Review: Things I Can't Forget by Miranda Kenneally

Summary/Cover Image from Publisher's Website:
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 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...

Contemporary is one of my favorite genres, and Miranda Kenneally is an absolute gem of a contemporary writer (Catching Jordan and Stealing Parker are proof of this). Therefore, it was no surprise that I simply adored Things I Can't Forget, her third book in the Hundred Oaks series. It contained everything I enjoyed about her prior books: strong, likable characters, a swoon worthy romance, and lots of heart. More importantly, though, it managed to tackle a hard subject - religion- and while I was hesitant about that aspect at first, I feel that Miranda had a did a beautiful job of gracefully intertwining into Things I Can't Forget's "heart."

Things I Can't Forget tells the story of Kate, a girl who has been through a lot in the last few months. From the first chapter, I was instantly taken with Kate's story. She was facing something that most protagonists in YA don't encounter too often: the dilemma of being her definition of a good christian while also being a good friend. I felt that Kate's struggle between the two jumped right off the page and came to life. I could feel her confusion and pain over it. More importantly, though, I could relate to it, and I'm sure most, if not all, other readers will feel some degree at the same, because at the heart of this it Kate's dilemma is not necessarily all about religion. Instead, it is about finding a common ground between what you believe in and making choices based on it while also finding it in you to respect and see reason behind other people's choices and beliefs as well. It something that's incredibly important even behind the religion aspect, and I feel that Miranda did a great job of taking it past that point, and having it so that this book wasn't a "preachy" religious book. Instead, it showed a protagonist's journey in balancing her religion and relationships with others AND also balancing her viewpoints and relationships in general. It was interesting addition to the book, in my opinion, and one that has given me a new sense of respect for Miranda Kenneally as a writer.

Adding to this, I loved seeing the transformation Kate made over the course of the book due to this all, as not only did she truly bloom and come to life as a person, but she formed some pretty fabulous friendships as well. One was her friendship with Parker, a former leading lady of Kenneally's. It was interesting to see them become friends over the course of the book, and get over their differences and find common ground, as not only was it an important stepping stone for Kate but Parker as well (Parker surprisingly had some more growing to do in this book, and with that, I felt that it was a great little extension off of Stealing Parker). I also enjoyed seeing Kate's relationship with Matt bloom over the course of the novel as well. Just like Parker, he made her see a new side of herself, one that while made her question her morals and choices, lead to important self discoveries over time. Plus, there little romance was adorable to see unfold....I was continually rooting for them to make it work.

The camp backdrop of this one also provided some fun entertainment. The little camp drama and dilemmas that popped up added important aspects to the plot and character development while also providing something even more important at times: laughs. However, I do resent it a little for making me even more wishful for the summer season.

In all, Thing I Can't Forget is yet another fabulous book by Miranda Kenneally, one that I would suggest to contemporary lovers out there.

Grade: A

Things I Can't Forget (Amazon, BN, Goodreads) is now out! 

Source: Bought from Amazon 

1 comment:

  1. I've still never gotten to read anything from Miranda Kenneally, but this one sounds like one I would definitely enjoy. It sounds like a perfect summer read. Great review!


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