Release Date: March 1, 2013
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Series: Hundred Oaks #3 (A companion book that can be read as a standalone)
Review Source: ARC for review from Raincoast Books
Synopsis: (from Goodreads)
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…
I completely adore how Miranda Kenneally is willing to discuss such serious (and touchy, for many people) issues in her books. And because of this I think my review for ‘Things I Can’t Forget’ will be a bit different from my normal ones. I know there will be some very strong reactions to this book, so I thought I would reflect on the issues that the book presents, and especially on the book’s main character.
Kate Kelly is a tricky character. I think for a lot of people she might seem too religious to relate to. However I think if you take a deeper look you can identify with Kate and her situation. Kate has done something which she believes to be immoral, something that she doesn’t believe in, to help a friend. Then because of prejudice (on both sides) that friendship falls apart. I think we’ve all had friendships end, and we’ve probably all been in situations where we have to make a difficult decision based on what we believe, whether that be related to religion, politics, or even just personal morals.
Personally I can relate a lot to Kate’s situation. I also grew up in a relatively strict Christian household, and at one point I think I was in that bubble where it was shocking to realize how other people were living, and what other people thought was right, versus what I grew up believing. Because of this I can really empathize with Kate as a character, even when her beliefs come across as rigid or judgmental.
I think as you read the book you see that Kate is someone who has a belief system and is growing up and learning about herself and her place in the world, just like anyone else. We see Kate try and reconcile her own faith and beliefs both with her own behaviour and with others’ beliefs and behaviours. Kate has never been a position before where she’s had to question her beliefs, and she finally sees how other people might find her judgmental. I love how Kate manages to stick to her fundamental beliefs, and yet also grows as a person, accepting that others might not always believe the same things as her. She realizes that it’s not the end of the world for people to have different beliefs, and that it’s not her place to judge people, especially before getting to know them.
I can't write this review without commenting on how much I adored the romance in this one. I’m pretty sure I would love any romance that Miranda Kenneally writes, but I especially loved Matt and Kate together because of their past connection. I loved how their relationship came out of an easy friendship, and the summer camp setting was a perfect place for them to explore their feelings. I loved the mutual respect that existed in their relationship, and how their feelings made Kate question (for the first time) what boundaries should exist in physical relationships before marriage.
I really can’t say enough about how much I enjoy Miranda Kenneally’s books. I always feel so much for her characters and their relationships. I love the examination of deeper issues that gets mixed in with totally swoony romances. After ‘Stealing Parker’ Miranda rose to the top of my auto-buy list, but this book just confirmed my feelings.
Cute!! I like it.
Find Things I Can't Forget by Miranda Kenneally on Goodreads, Book Depository, & Amazon.