to this one. Although a couple of them (Stealing Parker and Things I Can’t Forget) are more religion-based than I personally enjoy, I still always love and appreciate the characters she writes. The romances are real and fun, the characters have distinct personalities, and the supporting characters also have complexities that get some attention. So, I’m happy to report that THIS BOOK made me so happy and hit the mark for me in nearly every possible way. I never really consider myself to be a big music buff; I don’t spend time seeking out new music or exploring artists. I stick to what I know and love, which is classic rock or 90’s music nearly 100% of the time. I’m not a big 80’s music fan (sorry, everyone!), but Maya still made me extremely happy with all of her musical referenes and her entire personality. I have to say, reading the countless comments about Queen made me incredibly gleeful. I LOVE QUEEN. FREDDIE MERCURY FOREVER. If she was going to be an 80’s girl and I’d be hearing about 80’s music, I’m so glad it was Queen. I do like a bit of country music too, so I was really excited about this book. Maya is Sam Henry’s little sister (so there was a LOT of Sam and Jordan, one of my […]

Review: Catching Jordan

Posted October 27, 2014 / Book Reviews / 4 Comments
Review: Catching Jordan

HOW have I gone so long without reading a book about football? The only hobby/interest I have outside of reading? JESUS. Catching Jordan was always kind of on my radar but I literally purchased it on a whim when it was on sale for Kindle. I also decided to read it on a whim because my library books didn’t sound appealing at the moment. I absolutely loved Breathe, Annie, Breathe even though I wasn’t expecting to (not sure why, most likely because running = death)… so I knew that reading a book by Miranda Kenneally about FOOTBALL would be even better. I was right. This is a story about a Jordan, a female quarterback for her high school team. She’s the daughter of some football prodigies but doesn’t get as much attention from them as she’d like because, of course, she’s a girl. She has dreams of playing football for Alabama and won’t let anything stop her… not even when a swoon-worthy, incredibly talented QB moves to to town and joins the team. It was so great watching Jordan find herself and learning about her friendships. There were so many instances where I expected her to keep her feelings bottled up but she surprised me every time; this book had so many opportunities to slip into the predictable YA books I’ve become all too familiar with. You know, the MC refuses to share their feelings or lies about them when people close to her try to help. This book was […]

Review: Breathe, Annie, Breathe

Posted September 18, 2014 / Book Reviews / 8 Comments
Review: Breathe, Annie, Breathe

Wow. This book was just so much better than I was expecting. So many bloggers were talking about this one a few months ago when it came out and I was pretty uninterested. I’m not sure why, really – maybe just because I fucking hate running? If anything, this book motivated me to take up running and finally get my ass in shape. Breathe, Annie, Breathe was a multidimensional story that really didn’t fall short in any areas for me. Annie loses her boyfriend Kyle about a year before the book takes place and she decides to run the Country Music Marathon in his place. She starts a rigorous training routine and finds herself spending a lot of time with her trainer’s brother. The book takes place over the course of a few months and the romance was a glorious slow burn. I really enjoyed watching the relationship with Jeremiah and Annie develop over time. She was trying to get over Kyle and accept that she needed to move on with her life, while he was coming to understand that his feelings for Annie were different than his usual short relationships. They were constantly teasing each other, having fun, and being competitive; it was a relationship that built from friendship and it felt so natural. It was much more interesting to me than the typical SUPER romantic kinds of stories I normally see in contemporary YA. Aside from the romantic elements, this book was really about Annie working on getting in […]