Author: Miranda Kenneally
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Release date: March 1st 2013
Genre: Young Adult contemporary romance
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My rating: 4 out of 5 starsKate 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…
I love Miranda Kenneally's Hundred Oaks books, and Things I Can't Forget is no exception! I was a little wary of this one because religion plays such an important role in the story, but I shouldn't have doubted Miranda Kenneally. She handles the topic, along with all the other stories, in a respectful and thought-provoking manner, and I loved it.
To be honest, I did not like Kate at first. At all. She has very strong beliefs about what is wrong and right - which is fine - but she has a hard time dealing with others not abiding by those rules, making her thoughts and sometimes words and actions very judgmental. I kept wanting to shake her for trying to instill her beliefs in those around her. Then again, I understood her in some way, too, and she made me question my own actions: her beliefs are pretty much opposite of mine, but in a way, I do the same thing, because I judge people like her, who have beliefs different from mine. Anyways, she was a very interesting head to inhabit, and a somewhat unusual narrator in contemporary YA, which I really enjoyed.
I also loved the romance. Matt is perfect, and I mean that in a good as well a bad day: he was so much fun to read and swoon about, but he's also too good to be true and maybe unrealistic. Realistic or not, though, I really enjoyed his relationship with Kate: it's a little too intense for my taste, but it develops in a very natural way, which I enjoyed reading about. I wish we had gotten to know some more about his past, though - maybe some mistakes he's made, to make him less perfect.
The summer camp setting added a lot to the story. I've read a couple of books set at camp, and the camp counselor thing added a new perspective. I really liked how this brought Kate into contact with so many people she never would have interacted with in her day-to-day life. Of course I loved seeing Kate develop a friendship with Parker (yay Parker!), but I also liked each character's individual story. I wish the focus had been less on romantic relationships between the counselors, and more just on friendship, though, even if I appreciate how Miranda Kenneally wanted to portray many different kinds of relationships.
Miranda Kenneally is an author I've come to count on for fun, quick romances that touch on deeper issues in a subtle and thought-provoking way. I loved Things I Can't Forget, and I can't wait to read Racing Savannah!