Review: Defending Taylor by Miranda Kenneally

Posted July 18th, 2016 in book review / 20 comments

Review: Defending Taylor by Miranda KenneallyDefending Taylor by Miranda Kenneally
Series: Hundred Oaks #7
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire on July 5, 2016
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 304
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher
Purchase: Amazon
Add to: Goodreads
Rating: four-stars

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?

At A Glance

An emotional rollercoaster, in a good way.

The Good

Taylor has a pretty perfect life: soccer team captain, straight-A student at a private school, great friends, and a great boyfriend. Except her boyfriend messes up and Taylor covers for him. She thought she would get a slap on the wrist because she is, after all, the senator’s daughter. Nope. After getting kicked out of school, her life falls apart because the new soccer team sucks, she misses her old friends and now ex-boyfriend, and her family will barely talk to her because they are so disappointed in her actions.

I both felt bad and was annoyed with Taylor. How stupid it was to take the fall for her boyfriend. But I get that at that age you don’t understand the consequences of your actions until shit becomes real. Taylor was definitely punished enough for her bad decisions. Maybe even a little too much. Her family was not supportive at all, which sucked but that’s part of the drama. Ezra was a breath of fresh air amongst all the ciaos. He really breathed life into Taylor when all hope seemed lost. They’ve known each other for years but circumstances kept them apart. I love their slow-building friendship into romance. It worked so well for the story. Ezra is a great guy with a good head on his shoulders. And he makes Taylor really look at her life, forcing her to acknowledge what makes her happy and what doesn’t, no matter what her parents’ expect.

I liked watching Taylor struggle and learn from her actions. It was a tough road. Lots of lessons learned here. I enjoyed reading about soccer shenanigans and even the dash of politics thrown in. The sweet romance was the best though. The characters really felt realistic.

The Bad

There were a few things left unresolved that bothered me. My main announce is Nicole, the team captain of Hundred Oaks soccer team. She treats Taylor horribly. She’s not very good at soccer and she brings the team down by hogging the ball. SPOILER: I really thought Taylor was going to find a way to take over the team or at least make Nicole be a little nicer but it never happened. So I guess the rest of the year the Hundred Oaks team sucked and lost over and over again because of bitch Nicole.

SPOILER: And did the truth ever come out about the drugs? With her dad’s election over did Taylor get to clear her name? It seemed like that was a possibility but it was never mentioned. I guess not. Kind of a stupid lesson.

I really wanted a better wrap-up overall. Things don’t have to end perfectly, I just wanted certain things to be addressed.

The Snuggly

We get a little bit of sex, which surprised me. Nothing too risqué for a YA book but more than usual.

Final Thoughts

I really loved Defending Taylor. It’s sad because not all things end well, but I found the whole story and characters fascinating. There could have been more wrap-up but that’s okay, the story was still good. Very recommended.


“I’d almost rather be known as a druggie than a snitch. People will forget about pills, but a person’s character isn’t so easily forgotten.”

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.

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20 Responses to “Review: Defending Taylor by Miranda Kenneally”

  1. Karen

    I really liked this one but I thought the whole soccer thing was odd too. Sports palys such a big role in this series and not only was the Nicole thing dropped but pretty much soccer. She was so obsessed with it and then…not.

    I totally forgot to mention that in my review so I’m glad you brought it up lol

    Karen @For What It’s Worth

    • Jennifer (Bad Bird Reads)

      I know, why was that part so lackluster in the end? I don’t get it. I thought it was going to drive the story.

  2. Olivia Roach

    Oh no, it’s terrible taking the fall for someone else and it seems like this girl really felt the full blow of that bad choice 🙁 It’s sad that sometimes people think that is the right thing to do, so people never learn…

  3. Melissa (Books and Things)

    I’m glad you enjoyed this one overall. I’m a bit curious but I’m not sure if it is for me. Sounds like a lot of drama and Taylor would annoy me for taking the fall as well. I usually can handle that kind of drama in a paranormal, but not often in a contemporary. Still, you make a compelling argument for me to try it. 🙂

    • Jennifer (Bad Bird Reads)

      So much drama it got a little annoying sometimes. But still a good read.

  4. Nathan

    I am curious about this book, even though I don’t read much contemporary romance.

  5. Christy LoveOfBooks

    Damn, I can’t even remember how things ended regarding you spoilers. That soccer coach bugged the crap out of me. I know one JUST LIKE him and I want to snatch his phone away. Great point abut her clearing her name. Wish I could remember if anything was mentioned. Don’t think it was, though.

  6. Jaclyn Canada

    I love it when it feels like the character’s journey actually had a big impact. Good to know she’s learned a lot from both her actions and the consequences and was able to move on in a better place. Excellent review!

    • Jennifer (Bad Bird Reads)

      I do like when characters actually learn from their mistakes.

  7. Melliane

    I haven’t read a book with soccer player but it could be fun. It’s great to see that after 7 books, it’s still good!

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