Series: Hundred Oaks #3
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire on March 1, 2013
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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…
Check out my review of Stealing Parker (Hundred Oaks #2)
“Learning is never a bad thing. And neither is changing your mind about things…It’s always good to reevaluate. To think and consider all sides.”
“My favorite is when an eight year old girl named Lizzie sings ‘Jesus Loves Me’ in the purest voice, and when she gets scared and I think she might run off the stage, Matt sings along with her as he strums his guitar. Leaning against a tree, as bugs chirp around me, as warm wind rustles the branches, that’s when I know it for real. I want him.”
Favorite Character: Definitely Matt. He’s cute and he really has insecurities of his own.
“Girls like me do not buy pregnancy tests.”
My Musings: Miranda Kenneally is quickly becoming my favorite young adult contemporary novelist. Like the companion novels Catching Jordan and Stealing Parker, Things I Can’t Forget is a great novel about finding oneself. And of course you get your cute romance! Things I Can’t Forget follows Kate Kelly as she develops her religious beliefs with God. In the beginning of the novel, Kate is a diehard ‘Jesus-freak’, to the point where she is judgment about anything that can be considered a sin. So when her best friend, Emily, becomes pregnant and Kate helps her get an abortion, Kate tears herself up with guilt. We then follow her through her escapades as a counselor at Cumberland Creek summer camp, where she is reunited with her first kiss, Matt Brown. And for all the Catching Jordan and Stealing Parker fans, well, you all get your fix of Jordan, Sam, and especially Parker and Will!
Kate was an intriguing character in my opinion. Here you have a die hard Christian who is very judgmental, yet helped her friend get an abortion. The conflict of interests Kate is struggling with made her a very realistic character. In her mind, all she wants is to be a good Christian, and her church has developed the way that she acts towards those who ‘sin’. I really enjoyed watching her realize certain things about her religious faith, like the fact that she could love God in a way that was just right for her–she did not have to follow the strict guidelines that Forrest Sanctuary, her church, had set. Kate was a naïve and innocent character, and I really enjoyed her for a majority of the book, especially once she loosened up.
Matt was your typical Miranda Kenneally boy. He was uber nice, he’s cute, and he really cares about Kate. I loved watching Matt’s struggles as well, what with what happened to him romantically in the past. I loved that he was willing to work with Kate in their relationship. I loved that Matt seemed to connect with the kids in camp. Everyone loved King Matt! Kate and Matt were my favorite Kenneally couple to date. They brought out the best in each other, and they were able to heal each other.
I also enjoyed the supporting characters. I liked Ian, the funny guy that always made everything fun. I enjoyed Eric and his weird woodsy mindset. I LOVED Parker and Will, of course, and I enjoyed seeing more of them in the time after Stealing Parker. They’re still as cute as can be! I enjoyed Kate, Will, and Parker’s friendship. With Parker not having many girl friends in Stealing Parker and Kate not having many friends at all, I’m glad that they found each other and got over their initial animosity. Parker really helps to get Kate to let loose and live every once in a while. Finally, I enjoyed Carlie and even Andrea. Andrea was a mean person for obvious reasons concerning our friend Matt, but I really think that it wasn’t anything but that that was making things rough between them. And Carlie showed her caring side once in a while! I really liked all the bonds that the counselors had made by the end of the novel–it really seemed like real life.
Kenneally’s writing was nothing short of perfection. She wrote descriptively and was able to create a world of Cumberland Creek that I would enjoy visiting myself. She has the amazing talent of creating and developing characters in just the right way. In summary, Things I Can’t Forget was a great contemporary noel about a girl finding her faith, and finding her love.
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