Saturday, March 23, 2013

Blog Tour Post and Review: Things I Can't Forget by Miranda Kenneally

So I'm very excited for my post today! I love that Miranda Kenneally's books always have some type of message. They always teach the reader something without the reader even realizing it. And I LOVE those types of books, books that are fiction but you still finish it with some type of lesson. This particular one was semi deep considering it was about religion. Even with me being Catholic and very involved in my religion, I was worried about reading a book revolving around it. I was worried it would overpower the entire story. But Kenneally made it work. Here's the reason why Kenneally decided to write “Why Different Beliefs and Values Fascinate Me” the guest post about why she wrote THINGS I CAN'T FORGET.:

     When I was sixteen, one of my closest friends got pregnant. At the time, I certainly hadn’t agreed with her decision to have sex, especially with a guy who wasn’t her boyfriend, but she was still my friend, so I wanted to stick by her. A lot of kids at my school ridiculed her and made fun of her, especially guys. I remember being shocked that one boy was particularly hurtful to her, and I couldn’t understand it because I knew he was trying to convince another friend of mine to have sex. The whole situation was crazy, especially when other kids started teasing me for being friends with a girl who was pregnant.
     Still, I knew I had to stand by her, so I spoke to a woman at my church and we found a special home my friend could go away to so she could have the baby, put it up for adoption, and stay in school. My friend ended up never coming back to my high school.
     I was proud of the decision I had made, to help my friend and stay by her. A couple years later, when I was 18 and still in high school, the same friend got pregnant again. This time by a different guy. And this time, she wanted to have an abortion. Her parents refused to help her, so my friend turned to me again. She didn’t need money, but she needed someone to drive her to the abortion clinic and bring her home after.
     I was so pissed at her. I knew her parents wouldn’t let her go on birth control (!!!), but I’d told her to buy condoms. Still, this was a friend who had stuck by me through high school and had been my friend even when she was much more popular and prettier than me, but ultimately I decided I couldn’t help her. It wasn’t that I was against abortion – honestly, I’d never much thought about it, but I worried what other people would say if they found out I helped her get an abortion. My parents would be pissed. Kids at school would tease me again, just like when my friend got pregnant the first time. My church would be totally upset.
     I had no thoughts of my own.
     My friend found someone else to help her. She paid some random man to drive her there and back, which was totally unsafe. Our friendship kind of dissolved after that, but I often still think about what happened.
     What if I had helped my friend? To this day, I don’t know if I made the right decision or not. At the time, it was a decision made based mostly on other people’s beliefs, not my own. Today, I probably would do whatever a friend asked of me, regardless of what I believe. It’s not my decision to make.
     THINGS I CAN’T FORGET, my third book, is about a girl named Kate, a devout Christian, who makes a decision to help her friend get an abortion, and afterwards she has to deal with the guilt and the resulting fall-out of their friendship. This book isn’t autobiographical at all – I was never as devout as Kate, but I feel this book gave me the opportunity to explore the guilt and to show that “your truth isn’t necessarily everyone else’s truth.”
     I know that a lot of readers were shocked when I decided to include religion in my books STEALING PARKER and THINGS I CAN’T FORGET (this will be my final book that explores religion), but religion is a big part of people’s lives here in America. The last census said that 78% of Americans claim they are Protestant. I wouldn’t call myself a Christian – I haven’t been to church in 12 years, but I still often think about what I believe, and I want teenagers and readers of all ages to know they can believe whatever they want to believe, regardless of what their parents and friends say. You need to make your own decisions.
     THINGS I CAN’T FORGET also aims to show that you can be friends with people who don’t necessarily believe what you believe, whether it’s about your idea of heaven, or Coke vs. Pepsi, or Mets vs. Yankees. This book is all about a willingness to be open.
     If I could go back in time to my 18-year-old self, I wouldn’t tell myself whether or not I should help my friend get an abortion. I’d tell myself to do what I know in my heart to be right.


 Ebook, 187 pages
Release Date: March 1, 2013
Published by: Sourcebooks Fire
Hundred Oaks, #3
Source: e-ARC provided from NetGalley
For fans of: Hot Literary Guys, LOL, Realistic Fiction, Unexpected Lessons

     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.

     Although I saw it was about religion and I was a little iffy, I never doubted it because it was a Miranda Kenneally book. I knew it could be nothing but good. And she definitely did not disappoint. 
     In the beginning, (no pun intended) I was not really feeling Kate. Only because she was being a judgemental brat. The one thing that got to me most was the way she acted as if no one should sin at any time. It's inevitable. Even the most Holy of people have sinned at least once (Romans 3:23  For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard). And I was taught that sin is sin, that no matter what, no sin is greater than the other. But that's just me. Anyways, I was mostly mad at the fact that although she was so intent on doing her best to be Godly and Holy, it took her forever to realize that she needed to FORGIVE Emily for the fight they had in the first place. She kept repeating what she had said and what she didn't do over and over in her head, but she never once decided to forgive her. 
     As the story went on, I was very happy with Kate's growth. She was scared of doing wrong, that she was missing out on things that teenagers should be happy about, such as friends. But as she warmed up more and more I liked the transition she had of being alone to opening up and having friends. It really made me happy to see that she was happy. 
     Which of course brings me to Matt.  Matt was amazing. He stole my heart from the moment he said he liked to read John Green and Judy Blume. <3 I loved that he was his own person and didn't let everyone else's actions guide his own. And he was so sweet omg. Like the second time everyone had the sleepover and he did the whole porch thing? Cutest thing ever. I love that he accepted her for who she was. The best part was the romance. It seemed so real and I loved that they were 18 and older. 
     My favorite part of the book was seeing all the other characters from Kenneally's other books. Jordan, Sam Henry, Parker, Will, and even Reynolds! Its the best thing about companion novels. I don't have to give up on everyone else but the story still doesn't have to be just all about them. 
     Miranda Kenneally does it again with this engaging read. It brought up alot of things and made me think alot and I loved every minute of it. Another lesson learned from Kenneally and she delivered the message very well. 
Overall, I give this


1 comment:

  1. So I've been seeing such mixed things about the religion in this book! So I'm scared to read! But this post has helped me not be worried! So a thank you for this lovely post helping me decide to give this one a shot!