Review: ‘Defending Taylor’ by Miranda Kenneally

Review: ‘Defending Taylor’ by Miranda KenneallyDefending Taylor by Miranda Kenneally
Series: Hundred Oaks
Published by Sourcebooks Fire on July 5th, 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Love & Romance, Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 304
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
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?

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book review

Taylor is an ambitious senior, captain of the soccer team, straight A student with her eye on Yale, she does everything that is expected of a senator’s daughter. Then she makes one big mistake which costs her family’s reputation. With one little lie, her perfect life unravels and she must start over at public school at Hundred Oaks High.

I pretty much devoured this in one sitting. Being in a reading slump is hard and having a cute contemporary like this is just perfect. I didn’t pay attention to the synopsis and I judged solely on the cover. Thought it would be another cute sports read but imagine my suspense when it was more about living a normal life versus living a political life. The cover should change to include their political lifestyle because soccer is definitely not the focus, but that’s just me.

I liked this one a lot. It shows how much one is willing to protect someone they love and sacrificing yourself in the process is a mistake, but that’s how you learn. Taylor is the most level headed teenager but of course she’s not perfect and ends up messing up badly. I also how town up she is between her passions for life versus her family’s obligations. Must be hard trying to be perfect in the media’s eye when your own father is a state senator. I love how even the side characters get a little bit of back-story and their own distinct personalities that make it memorable. There was one scene with Taylor and her father that was just wonderful. I love that her father instilled an ambitious yet disclosures work ethic. I kept nodding along at everything he said, except when he did a pretty shady thing with his relelection commercial. Then there’s the love interest Ezra. What didn’t really make any sense was why they didn’t get together in the first place because his reasoning and her assumptions were weak. I just didn’t buy the fact that she held this mistake over Ezra for so long, but okay not every character is perfect. I liked Ezra (and his amazing gift giving skills) but I didn’t like how Ezra nicknames her “Tease.”

With more appearances from fellow Hundred Oaks characters, and a cute contemporary romance to boot, Defending Taylor will give you everything you need for a summer read!

book quotes

I will work hard at everything I do. I will model integrity and compassion. I will lead by example.
I’ll provide enough for you to get started in life—but not enough for you do nothing.
I don’t need guys. I can take care of my needs myself.
Why do I have to work so hard to make him proud? Can’t he love me for me?
All my hard work. Years and years of pushing myself. All down the drain, because people never notice good news. They flock to the bad.
If you want someone to do something, trick them into thinking it was their own idea.
The low museum lights emphasize his handsome face. He’s a great work of art.
Sometimes, problems grow like a crack in the ceiling that starts out small but expands if you’re not paying attention.
I love that you always go for what you want. I wish I could do that.
It’s your life. If you want to live, you need to do what you love.

reading progress






  1. Sophia Rose

    June 24, 2016 at 11:32 AM

    That would be interesting to see a girl from a political family put into the regular high school and forced to start over. Nice review.

    • giselle

      June 24, 2016 at 1:26 PM

      Yea it’s definitely different than other books because we get to see the family dynamics at play and what it takes to be a “family of the people.”

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