Things I Can’t Forget
Author: Miranda Kenneally
Series: Hundred Oaks #3
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
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…
First Sentence: Girls like me do not buy pregnancy tests.
After reading Stealing Parker and not loving it as much as I loved Catching Jordan, I was a bit skeptical if I should read Things I Can’t Forget, especially since it was starting to look like the sporty part of Miranda Kenneally’s books is on the backseat compared to the religious parts of the book. However, this semester I am taking a Comparative Literature class that focuses on religious texts, so here I am wondering why not give Things I Can’t Forget a shot since I have to take a religious class in college anyway? Reading some additional religious texts this semester wouldn’t kill me.
Like all the other reviews of Things I Can’t Forget I glimpsed at, I have to agree, Kate is so judgmental. I wanted to shake her throughout the first two-thirds of the book. This happens in the first pages of Things I Can’t Forget so it’s not really a spoiler: Kate’s best friend Emily is pregnant and wants to get an abortion, so Kate agrees to go with Emily to the doctor. Right after Emily gets an abortion, Kate goes on and on about how she, Kate, has sinned so badly because she helped erase a life from the world. Kate is only thinking about herself, not about how Emily must be emotionally hurt after the abortion because of all the natural chemicals and the hormones connecting the lost baby with its mother. To make matters worse, Kate asks Emily to pray for her when Emily doesn’t believe in God anymore. How sensitive is Kate? Here is her best friend, mourning over her lost baby, and all Kate can think of is herself. Kate also eavesdrops on private conversations a lot. It’s like her personal hobby. “I can’t hear what they’re saying,” Kate complains on page 125. Well Kate, you’re not supposed to hear what they are saying, their conversation is private. (I sometimes wonder if Kate knows the definition of that word.) I can go on and on about the things Kate does, with pages of notes/rants to prove it.
However, in the last one-third or so of Things I Can’t Forget, Kate slowly changes for the better. She stops focusing on herself as much and starts to think about other people too and how what she does will and can affect them. Kate also becomes more open and a lot less judgmental. Thank goodness for that.
As for Kate and Matt’s relationship, I’m not really convinced it’s love, at least on Kate’s side. Several times throughout the book, Kate made me feel that she only wants a relationship with Matt because she’s lonely and wants someone to cuddle and make out with like how Parker and Will does with each other. When I first felt that way, I waved the thought away, thinking I’m probably taking it the wrong way, but after I encountered several more events that made me feel like that, I just couldn’t shake the feeling that Kate just likes Matt because she really wants a boyfriend.
What’s surprising to me is that I like Parker a lot better in Things I Can’t Forget than in her own book, Stealing Parker. In Things I Can’t Forget, Parker is portrayed as a lonely, sensitive understanding girl than the attention seeking girl she was in Stealing Parker. We see Parker in an entirely new light and I began to understand her a lot more.
Why did I give Things I Can’t Forget a measly 3 stars when the main character changed for the better? Isn’t that part of character development/growth? Simple, I gave Things I Can’t Forget 3 stars because I didn’t enjoy the book as much as I enjoyed reading Catching Jordan. Things I Can’t Forget was missing that spark and humor that made me enjoy Catching Jordan so much. If I had accidentally lost Things I Can’t Forget while I’m in the middle of the book, I wouldn’t be eager to quickly replace my copy asap. Instead, I’ll be like oh, well that book can wait and start reading a new book.
Overall, Things I Can’t Forget wasn’t bad, but I still strongly prefer Catching Jordan more. Oh, and before I forget to add this, there wasn’t much sporty events in Things I Can’t Forget. Would I recommend Things I Can’t Forget? Well, if you can handle a lot of religious talk (about 75% of the book is about religious talk), then go ahead and grab a copy. If not, then stay away.