Stealing Third by Marta Brown
Publisher: VP Publishing House on July 24, 2014
Genre(s): Contemporary Romance (YA)
For Emily, going to camp, the summer before college starts, means leaving her feuding parents alone for the next eight weeks, and coming back to divorce papers is a risk she can’t take.
But no matter how many meddling phone calls, questionable hair decisions, and possibly illegal hookups she plans, her parents still march her off to Camp Champ totally against her will.
No matter. A few broken rules, and Em will be home free. That is, until she learns Tyler Ford, her baseball coach father’s star player and her drunken party hookup, is at camp, too.
For Tyler, summer is the onramp to the biggest decision of his life: med school or major leagues. Mega hot, possibly underage Emily? A complication he does not need.
But as the summer heats up with strikeouts and stolen bases will Tyler and Emily hit a home run and get what they’re after? Or will they both be thrown a curveball…in the game of love?
Emily would do anything to keep her family together, and right now, that means causing trouble. After all, if they’re yelling at her, they’ll be too busy to yell at each other. Only distracting them from their problems won’t be so easy when they send her off to camp for the summer, so Emily has a plan. Break all the rules, get kicked out, and get back home, where her rebellion will keep the focus on her instead of her parents’ troubled marriage.
Tyler has a big decision weighing heavily on his mind. Does he give up his baseball dreams to pursue medicine, or does he forgo med school to try his swing in the minors? He’s got one last summer to make up his mind, and the last thing he needs is a distraction like Emily. The coach’s daughter. Who lied about college when they met at a party and might be way too young for him after all.
Any and all similarities to real persons, living or dead are coincidental and not attended by the author. Yes, you read that right. The author does not attend similarities. Is this some new kind of event? Is an R.S.V.P. required? Is there at least an open bar? Because I need a LOT of alcohol to handle this kind of editing fail. The mistakes start right there on the copyright page, and they just go on and on and on until you find this little gem: He drops an arm over Jenny and I’s shoulders. WTF?!?! I expect this kind of language bastardization on Facebook, since it seems to be some sort of magnet for people who failed fourth grade English, but if the author’s thanks at the end are to be believed, an editor was involved. For the record, I don’t think any fault lies with the author. After all, she clearly trusted someone who apparently claimed to be well-versed in at least elementary language syntax, and that person more than likely charged either her or the publisher for the disservice. This is why we can’t have nice things!
Yep, I totally picked this one up because of the cover. Of course, I didn’t decide for sure until I’d read the synopsis, but that just goes to show that the right cover makes sure a book is noticed by the right audience. And I love the title font/art.
Stealing Third is your classic young adult romance. It doesn’t delve to deeply into any truly heavy subject matter, and while the main characters certainly have some hormones at play, it stays away from anything too graphic. So in that sense, it’s really kind of perfect for young readers.
Emily is concerned about her parents’ marriage, and to prevent what she’s sure will be the end of it, she’s doing anything she can to get them to direct their anger at her instead of each other. It’s one of those bouts of rebellion that lands her at a party with her college coach father’s star player, but her plans for the summer and her chances with Tyler seemed ruined when her parents put their collective foot down and send her off to camp. Good thing Tyler’s working at that very same camp.
The way their romance played out was really cute, and it avoided the pattern that most supposedly young adult novels have of making the main characters seem too mature for their ages. Tyler’s in college, and Emily’s fresh out of high school, and while both may technically be adults, they’re at that age when the world is still filled with possibility, and real life hasn’t kicked them in the heads yet. Now, that’s not to say that it’s all fluff. But even while divorce and career choices aren’t exactly light subjects, the story itself is lighthearted, and the characters act exactly their age, playing games at camp and at times with each others’ minds.
Stealing Third is one of those books that makes me miss being that age, even though I didn’t appreciate it at the time, and it reminds me some of the summer I worked at a camp — though my experience was much more work than it was fun. It’s also a book that you can safely share with that romance-loving teen who probably shouldn’t be anywhere near your copy of Fifty Shades, since the characters misbehave just enough to be real while never really taking things so far as to be inappropriately mature. Really, the only reason I’m leaving it at three stars isn’t the story but rather the fact that no one should pay for what the editor and publisher left essentially unfinished.