Monday, March 18, 2013

Blog Tour Review + Giveaway: Things I Can't Forget by Miranda Kenneally

Be sure to check out the rest of the stops on this tour for more reviews as well as guest posts, giveaways, and more!

Things I Can’t Forget by Miranda Kenneally 
Series: Hundred Oaks, book #3
Published: March 1st, 2013
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
320 pages (e-ARC)
Genre: Contemporary young adult
Acquired this book: From the publisher as part of blog tour
Warning: May contain spoilers
{GoodReads || Buy this book: Book Depository || Amazon || Chapters/Indigo}

{Read my review of Catching Jordan || Read my review of Stealing Parker}

Companion to Catching Jordan and Stealing Parker 

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…
Most of the people who have read Catching Jordan and Stealing Parker will likely agree that Miranda Kenneally is quickly becoming one of the queens of contemporary young adult. She’s got a knack for writing stories that touch you, make you laugh, make you fall in love, and make you think.

I’m not the first person to say this, but I was a little wary going into Things I Can’t Forget. There was quite a strong theme of religion in Stealing Parker, but it didn’t bother me because Parker was questioning her beliefs and the hypocrisy that often runs rampant in religion, which is something I can relate to. In Things I Can’t Forget, the religion aspect was a major part of the book, and that worried me.

I won’t lie - when I finished reading this book, I was a jumble of emotions and thoughts. The heavy religious themes made me slightly uncomfortable at times, but I also understood it in a way. Kate comes off as very judgmental, but this is how she grew up - religion for her was very black and white, and she believed what the Bible told her and what her ministers preached to her. For Kate, there was right and there was no wrong, and there was no in between.

I really liked Kate. Despite her faults and her zealous religious beliefs (that’s not a reason not to like someone, it’s just for the purposes of this book, it was hard to swallow at times), I thought she was a great character. She held onto her beliefs, no matter what - even when people called her a Jesus Freak at school, even when her faith was tested, and even when people found her hard to handle because they thought she was judgmental, she held onto her faith, and I admired and respected her for that. There were times it was hard to believe she was eighteen because she was so na├»ve and sheltered, but it was nice to see her changing, developing, and growing as a character. She realized that not everyone has the same beliefs, and while in the beginning that was a major point of contention for her when it came to making friends, she slowly begins to realize that her truth doesn’t have to be everyone else’s truth. We don’t all have to believe the same things, and I think that will resonate with people, even if it has nothing to do with religion.

I loved seeing Parker and Jordan again, and I’m glad Parker was a big part of the book, and that she had a role in Kate’s growth. I also liked Matt, and enjoyed his and Kate’s relationship. 

A big part of the reason I love Kenneally’s books is because they’re completely different. There are no cookie cutter stories for her. Kate’s struggles were very real, and although they were regular teenage struggles on one hand, they were completely different in many other ways, usually because of her strong beliefs. It’s not something you come across in many YA books. Kenneally has a way of writing characters you can connect to and feel for, even if they’re the complete opposite of you - there’s just something about her writing that makes you feel like you can relate to the characters.

I give Miranda Kenneally huge kudos for being such a brave author. She’s not afraid to take chances; I thought that when I read Catching Jordan and Stealing Parker, and after reading Things I Can’t Forget, I have even more respect for her. This book won’t be for everyone. There are people who will be turned off by the religious aspect (I very rarely read books with religious themes, but I made an exception because I love Miranda’s books so much), but that didn’t stop her from writing this book, and I really admire that. I like authors who are willing to take chances and maybe even force some readers to step outside their comfort zone. 

Things I Can’t Forget is about friendship, love, heartache, life lessons, and so much more. It packs an emotional punch while still managing to be fun and funny. I can’t wait to see what Miranda Kenneally comes up with next!
  Have you read Things I Can’t Forget? What did you think? Have you read the companion novels, Catching Jordan and Stealing Parker? Which is your favourite so far?

Be sure to enter for the amazing grand prize - a grab bag of Miranda’s favourite books! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. I was hesitant going into this one at first, too .... from the first chapter, I wondered if I would like the rest of the book. The religious themes were SO prominent. And it was so hard to like Kate. But in the end, I was so happy to have read it and you're right -- Miranda Kenneally sure loves taking chances and writing outside the box. I can't wait to continue on with this series!

  2. I'm really looking forward to this. I think books that feature religious themes are needed, and not just the ones sold in religious bookstores. I like that a girl can pick up a YA book in a mainstream store and see some of herself represented in a book. I was not raised in the church, but started attending youth group in high school with a friend. My entire life felt like a push/pull of religious exploration for awhile. I like the idea of books that address that middle ground, where faith isn't "good" or "bad."

    Props to Kenneally for taking this on, and her writing is so fun and real!

  3. I'm really looking forward to reading this one. I've heard some good things about it and I'm curious to see how the author handles it for myself.

  4. I was hesitant about reading this as well despite loving the first book by MK (I still need to read Stealing Parker).

    I tend to avoid books with religious undertones but I have read a few reviews now which said it was done quite well. I'm pleased to read that you enjoyed this book and could relate to the characters.

    A wonderful review Marie! I hope to grab a copy soon x


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