Things I Can’t Forget – Miranda Kenneally

Synopsis

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…

Read an excerpt here.

Note: Mature themes, sexual situations, religious discussions.

Review

I think the highlight of this book—for me—was the acknowledgements page. I know that makes it seem like this book is really bad, but wait! I actually mean the opposite, because this book was a muddle of contemplative thoughts and confusion, only to get cleared up in the acknowledgements. Because Kenneally acknowledged that no one really knows what they’re doing, or that it’s hard to fit in a society with different beliefs from everyone else, and that it’s possible to live a happy and fulfilled life anyway.

I won’t say this book is especially profound. It’s really sweet and funny at times, and I love how each story has intertwined with the others. It cranks the swoon (I LOOOOVE MATT), but still remains innocence and timidity. It’s a fairytale and a dream of “happily ever after.” Kate is young and naive, and she’s trying to figure out what it means to be “adult.” She’s learning to be less judgmental, and that really hit home for me because I know I’ve struggled with the same thing.

Catching Jordan was a lot about the sports, and didn’t really deal with religion.Stealing Parker had a LOT to do with both topics, and Things I Can’t Forget veered in the opposite direction (lots of religion, not much athletics). I found myself okay with that, because Kenneally seems to be VERY careful about not seeming preachy. She does offer very probing questions that a lot of young people go through when weighing their beliefs. Some of her “questions” were very common philosophical “proofs” on the existence of God (argument from design, cosmological argument, etc.), which I felt to be a bit biased. They didn’t consider the other side of those arguments, which I suppose makes sense because Kate came into everything loving God unconditionally and without questioning His existence in the first place.

I wish there was a bit more to Kate’s character development aside from the all-consuming relationships in her life: aka those with Matt and God. Parker, Brad, Emily, Megan, and many of the side characters exist to fill that purpose, but they seem rather inconsequential compared to the aforementioned relationships. We don’t get to see that much of Kate’s development, just a sudden jump from her seeming really tense to seeming happy. I wanted to see more of the in between stuff!

Also, I would really love to see a story surrounding Carlie and Ian. Or just Ian, because he’s wonderful!

Related Reading

  • Stealing Parker – Miranda Kenneally
  • Once Was Lost – Sara Zarr
  • Isla and the Happily Ever After – Stephanie Perkins
  • Books about innocence (or lack thereof)

Rating: 3.5/5

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