Things I Can't Forget by Miranda Kenneally
When it will be published: out now, by Sourcebooks Fire
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…
What I liked most: There's nothing quite like opening a young adult romance with the expectation that you'll get a sweet, innocent summer camp story--and then getting walloped with a romance that makes you go WOAH BABY!
Although CATCHING JORDAN and STEALING PARKER have been at the top of my TBR pile for quite some while, THINGS I CAN'T FORGET was my first Miranda Kenneally book and I was not disappointed. I really loved these characters. Kate was so set in her beliefs at the start of camp and it only took Mini Poodle Matt to break down her walls and make her see the world differently.
I thought a lot about how Miranda challenged her main character by sending her to work as a camp counselor at a church camp. One thing I thought was very interesting was the range of beliefs and spirituality featured. While Kate was the extreme with a strict, conservative ideas, she ended up befriending Parker whose more liberal views helped soften Kate's views. Even though I'm not religious myself, I was really intrigued of how Kate held onto her beliefs but still grew to be more accepting of the world around her.
Why you should have it in your TBR pile: But of course, we haven't gotten to the romance yet. I was really surprised at how Miranda wove Kate and Matt's relationship together in a way that made sense with their opposing beliefs. Matt was a solid love interest who was interesting without being a stereotype. He had a core set of values and freewill to bend the rules. A lifeguard frat boy who drives a jeep without doors and is good with kids and can't stand to have his heart broken again? This is the reason you need to have this book in your TBR pile.
The one scene I'm dying for you to read: Hmm...oh man. There's too many. Any date Matt and Kate go on is adorable. Especially the one night he takes her home to meet his family.