Mar 5, 2013

Review: Things I Can't Forget by Miranda Kenneally

Title: Things I Can’t Forget
Author: Miranda Kenneally
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Publication Date: 3.5.2013
Genre: Contemporary
Series: Hundred Oaks #3
Source: Purchased finished copy

Rating: A

Summary (from Goodreads):
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…

Miranda Kenneally’s Hundred Oaks series is my favorite contemporary YA series ever. I love how she creates vibrant characters against a realistic backdrop that have me coming away learning something. Things I Can’t Forget is the third in the series and no exception.

I think what I loved most about this book was Kate and watching her figure things out. I was Kate. I was a girl who raised in the church since I was an infant. You did not miss church unless you had a fever and/or were throwing up. I did youth group, bible studies, missions trips in the US and internationally. I also was raised to believe certain things were taboo—no sex before marriage, being gay was a sin, and a lot of other clichés that stem from an environment that focused more on the law of God and not so much the love of God. Kate and I could be sisters.

When Kate reconnects with Matt, she starts questioning her beliefs. It’s through their relationship and her friendship with Parker (from Stealing Parker—book 2 of the series) that Kate starts to grow and learn from others. It doesn’t lessen her guilt about past transgressions, but she starts realizing there is more than one way to be right and that love has no boundaries.

As Kate evolved throughout this book, I swear it was like watching myself in high school. By the end of the book Kate has truly started finding herself. There is a way to balance God and yourself and religion is a deeply personal experience. I can see where watching Kate in the beginning of this book might be frustrating to someone who hasn’t been through what she (and I) went through. The beliefs I listed earlier that I held as hard truth I know realize are not for me to judge. While I may not be for abortion personally, I sat with a friend when she had the procedure done. One of my best friends is gay and has been with her girlfriend for years and I adore them both without prejudice. Kenneally gives such life to this character and makes her so realistic, I swear you will both love and understand her by the end. This is a series you can’t ignore.

And lastly, because it must be said, Kate and Matt have one of the hottest YA romances. Seriously, I could have read about these two forever.


  1. I am looking forward to this book, I started off with Stealing Parker and I am going to be reading Catching Jordan next, this book is also on my TBR list. I have definitely enjoyed reading her books, especially considering the fact that I am not a contemporary fan but her books are great!

    Kristin @

    1. Catching Jordan is still probably my favorite in the series, but I LOVE football, so that helped. Parker is in Things I Can't Forget a lot, so if you liked you, you'll love her here.

  2. I have to admit this book had me worried just a bit because I'm so very different from Kate and grew up outside of any organized religion. I think I'll struggle a bit with her in the beginning, but this gives me hope that I'll be able to really get into her story:

    "she starts realizing there is more than one way to be right and that love has no boundaries."

    LOVE THAT. That line makes me want to pick this book up immediately:) Fabulous review Hannah!

    1. See, I grew up in a VERY religious household, so I knew exactly how Kate felt. I would love to know your take as an outsider. But I can assure you - her guilt, judging and confusion is spot on. But she also has this innocence that is utterly refreshing and genuine. She isn't nearly as jaded as some of the characters I've read.

  3. I've had Catching Jordan and Stealing Parker on my Kindle forever. I really need to get on these books!

  4. I can't wait to read this book. Miranda really has a unique place in YA contemp. Is Jordan in this book too? As much as I lover Parker, I think Jordan is still my favorite.

    1. Yup. Jordan makes an appearance as well. :) She's my fave, too.

  5. This IS the best contemporary series ever! It is so relatable. So shocking that you grew up like Kate. You don't seem anything like that. I'm so glad that you evolved like Kate and learned for yourself how to live while still loving God. Kate is an awesome girl and I admired her strength! And Matt! WHEW that boy is steamy and delicious. ;) Hehe!

    I love this review to pieces, girl! So personal and sweet. This is one of the reason's why I love you! :)

  6. I love books you can relate to so deeply.I have read a few books I loved so much because I felt I was the character or they could of been my twin.
    I like this publisher. I am reading a cute as hell romance by Sourcebooks Casablanca- geek girl and scandalous earl.
    I love these personal reviews they make me buy the book.
    Catching Jordan is one I wanna check out.
    The Registry by Shannon Stoker is an e-arc Harper approved (they musta read my post about loving their arcs/ and its good! Typical Dystopian. Good. So far anyways.
    Have a great night :)


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