Review: Defending Taylor by Miranda Kenneally

Defending Taylor (Hundred Oaks)
by Miranda Kenneally
pub 7/5/16 by Sourcebooks Fire
Received e-ARC via NetGalley
It's always a pleasure to return to the Hundred Oaks world. Each book has tackled such different young women and there’s someone to relate to in each one. For Defending Taylor, I think what struck me about Taylor was this determination to do right by the people in her life, even if it meant being wronged in the process. It’s a trait that made me love her and also want to reach into the book and strangle her. And as you read, I have no doubts you’ll understand why. Taylor seriously has it all going for her. She’s at a private school she loves with her best friends and an awesome soccer team she happens to be the captain of. Not to mention, stellar grades that have her on track for valedictorian and an acceptance into her dream school Yale. Then all it takes is one impulsive (and presumptuous) decision to lie to protect her boyfriend and suddenly she’s kicked out of school, sent home and forced to start anew at Hundred Oaks High for her senior year. I really liked the personal journey Taylor was on. She’s trying to connect with her family (her dad is a senator), connect with her school (I enjoyed her attempts to befriend the girls on the soccer team), deciding who she is free of anyone’s expectations and of course, re-falling for Ezra, a guy she’s had a crush on forever (did I mention he’s her older brother’s best friend?).

(Some) reservations
I think my main issue throughout the book was that we only dipped into each of these areas and I was left wanting more.. of everything! Which speaks to how interesting Kenneally makes her world and characters. But I definitely needed more in order to make a deeper connection. My other minor reservation was the lie Taylor told. It felt a bit anti-climactic but also a serious issue that wasn't entirely addressed.

Do I recommend?
I’ll always recommend books from the Hundred Oaks series and Miranda Kenneally!


  1. I love the falling in love with the best friend's brother storyline. Probably because of Mia/Michael in the Princess Diaries. But anyway, I like your review! I still have to read Jesse's Girl but then I can't wait to start this book afterward.

  2. Same here! I wanted more of the story as well! Also, I really love how Miranda's writing and her characters grow more mature as the series progresses. I also adored the relationship between Taylor and her father. I could really relate to her. Amazing review, Rachel!


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