In this story we meet Kate a teen who loves God, art and her family. She is very strong in her faith having been brought up in the church. She feels she was taught right from wrong and that it is a fine line you cannot stray from. But when her best friend Emily finds herself in a jam and needs Kate's help she comes to the rescue but at what price? Kate feels guilty and it is a guilt that she carries around with her.
I really found myself identifying with Kate. While I was never as strong in my beliefs as Kate is, I can relate to always wanting to do the right thing and worrying when others are straying to far from the correct path. When Kate goes to camp to be a counselor and reconnects with Matt, who she knows from attending the camp herself it's a true test of her faith and her beliefs. Matt is the lifeguard at camp who is definitely someone that Kate likes looking at. These two have some laugh out loud moments. When Matt starts flirting with Kate she is unsure of how to handle it. She has never had a relationship before and what's worse Matt not only attended the camp with her when she was younger, he was also her first kiss! will Kate be able to stay strong in her faith or will Matt be able to get the girl and get under Kate's skin?
I really found Kate to be quite naive. She assumed that just because she was going to church camp that everyone there had the same beliefs that she does. What she found when she got there was counselors who cursed and met each other behind the cafeteria for a little "fun". Maybe if she talked to me before signing up to be a counselor I could have let her in on what really goes on at camp.
Throughout this book Kate has this inner fight with herself going on. Should I? Shouldn't I? There are many times that Kate's faith is tested and not just in regards to Matt and her feelings for him. When she first arrives at camp she is paired up as co counselor with Brad, or as he likes to call himself "Bumble Bee Brad". While swimming Kate notices that Brad where's a shirt despite having an amazing six pack of abs that she can see. She also notices some marks on his arms. Once Brad finally tells Kate his story she is torn with what she should do. Lie and sin? Or keep her friends secret and possibly save him from what he is going through? I think this is one of the friendships I liked most in this book. Even though we don't see a ton from Brad I think this friendship and the fact that she could really be there for him helped Kate see that sinning isn't always a bad thing when it is helping someone.
Kate is an amazing artist and it something that she truly loves. She uses her art almost like a diary throughout the book, sketching different scenes that have taken place in her life and mean something to her. Anytime Kate tells us something that happened in the past it is always through her sketches. I really liked this idea and thought it was a very creative alternative to a traditional diary. Kate's sketches are how she gets her feelings out.
While this book does talk a lot about religion, I really feel that people who are non-religious will be able to enjoy it as well. I did find myself getting frustrated with Kate at times and just wanting her to relax and not take everything so seriously. I felt like she needed to stray from that fine line she was walking and take a little stroll on the wild side. Miranda Kenneally really knows how to show a characters personal growth in her writing While Kate did not grown by leaps and bounds she did show personal growth which I loved to see for her.
The love interest in this book, Matt, is nothing short of amazing. He is sweet, caring and understanding. Perhaps the most wonderful thing about Matt is that he plays the guitar, sings and writes his own lyrics. What is not to like about that? Like Kate, Matt has a past as well. He is a broken man who has gone through a tough break up and it is hard for him to trust. Kate and Matt have some very romantic moments that just make you swoon completely. Plain and simple Matt is every girls dream. He is most definitely my favorite character from Kenneally's books so far.
We also get to see some more of Parker and Will in this book. I fell in love with these two in Stealing Parker. Jordan from Catching Jordan also makes an appearance. If you have not read these two books you should really get on that and then when you are done pick up Things I Can't Forget. You will not regret it. This is one that will be taken off my shelf and reread many times to come. Happy reading.
Review originally posted on my blog: http://www.ramblingsofabooknerd.com/2013/03/review-things-i-cant-forget-by-miranda.html