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Things I Can't Forget Paperback – March 5, 2013

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 9 Up-Though devoutly religious, Kate recently compromised her deeply held beliefs to help her best friend, Emily, obtain an abortion-a decision that has strained the girls' friendship and sent Kate reeling. When the teen becomes a camp counselor the summer before starting college, she questions her identity even further. Romance blossoms between Kate and a fellow counselor, Matt, and she befriends Parker, a girl whom Kate used to look down upon for her wild and promiscuous lifestyle. Subsequently, she begins to reevaluate her judgmental attitudes. Though it's primarily her relationships with others that result in Kate's growth from an uptight, narrow-minded wallflower to a self-assured young woman, characterization is sketchy, and characters are largely one-note (the gorgeous, confident love interest; her lost and confused best friend; her strict, unsympathetic boss). Still, Kenneally's spare, straightforward prose, combined with a heavy dose of romance, makes it an accessible novel that should appeal even to reluctant readers. Kate's habit of questions to herself as she encounters conflicts ("But what if I would rather have a relationship with God than friendships with people who don't believe in him like I do?") imbues her with an uncertainty that will resonate with teens. Adolescents will also relate to her simultaneous feelings of longing and guilt as she copes with her burgeoning sexuality. Despite the flaws, teenagers will find this coming-of-age story both entertaining and poignant.-Mahnaz Dar, Library Journalα(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Review

"Miranda Kenneally's best book yet. " - Shelf Awareness for Readers

"Like Diane Court in Say Anything, when sheltered, high-achieving junior Kate dives into a social life for the first time, she experiences the conflict and messiness of life at the same time she experiences her first love." - Justine magazine

"Talented Kenneally is unafraid to tackle challenging topics. Her heroine this go-round is a devout Christian struggling with her faith. Kate is an interesting blend of sweet, confused and judgmental, which doesn't always make her likable. However, she's incredibly realistic. A worthy read with a dreamy male lead." - RT Book Reviews

"An up-and-coming young-adult novelist." - The Washington Post

"Kate's sheltered worldview is well-drawn, and the hesitant first steps on her spiritual journey are handled sensitively . . . Kate's growth will keep readers, Christian or otherwise, reading." - Kirkus

"Kenneally's spare, straightforward prose, combined with a heavy dose of romance, makes it an accessible novel that should appeal even to reluctant readers. . .Teenagers will find this coming-of-age story both entertaining and poignant." - School Library Journal

"Throughout the novel, Kenneally uses a light touch, addressing teenage pregnancy, sexuality, and alcohol use without being pedantic. Wisdom from Kate's father, "Your truth isn't everybody else's truth," provides unanticipated guidance in this compassionate and nuanced exploration of friendship, love, and maturing religious understanding." - Publishers Weekly

"Simply put, if you love contemporary YA romance that has a mix serious issues, drama and steamy scenes then you are going to devour Things I Can't Forget. It is a great addition to the Hundred Oaks series." - Michelle and Leslie's Book Picks

"Kenneally's books have quickly become must–reads," - VOYA
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire; 2.5.2013 edition (March 5, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1402271905
  • ISBN-13: 978-1402271908
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 5.5 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (93 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #255,900 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Miranda Kenneally enjoys reading and writing young adult literature, and loves Star Trek, music, sports, Mexican food, Twitter, coffee, and her husband. She is from Tennessee but now lives and works in Washington, D.C.

Visit www.mirandakenneally.com and www.dearteenme.com!

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By O. Lisa on April 12, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
I'm going to start by stressing that I am not religious. Not at all. For this reason, I tend to be annoyed by books that push religion at me or that in any way promote, display, depict... you got the gist.
So that I rated it so high in itself speaks volumes.

The story is about holier-than-thou Kate, who goes to work as a counselor in a Christian camp during the summer. She's just lost her best friend Emily, who's been kicked out of the house after they discovered she got an abortion. Kate helped her getting it and her sense of guilt, as a friend and as a Christian, is overwhelming. Her beliefs, self righteousness, conception of sin and of what's right or wrong are strong and very much black and white.

For a good part of the book - and for someone maybe for the totality of it - Kate is not a character that one can easily like. She's judgmental, her vision of the world is restricted to her little community, so much so that she got on my nerves almost immediately. Take Parker, take Will, and - le sigh - take Matt. These are likable characters, normal, reasonable, good kids, good at heart not only because they're good Christians (in fact, if you remember Parker from the previous book, you know she messed up quite a lot).

However, what really stands out here and makes this book an almost five star read for me, is the depth of Kate's spiritual growth. There are some big topics tackled in this book and I have to say, they are really well explored. Through Kate's eyes, and with the help of some other characters - her dad's speech, in particular - we see her questioning what she believes and striving to understand what it is that she really believes versus what's been fed to her.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By ODell @ Book Twirps on March 11, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Kate was supposed to attend Cumberland Creek Camp with her best friend, Emily. They were supposed to be counselors this year, but recently, Emily and Kate had a blow-out after Emily got pregnant and had an abortion. Even though Kate took her to the doctor's office, it went against everything Kate believes in, and she is having a very hard time dealing with it.

Determined to put her losses behind her (not only has she lost Emily, but after a knee injury, she was also forced to quit playing soccer), Kate starts her job at the camp, reconnecting with Matt, a guy she hasn't seen in years -- the guy who was her first kiss. Matt has blossomed from a nerdy, scrawny kid into a super-hot college guy, and Kate can't stay away, even though she doesn't agree with some of the things he does. As the weeks pass, Matt and Kate grow closer and Kate is tested both spiritually and emotionally. She learns that life isn't always perfect and things aren't always black and white. Sometimes it's best to just accept the gray.

I will shamefully admit that until recently, I hadn't read any of Ms. Kenneally's books. (Don't judge!) I read Catching Jordan last month and really enjoyed it. With all of the books I had to review, I wasn't able to get to Stealing Parker before reading this book (and I wish I had, because Parker is a major character). With that being said, I still enjoyed this one. In fact I liked it even more than Catching Jordan.

Kate, the MC, was a breath of fresh air even though I have to admit that when I started the book, I prepped myself to be really put off by her. Within the first chapter or two, it's clear that Kate has a very close relationship with God. Now, don't get me wrong -- I'm not put off by religion in the least.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Jetches on March 11, 2013
Format: Paperback
I love Miranda Kenneally's writing. I hope that she writes for years to come! Although this book doesn't have the sporty title like the two before it, and although it doesn't really involve sports, doesn't stop this book from rocking like the first two. This book is heavily focused on religion, mainly on Kate's beliefs and where they fit into her life. At first I didn't really like Kate, I thought she was judgemental and almost snobbish, and she was, but then you start to realize that's the point because throughout the novel we see a change in Kate. Not necessarily in her beliefs, but she starts to realize that everyone is entitled to their own. And that is one of the main reasons I loved this book. It talks about religion, but, in my opinion, it talks about how it should be treated. This novel is different that the first two. Not really any sports, the boys are different, and Jordan Woods comes back and actually talks in this one. Not to mention Parker is actually a pretty key character here too! At first I was a little worried about where this book was going but within a couple of chapters I was a goner and knew that I loved it.

Good:

Kate--she isn't trying to be rude or judgemental, she's just trying to figure things out and making mistakes along the way

Matt--He puts his jeep doors back on and wears flip-flops just for her.

Bad:

The only thing I didn't like is the fact that Megan was not really explained (she was kind of picking solely on her and someone should have told her to shove it!), and Brad. I felt like Brad's story was unfinished.

Overall (Writing style, story line, and general):

Overall this book was awesome. I loved how each chapter was her sketching what she is re-telling us.
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