August 13, 2013

Things I Can't Forget - Miranda Kenneally

Things I Can't Forget - Miranda Kenneally
Things I Can't Forget by Miranda Kenneally
Series: Hundred Oaks #3
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Publication Date: March 1, 2013
Source/Format: Borrowed from Estelle (Thank you!) || ARC

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. (from Goodreads)

Right after I finished Stealing Parker, I immediately felt the need to read Things I Can't Forget. The main character made this book harder to like initially, but in the end, it completely won me over. With a story to rival its predecessor, a summer camp setting and a new love interest to swoon over, Things I Can’t Forget was another hit!

Kate Kelly is hard to like, as she’s got a strict set of beliefs she adheres to and judges anyone who acts in opposition to them. But readers will eventually come to understand that she’s like this only because those values are all she’s known and obeyed for years. As Kate learns to be more malleable and understanding, readers will warm up to her. I liked her a lot, particularly because she strives to be a good friend and daughter. Every single choice she makes for herself stays consistent with what she believes; I appreciate how Kenneally was able to balance Kate growing up while still keeping a hold on her values.

There's a new love interest in this book - Matt Brown. He and Kate have history together, which had me rooting for them even more. It was really easy to fall for him since he loves music (!), literature (!!) and seems genuinely nice and easygoing. He was a great guy, through and through, and his romance with Kate was lovely and imperfect and totally real.

The story in Things I Can’t Forget is certainly thoughtfully written. Kate is also dealing with something, and starts off searching for a “sign”. She tries so hard to play by the rules, and live her life right, but situations start to confront her with confusing options that prompt her to compromise things and ask questions. It was so easy to relate to her endless cycle of knowing what was right, becoming unsure of what was really right, being guilty and panicky at doing something clearly wrong, followed by the hope that if you do x number of things right, you’ll make up for it. Her journey is tough, as the battle occurs mostly in her own mind, and she has to decide for herself. But I loved that she learns, in the end, that her truth can be different from someone else’s – and that doesn’t mean that either truth isn’t true.

Things I Can't Forget is a good read, even though Kate is a hard person to like initially. Her story is one that feels entirely truthful, and I loved that Kenneally got her conflict down on paper so perfectly. The summer camp setting just added an extra incentive for me to adore this tale, as did the appearance of some old friends – Parker, Corndog-slash-Will, Sam Henry and Jordan. How Kate’s journey concludes, and what she learns, is written in what feels like the best way possible – and I clearly enjoyed it!


  1. This sounds interesting. I still need to dive into this series, but glad to know you're enjoying them. Great review!

    Confessions of a Vi3tBabe
    Deity Island

  2. HAH. I was totally waiting for this review because I needed a kick in the butt to read Things I Can't Forget. Thanks, Alexa! :P Anyway, I love protagonists that are hard to like at first. I know that sounds weird, but sometimes I feel like I grow as a person as the character grows as a person. So I'm definitely wanting to read this one sooner rather than later!

    Tara @ Hobbitsies

  3. I agree---Kate's pretty rigid. But you know that underneath she is really a GOOD person-she wants to do the right things. I think this book might be the strongest of the three in Miranda's Hundred Oaks Series, even though I prefer the character of Parker overall--I can relate to her more than I do Jordan or Kate.

    It seems like Kenneally's writing gets better and better with each book so I am REALLY excited to read Racing Savannah this winter! Great review, Alexa!

  4. I haven't read any of Kenneally's books, but I don't know why. Something about the covers just always makes me pass them by. Glad to hear you enjoyed this one - maybe I'll give them a chance soon! I've seen them at the library a number of times. I'll have to pick them up soon!


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