04/06/2013

Review: Things I Can't Forget {Miranda Kenneally}


Things I Can't Forget
 
Kate has always been the good girl – she's good in school and good in Church, following the rules of Forrest Sanctuary to the letter. But Kate has a secret and she knows that if anyone found out, then they wouldn't see her as so good.

When she takes a job as a summer counsellor at Cumberland Creek, a Christian summer camp, she wants to put the past behind her. Forget the secret that she prays God will forgive her for. But repenting for her sins isn't so easy, especially when she sees that her old friend Matt is back as a counsellor too.

He's the first boy she ever kissed and he's gone from a dorky songwriter to a lifeguard with a zest for life. And he makes Kate question everything she believed about love.

Kate used to see the world in black and white, used to think that there was only right and wrong, that sin was sin and that's that. But this summer, she learns that life isn't so easy and that maybe she doesn't need to forgive, maybe she needs accept. 

 

 
Kate's main struggle in this book is trying to overcome the guilt she feels over helping her friend commit what she sees as a sin. The way Kate sees incident is really interesting and I found I enjoyed being shown the point of view of someone who is very religious and is constantly scared of disappointing God VS the view of her best friend, who is slowly becoming a 'disbeliever'. It made for a really intriguing and unique conflict

But, though Kate's internal struggle was interesting to watch unfold, after a while I got kind of tired of her constantly bringing up how bad this 'sin' was and how she needed to pray for forgiveness. It got kind of old hat and when Kate was constantly judging people on how they acted because of her strong religious beliefs, all I could think was how she needed to chill the hell out. At times she was way too high-strung and judgemental for my liking.

Then again, I suppose the point of the book was Kate's journey and how she learned to be more accepting. Don't get me wrong, Kate's actually a really nice person and she never wants to offend anyone and there was a definite change in her at the end of the novel. I just wish it didn't take so long for her to get there.

Her relationship with Matt is a key part of the story. They had some pretty intense moments and he really taught her a lot, which was fantastic. But their chemistry didn't leap off the pages

Though I haven't read Stealing Parker, when Parker appeared as a secondary character in this book, her relationship with her boyfriend was just wonderful to read. They were so fun together and their chemistry was undeniable. Parker herself was a great character and really stole the show – she was a lot more complex than Kate and at times I wished I was reading her story instead

I think the thing I loved most were Kate's parents. She has them on a pedestal and at first you get the impression that they're just as super religious as she is. But, actually, her parents are really understanding and they don't see things as simply as Kate does. It was so refreshing to have parents in a YA book be supportive and offer sage advice. So often in this genre parents are absentee and judgemental to create tension, but I'm happy to say this wasn't the case here. Kate's parents were awesome and helped her find her way when she realised that they weren't the 'perfect Christians'.

This book gave me mixed feelings. It was a quick and enjoyable read, but there were also a lot of deep issues that were dealt with. I enjoyed Kate's story, but too often I found myself getting bored with how repetitive everything was. This was a good read, it just wasn't great.

"Your truth isn't everybody else's truth." 

 
 

 

Allie is a Pimm's-obsessed reader, who dreams of road tripping over America, learning to surf & becoming fluent in all the languages of her heritage (which, sadly, does not include Elvish). If she's not reading or blogging, you can find her catching up on Teen Wolf, or reigning supreme with Scrabble/Mario Kart.
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