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Friday, March 8, 2013

Review: Things I Can't Forget (Hundred Oaks #3) by Miranda Kenneally


Things I Can't Forget (Hundred Oaks #3) by Miranda Kenneally

Blurb from Goodreads:
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…

My Review:

Earlier this year, I devoured Catching Jordan and Stealing Parker. For me, both of the first two books in the Hundred Oaks series by Miranda Kennealy were perfect -- raw with teenage vulnerability, true, sweet and just plain beautiful not only in their plots but also in their words. Without even reading the premise of Things I Can't Forget, I pre-ordered it and couldn't wait to read it. However, when I read the first chapter, I was worried. I immediately felt like Kate was too harsh, too judgmental for me to relate to her and want to read her story. But as I read more, I remembered that I used to have very Kate like moments when I was her age -- I remembered that part of me that was not as open as I like to think I am now. And I trusted Miranda that we would be swept -- everyone one of us that reads this book -- into the folds of Kate's mind and heart without equivocation. It happened.

I loved the camp setting -- the descriptions made me feel like I was back at summer camp. Miranda was able to capture the joy, the outdoors, the magic of being at camp while still progressing the story and Kate's growth. Some moments made me laugh out loud and other moments my stomach sank and my heart raced. Kate and Matt together absolutely felt right -- so right that my heart ached during some of the difficult scenes between them and especially through Kate's internal struggles.

This may be my favorite in the series yet. It's hard to say because all of the books are just that good -- I think I see pieces of myself, and especially my teenage self, in Jordan, Parker and Kate. I felt like I was re-living that time in my life, but with a new perspective that could actually allow me to breathe. This is one book that will stay with me forever. If I ever have a daughter, I want her to read these books. To understand that her struggle is, in a way, the same struggle of all teenage girls. These books teach us that it is okay to struggle -- and that it will get better.
“After two hours of ethics, and in a very un-camping-like move, Megan announces we're having pizza delivered for dinner. "Really?" Eric says, throwing his hands in the air before going back to cleaning supplies in his tackle box. He must be pissed we're not out hunting deer with bows and arrows and grilling it up. This isn't Beowulf, Eric. It's 2012!”

Purchase on AMAZON

6 comments:

  1. I still haven't read any in this series but I want to one day and am glad to hear it was your fav so far. The setting sounds great to read about.

    Brandi @ Blkosiner’s Book Blog

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    1. Definitely recommend this series Brandi! It is such a well-written, character-driven series and all of the books deal with issues facing young women but in a really great way that is not preachy or suggests that there's an easy answer

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  2. I also thought when I finished that I should save the books for my daughter for when she is a teenager. It would have been good to read them when I was younger and realize I wasn't alone in things.
    I liked the camp setting a lot as well!
    Great review!

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    1. Thanks Jenn! I think that is the best thing about this series -- that we are not alone as young women-- Miranda Kennealy does such a good job about being honest in her writing and character development

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  3. I've read Catching Jordan. It was good. I'm a little of a clean freak (in case you didn't notice), but I'm still planning on reading the other two in the series. The characters and plot are really good - definitely some heart-wrenching moments in there. :)

    Tressa @ Tressa's Wishful Endings

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    1. Tressa,

      I definitely understand your reservations. This book is definitely a lot cleaner than Catching Jordan (IMO). Very emotional and hard to read at times but a great message

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