Wednesday, August 14, 2013

REVIEW: THINGS I CAN'T FORGET (Hundred Oaks, #3) by Miranda Kenneally

Title: Things I Can’t Forget
Series: Hundred Oaks, #3
Author: Miranda Kenneally
Publisher: SourceBooks Fire
Publication Date: March 1, 2013
Genre: Young Adult
Reviewed by: Books4Tomorrow
Source: Purchased
My smiley rating: 5/5


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…


This is the third book I’ve read by Miranda Kenneally, and I enjoyed it as much as I did Catching Jordan and Stealing Parker. Parents looking for a clean read to get for their teenage daughters, I highly recommend the Hundred Oaks series. Each book can be read as a stand-alone and every story deals with one or the other moral dilemma faced by teens today. Things I Can’t Forget specifically deals with teens having to make tough Christian-value based decisions in today’s world where issues such as sex before marriage, teenage pregnancy and abortion are receiving a more laissez faire approach by a lot of adults and teenagers alike. Though it sends out a strong message of one person’s truth not being the same as another’s, it isn’t preachy at all; the point rather being that no matter what your beliefs are, it’s okay to believe differently or stick to what you believe in, but at the same time being tolerant of what others view as acceptable, especially when it comes to matters of faith, forgiveness, falling in love, and friendships.

I loved the setting for this book, which for a change isn’t high school, but summer camp. Everything was well described and I felt right at home having fun with the kids and counselors, participating in the Critter Crawl, grilling steaks, swimming and playing Matt’s game of Bonzo Ball. Fun activities aside, I enjoyed this book for various reasons. Kate is a quite a complex character, and one I didn’t always like. I appreciated that she held firmly to her beliefs and didn’t want to give in to the same pressures her peers did. Sometimes I felt she was questioning herself too much and she was too judgmental. But this, I believe, is precisely what the author wanted me to think and to feel, so that Kate’s process of self-discovery and her ultimate transformation at the end would have a bigger impact on me as reader. I think the author dealt with the aforementioned topics of sex before marriage, teen pregnancy and abortion, with sensitivity and care, and also from the exact perspective a staunch Christian eighteen-year-old would.

As with the second book in this series, it was great catching up with characters from the first two books. Jordan, from Catching Jordan makes a brief appearance, but Parker from the second book, Stealing Parker, features as one of the camp counselors in this story and forms part of one of the major changes in Kate’s life. This is a great series and if I had a teenage daughter I wouldn’t hesitate to get her these books. Miranda Kenneally is rapidly establishing herself as a name that can be trusted when looking for good, clean, enjoyable books that has something heartfelt to share with the reader. I highly recommend adding this series to your must-read list!


Things I Can’t Forget by Miranda Kenneally has 351 reviews on Goodreads. Read it here.



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