Jessica's books

The One and Only Ivan
Revolutionary War on Wednesday
Leprechaun in Late Winter
Ella Enchanted
The Courage of Sarah Noble
Plain Murder
Gone-Away Lake
Circling the Sun
Maggie and Max
The Haunting of Sunshine Girl
The Night Sister
Tuck Everlasting
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Bedknob and Broomstick
Mister Monday
Alice Through the Looking Glass
The Birchbark House
The Hobbit
The Witch's Daughter

Jessica's favorite books »

Friday, February 1, 2013

Book Review: Things I Can't Forget by Miranda Kenneally

Synopsis(from Goodreads):  Companion to Catching Jordan and Stealing Parker.

Kate has always been the good girl. Too good, according to some people at school—although they have no idea the guilty secret she carries. But this summer, everything is different…

This summer she’s a counselor at Cumberland Creek summer camp, and she wants to put the past behind her. This summer Matt is back as a counselor too. He’s the first guy she ever kissed, and he’s gone from a geeky songwriter who loved The Hardy Boys to a buff lifeguard who loves to flirt…with her.

Kate used to think the world was black and white, right and wrong. Turns out, life isn’t that easy…
My Thoughts:  One word...LOVE! That is how I felt about this book.  It was just so....real.  This is the third book in the Hundred Oak series but you don't have to read the other two first. I didn't.  I have the first two but haven't read them yet (yeah, guess what is next on my Nook now?).  
Kate is the perfect daughter.  She is the perfect student, the perfect Christian.  At first, that bothered me a lot.  Don't get me wrong here...I am 110% Christian.  I believe in my God and I try to live my life by His word.  However, I am also human though and I sin and for awhile there, I was feeling like Kate was a little too perfect, with no sinning or mistakes.  Kate helped her friend Emily do something that was a sin.  Kate could not get over this at all.  In fact, it even ruined her relationship with Emily. 
Kate is a camp counselor at the camp she went to when she was younger.  She meets up with Matt again and it is an instant connection.  They were so sweet and fun together.  They made me miss that all consuming, first love feeling.  You know...that "can't get enough of you and want to eat, sleep and breathe you" love.  They had their struggles as Matt had been hurt in the past and again, Kate is still dealing with what she helped Emily do.  
Here was the thing that drove me absolutely nuts about Kate...she worried WAY too much about her every action being a sin.  I was ready to bang my head against the wall a few times but Kate was struggling.  I think her church brainwashed her and she was been taught that believing in God was the only way and she could only have friends who shared who exact beliefs.  She was so upset that Matt was in a fraternity because those kids drank and hooked up and those were sins.  She couldn't sleep in the same room as boys because that was a sin.  I've never read in the Bible where sleeping in a room with boys (and other girls) was a sin.  Those were the things that just annoyed me.  
As the weeks go on, Kate has to struggle her boss just being plain mean for no reason, feelings and wants that she has never experienced before and becoming friends with others who "sin". I loved watching her transition and I love the way the author dealt with some serious issues here (premarital sex, teen pregnancy, drinking, etc.).  During this time is when I felt that Kate finally became a "real" person.  
I loved Matt as well!  He was funny, caring, sweet and the perfect guy.  He didn't conform to any church and he was a human being that made mistakes but made it clear what his relationship with God was.  He respects Kate and I really appreciated that.   I liked Parker and how she just came out and told Kate how judgmental Kate had been.  It opened Kate's eyes and also helped develop a friendship between the two of them.  

Okay one other thing that bothered me how Matt's family is portrayed.  Now, maybe I'm just jealous because my sibling and I absolutely DO NOT get along but Matt has several brothers and sisters.  Kate goes over to meet his family and everyone is all lovey dovey.  Matt is super attentive to all his siblings and it was just unrealistic too me.  It seemed fake and like his family was almost putting on a show.  Again....could just be because of how my own family works but everything there was just a little to happy and and fake for me.  Maybe I'm just jealous :)

So, now I must go read the first two in this series because I am absolutely in love the Kenneally's characters.  This was an amazing book that dealt with many hard subjects but dealt with them in a way, that as a mom of a daughter, that I would approve of my daughter reading this (well, when she becomes a teen).  

1 comment:

  1. This was my first Miranda Kenneally book too, but I loved it! I loved that she wasn't afraid to address the idea of a religious teenager like Kate, because it's rarely mentioned in YA at all.