Tomorrow is the last day of the FIre and Ice Event! I hope you had a spectacular time with the hop. I have one last post for you all here today on my blog and I am very excited about it! First thing first, here are the posts for today:
Veronica@Mostly Reviews: Karina Halle
Christy@Love of Books:Cambria Hebert: Recalled
Be sure to enter these two giveaways! I am pleased to welcome back author Miranda Kenneally. She graciously helped me kickoff Fire and Ice week here on my blog and I reviewed Catching Jordan and Stealing Parker. Check it out here. Miranda is back with her newest release: Things I Can't Forget. Let me reintroduce you to MIranda:
Miranda Kenneally is the author of CATCHING JORDAN, STEALING PARKER, THINGS I CAN'T FORGET (March 2013), and RACING SAVANNAH (December 2013). Miranda is the co-creator of Dear Teen Me. The Dear Teen Me Anthology published on October 31, 2012. She enjoys reading and writing young adult literature, and loves Star Trek, music, sports, Mexican food, Twitter, coffee, and her husband. Follow her on Twitter* *or Facebook or find her on her website, blog and Goodreads. Miranda is represented by Sara Megibow at Nelson Literary Agency.
I interviewed Miranda and asked her about her future plans and such. Here is my interview:
2. I always love that your books explore many of the tough issues facing teens today. What do you think is the most difficult issue challenging teens today?
4. I love companion novels and I especially enjoyed seeing Parker and Will and Jordan and Sam take part in this book. Can we expect to see more of them as well as Matt and Kate in your next book Racing Savannah?
5. What can we expect to see with Savannah's book?
6. Things I Can't Forget brings us the troubling issue of teenage pregnancy and abortion. What advice do you have for any young lady in Emily's situation?
7. Who are some of your favorite authors and favorite books?
8. You are on fire with all of your books. How long does it take for you to write a book?
Thank you for having me!
A big thanks to MIranda for her thoughtful responses and for being here once again. Best of luck with your new book which releases tomorrow! Don't miss it! Thanks to the wonderful folks over at Sourcebooks, I am able to offer a chance to win a paperback copy of Things I Can't Forget to one lucky U.S. resident. Fill out the Rafflcopter to enter. Good Luck! a Rafflecopter giveaway
Here is my review:
Things I Can't Forget by MIranda Kenneally
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. Note: Mature themes, sexual situations, religious discussions.
Paperback, 304 pages
Expected publication: March 1st 2013 by Sourcebooks Fire
Four Stars: A deeper, tougher read that tackles some tough issues!
Kate is nervous to start her new job as camp counselor for the summer. She is especially disappointed that her best friend Emily will not be there like they planned.
You see, despite the fact that both Kate and Emily are good church going girls who committed to living a worthy lifestyle, Emily made a mistake. A big mistake that forced Kate to go against her beliefs to help her friend. Now that tough choice is tearing Kate up inside. She worries that she will never be able to forgive herself, or Emily and that God will be angry at her for what she did. Church camp brings a pleasant distraction: Matt. Kate is reunited with Matt, the first and only boy she kissed when she was eleven at this very same camp. Now they are brought back together, and there are some definite sparks between them. Kate is afraid of intimacy because she fears getting into a situation like Emily's. Worse, she is afraid once Matt or anyone learns what she did, they won't love her. Can Kate forgive herself?
What I Liked:
- This book is a stark departure from Ms. Kenneally's other books. It takes on some very serious and touchy subjects such as religion, teenage sex, pregnancy and abortion. I admit I was a bit hesitant going into this one knowing that it had some heavy religious undertones, but once I was invested in Kate's character I appreciated Ms. Kenneally's effort to bring us yet another girl who is genuine and real. This time around we have Kate. A perpetual good girl, who is adamant about going to church, following the rules and she believes firmly in obeying God's laws. It is hard for her to accept the lifestyles of others who don't subscribe to her beliefs. Consequently, she is a bit judgmental. Over time, Kate begins to see things in a new light with the help of her new found friends, Parker, Will and Matt. She slowly begins to accept that it is okay for people to have a different set of beliefs, and in the end she makes quite a transformation. If you are hesitating on this because you are afraid of the religious themes, don't. I particularly enjoyed seeing things through the eyes of someone who has strict and staunch standards, and I like the way Kate changed.
- I was expecting a bit of a love triangle since Catching Jordan and Stealing Parker both had bait and switch romances that were in part love triangles. I was delighted to find that this one sticks to a regular romance with no love triangle!
- I am not usually a fan of books with religious themes and it was a bit of an adjustment to get used to Kate and her beliefs,(especially since I am a color outside of the lines girl) but then again after I got into Kate's head and began to understand her, I liked her. I appreciated the mature way that Ms. Kenneally explored the touchy subject of religion and how she showed through the different characters that religion is unique for every person, and especially that everyone's religious ideas are personal and their own. What is right for one person may not be right for another. The basic message of the book is to be respectful and tolerant of other people's religious views and refrain from judgement. A very thoughtful message that we all need to uphold.
- Once again, Ms. Kenneally gives us another girl's struggle with her sexual identity. Kate, of course, is fearful of any kind of intimate relationship, and at eighteen she has never had a boyfriend. As a good church going girl, she has been taught that premarital sex is wrong. After what happened with Emily, she is more afraid thanever of sex, but once she and Matt become close she begins to see how hard it is to control her natural impulses. I appreciated Kate's story and liked watching her struggle. I love that Ms. Kenneally is never afraid to take on the tough topics!
- I am becoming a huge fan of companion novels and I wish that more authors would go this route. With The Hundred Oaks Series, you get a new story each time with a sweet romance and neat conclusion, no cliffhangers! The best part is that characters from the previous novels make appearances in the next book. For instance, Sam and Jordan show up, and it was great to catch up with Jordan and find out what happened to her. Parker and Will are also in this one and they are counselors at the camp with Kate and they both play important roles in Kate's story. I love this concept!
And The Not So Much:
- I wanted there to be a touch more focus on the whole teenage pregnancy angle and abortion. There is very little detail on Emily's perspective and the story is mostly about Kate's battle to forgive herself for her actions. I guess I just wanted more of an impact and perhaps something more to help teenagers reading this book who might be caught in a similar situation. At least this book can open up discussion on the topic.
- I was left wondering how Kate developed such staunch religious ideals. There is a scene late in the book where she briefly discusses God with her father, and it is evident after the conversation that she doesn't get her strict beliefs from him. So is it from her mother? Her pastor? Her friends? I just wanted a better understanding behind Kate's belief system.
- I thought the whole storyline following Kate's fellow counselor Brad was underdeveloped. When Brad was first introduced I thought he would play a significant role in the book. He has bruises and it is evident that he perhaps is the victim of abuse. It is revealed what is going on with him, but there is very little focus on his problem. I wanted more development on his situation as it is another tough issue that some teens face.
Once again Ms. Kenneally managed to impress me with her willingness to tackle touchy teen issues. Things I Can't Forget is her most mature book to date as it focuses on teenage pregnancy, abortion, religion and sex. Don't be afraid to pick this one up. Aside from the mature themes, it has a sweet romance and it follows a girl who is struggling with her religious ideals who undergoes tremendous growth. This book has genuine characters and a good message. Definitely read this!
"I've never even considered joining a sorority and it seems like everyone here does that kind of stuff. They probably have keggers every weekend and smoke weed and throw underwear parties. Are these people okay to watch children?"
"I have a billion what-ifs and no way forward."
"It must suck to give your whole life to a church only to watch everyone disappear when you need help."
"My dad says gossip never goes away, no matter where you are in life."
"I prefer working with the younger kids. Puberty scares me."
"I missed out on a lot because I was scared other kids would be drinking or doing drugs or having sex, and I didn't want to be around that."
"Why say anything if the person you're talking to doesn't get what you're saying?" "Your truth isn't everybody else's truth."
I received a copy of this book from the publisher for review. All opinions are my own and I was not compensated for this review.
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