Thursday, July 10, 2014

Review: Things I Can't Forget by Miranda Kenneally

Title: Things I Can't Forget (Hundred Oaks #3)
Author: Miranda Kenneally
Published: March 1st 2013
Add It: Goodreads
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository

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…

This series has been tough for me in the sense that I loved Catching Jordan so much. It suited me well at the time and I still adore it to pieces, but Stealing Parker, while still enjoyable, was not exactly my cup of tea. I liked it, but not as much as the first book. After hearing how people felt like Things I Can’t Forget was a tad preachy.. Idk. I was expecting to feel lukewarm about it, but guess what? I actually liked this one!

“Learning is never a bad thing. And neither is changing your mind about things…It’s always good to reevaluate. To think and consider all sides.”

I adore the fact that the guys in these books are all so sweet and Matt, Kate’s love interest, is no different. Plus, he plays the guitar. Who in the world can resist that? As for Kate, her growth from an extremely judgmental person to a young woman, who is not afraid to speak her mind and isn’t afraid to think on her own, was very humbling to watch. When she mildly told Megan off at the end of the book? I was so cheering for her!

It’s not that much about religion in my eyes (though it’s definitely about faith and god for Kate), but rather realizing that not everything is black and white, but there are lots of grey areas in life and sometimes you go against your beliefs because it feels right. It’s okay to doubt yourself; to have different opinions. This book tells us a story of stepping into adulthood, questioning things, mending friendships and finding love. It was quite inspirational if you think about it.

All of these books are very summerish—perfect for a warm summer night in my opinion. Also, I’m not religious at all, yet I didn’t find TICF preachy. In my opinion, Kate’s doubt, indecision etc carried over to other areas of our everyday lives. Also, I didn’t love Parker that much in her own book, but by the end of this one she had grown on me and I absolutely adored her relationship with Kate. Oh, and I also loved how this one was a tad darker and more upper YA than Miranda’s previous work.

All in all, Kate's story brought back so many memories of my own childhood and teenage years since I spent many summers at different camps. I found this book to be enjoyable and, with tons of character growth, quite inspirational. What I took away from this read is that sometimes there is no wrong or right, but it’s the thought that counts. I really liked the story in general and I’m even more excited now to read Racing Savannah. Brrrring it!

Overall rating: 4.1 out of 5.0
Stars: ★★★★

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  1. I am really glad you enjoyed this, Siiri! :) I was actually looking forward to this one because I loved the blurb and when it came out a lot of people thought it was preachy so I decided to skip it. I am wondering if I should give this a shot now but at the same time, after hating (that's a strong word .-. I know but I cannot help it) Catching Jordan I am worried I won't like this one.... even though I really want to.

    Hopefully though, if I end up reading it, I'll like this one better especially since I really like the sound of it! :)

    Lovely review, Siiri! :)

  2. I was so nervous when I saw you reviewed this today. I was hoping that you would love it as much as I did, but I was worried you would find it preachy as well. I'm glad you didn't though.

    I loved Kate's growth throughout the book as well. She went from this narrow-minded girl to an open-minded one and her journey was just wonderful. And Matt? <3 All the swoons for this guy! He's my favorite Kenneally boy although I think that changed after Breathe, Annie, Breathe (my favorite in the series so far!). I can't wait for you to read that one when it comes out. If I have to be honest, Racing Savannah was my least favorite book, but I'm crossing my fingers you're going to love it.

    "It’s not that much about religion in my eyes (though it’s definitely about faith and god for Kate), but rather realizing that not everything is black and white, but there are lots of grey areas in life and sometimes you go against your beliefs because it feels right."

    I love this sentence of yours. I think you sum up what Miranda's goal was perfectly with it. :)

    Beautiful review, lovely! :)

  3. I'm so happy you enjoyed this one Siiri! I loved it a few months back and like you i didnt find it too heavy on the religion, either. I also like how all Kenneslly's boys are such sweethearts, too and they never fail to make me swoon! Glad you liked this one so much!

  4. I'm so glad you that you enjoyed this one Siiri! Sometimes second books can be like that but I'm glad the third one was a good one :) I've been curious about this series, but have never given the books a try. Great review!

    Janina @ Synchronized Reading

  5. This one sounds like a wonderful read for summer, and I'm glad to see you enjoyed it, Siiri! The cover is fantastic and your review has me interested. Lovely review, Siiri!

  6. Although I liked this one, this is my least favorite of the series. Breathe Annie is coming up next and I'm excited for it!

  7. I was afraid this would be preachy too. I think it's great that it's more about NOT being preachy or judgy. I'm so glad you liked TICFm, Siiri. I did too!

  8. Yay! I'm thrilled to see that you enjoyed this one Siiri, when I first started reading this I really did think it was quite different to Kenneally's previous books, but I really did like the path that she decided to venture down. Also the character growth that she showed for Kate was just immense, and I adored Matt and loved seeing previous characters return once more. I for one can't wait to read Breathe, Annie, Breathe, I hope you end up enjoying the rest of Kenneally's books just as much! Lovely review!

  9. I am so glad you enjoyed this one Siiri. I know Christy @ Love of Books adores this series. Fantastic review!

  10. I liked Catching Jordan, too! It was a pretty awesome read when I consumed it back in the day... I remember giving it 4 stars, and I'm glad to see the other books in this episodic series are just as good, this one especially. I've actually never been to a summer camp. When we had our summer vacations, I would just trap myself in my room watching animes haha. I wish I did, though... maybe I would've found a love of my life there, too ;) Or maybe even the confidence I lacked in my puberty years!

    Faye at The Social Potato

  11. I remember wanting to get into this series a while ago but I always somehow resisted as this is not I usually enjoy. I think that I might like Catching Jordan too, but I'm not sure about the others. Also I'm glad that those people aren't preachy as I don't like that in books, me not being religious and all that. I'm so glad you enjoyed this one girl. Great review, as always :)

  12. I'm really glad that you enjoyed this book! Everything by Miranda Kenneally is just awesome. Great review!

  13. Maybe I'm a little bias, in the sense that I haven't read any of the other books and so this is my first Miranda experience and I didn't get to enjoy the cameos as much and stuff but . . . ehhhh. This was OKAY for me.

    I actually found Matt kind of annoying! He was sweet, yeah, but BLAND. I needed to throw some salt on that boy, or some cheese or SOMETHING. I did love the religious aspect though, and how Kate struggled with that and then eventually learned that things were actually RAINBOWS, instead of black and white. .

    Parker and Will were my favourite thing about this!!! I liked them more than Kate and Matt haha. Maybe I should actually read Stealing Parker? Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm. MAAAAAAAYBE.

  14. I haven't started this series yet or anything by this author but I've heard some incredible reviews of Catching Jordan. This sort of contemporary is right up my alley and I know if it's anything like the Summer series, by C. J Duggan and I LOVE those! Great review, I must read these soon Siiri! :D

  15. I loved Catching Jordan, Stealing Parker a little less and ugh. Things I Can't Forget I couldn't even make myself read through, it definitely was too preachy and I'm not somebody who can deal when religious undertones become the center face of a book. However after reading this review now I feel like I was being narrow minded when I decided to DNF this story. Though I couldn't stand Kate, perhaps reading more would have allowed me to gain deeper insight into her character and enjoy this one more.

    Great review! I believe Racing Savannah was the one after this, and I actually quite enjoyed that one. Though it may have been due to my bias of adoring horses lol

  16. Wow, sounds thoroughly enjoyable like a summer read with a great message behind it. I haven't read anything by this author yet but I have heard good things about Catching Jordan and Racing Savannah. Glad it wasn't preachy either! Lovely review Siiri.

  17. yay! Great review. This is very interesting and light hearted. I love this kind of read. Thank you for sharing your thoughts about this book. :)

  18. I'm reading Breathe, Annie, Breathe right now and I can't believe this one is the story of Matt and Kate. Woah! I have yet to read and finish a Miranda Keanelley novel so I'm really surprised. I'm glad you liked this, though, despite reading about the negative reviews. Great review, Siiri! :)

  19. Hmm, I am about to start Breathe Annie Breathe and have only read one other book by her which was Racing Savannah--I was pretty meh about it but I heard Catching Jordan is one of her best novels so I think I'll try that one soon. I'm glad that you ended up enjoying this one overall, Siiri! I do love how all these books are to do with sports.

    Awesome review, lovely <33

  20. I totally agree with you. I've read the first two books and enjoyed them, but haven't rushed out to read this one yet. It's on my wishlist but I just don't feel rushed. I think the first book was my fav. though

  21. I already told you that I adored first book, but I am not sure how I would feel about it now. Back when I first read it, I enjoyed different kind of books than now. And whole religious aspect? So not my thing. I'm still on the fence about will I continue with reading this. We will see...
    Great review, Siiri.

  22. Yay! I'm so glad you liked this, Siiri! I read Racing Savannah and really enjoyed it so I can't wait for Annie's, but I haven't read Parker's. So I need to backtrack asap! Love your review!


    So glad you enjoyed this! I really liked the religious aspect + girl bonding in this one. And you know, Matt. ;)

  24. Glad you're enjoying this series! I'm still afraid to start it mostly for book 2. But I'm starting to think that I might just skip over that one so I can get to the later ones. I have a feeling that I will connect well to this particular book and I'm hearing great reactions to the new release Breathe, Annie Breathe, even though the cover doesn't match the rest...

  25. Kate's journey was not always an easy one to read, but by the end this girl completely won me over. And Matt??? Such an amazing book boyfriend. I can't wait to see more of him in Jeremiah's story. :D It really is an inspirational read, not preachy at all, and the summery tone works perfectly. It definitely brought on the nostalgia.

    Great review, lady!