Thursday, March 14, 2013

Alone and Dancing, You Know It Baby...

Things I Can't Forget (Hundred Oaks, #3)
Published: March 1st, 2013
Things I Can't Forget (Hundred Oaks # 3)
By: Miranda Kenneally
Sourcebooks Fire
ISBN-13: 978140227
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…
     Kate has always done the right things and kept a close relationship with God.  But she has done something that she isn't sure she can ever forgive herself for, let alone ask God to forgive her.  When she goes to be a counselor at Cumberland Creek summer camp, Kate is feeling lonelier than ever after losing her best friend and having her beliefs put into question.  But when she meets Matt, another counselor she used to know as a kid, things start looking up.  Kate just might be falling in love for the first time.  While desperately trying to make up for what she did, Kate just might learn that it's okay if others believe differently than you, it's a part of life.  Can she keep her relationship with Matt, even when he wants to go faster than she does?  And can she make it up to all the people she's hurt in the past?  Either way it will be a summer to remember...
     I went into this one kind of wary, because while I didn't hate Catching Jordan, I didn't love it either.  Stealing Parker read a lot better for me, and I went into this with some hope I could maybe love it.  This book came awful close to accomplishing its goal!  Kate, while religious to a fault, was nothing but sincere even when she was wrong.  And that made a serious difference.  Kate is naïve, kind, funny and thoughtful.  She just has a hard time realizing that its okay for people to have beliefs that are different from hers, because she's been taught otherwise her whole life.  She has a big problem with hypocrisy and with the amount of it going on at camp, I totally sympathize with her.  I personally don't believe in abortion, but do believe in a woman's right to choose so I could understand the agony of helping another person get the procedure, especially when you believe it's against you God's wishes.  The romance with Matt was sweet and they had so many 'awwww' moments that I was in danger of smiling my face off.  Even though I wasn't super in love with Miranda's previous books, I did enjoy the candid and realistic way she dealt with sex and love and what it means to teenagers.  This book was no different, except she finally portrayed a girl who decided to wait instead of giving herself to the boy (which was a change for me in YA fiction as I don't read much Christian YA where it occurs more often).  I liked the way Kate managed to slowly win Parker's trust and become friends, when previously she had stayed away from her (scared her 'sin' would cause Kate herself to stray) and Parker thought she was being a judgmental bitch.  They still were two very different girls at the end of the book, but their friendship was a nice fit.  My least favorite thing was how Kate treated the friend who had the abortion (not that the friend was very understanding either).  But I understood how she could originally go in that direction, believing as she did.  Overall, a really good contemporary YA novel that deal with romance, belief, friendship and the difficulties of growing up.  I highly recommend it.
VERDICT:  4.5/5  Stars
*I received this book as part of Around the World ARC Tours, run by the lovely Princess Bookie. No favors or money were exchanged for this review. It became available for purchase March 1st, 2013.*

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