Things I Can't Forget

Miranda Kenneally, Author
Miranda Kenneally. Sourcebooks Fire, $9.99 trade paper (320p) ISBN 978-1-4022-7190-8
Reviewed on: 04/29/2013
Release date: 03/01/2013
Eighteen-year-old narrator Kate Kelly begins the summer after high school in a state of prolonged moral distress. Although firmly believing premarital sex and abortion to be sins, Kate nevertheless provides financial and practical help when her best friend chooses to end a pregnancy. Guilt plagues Kate, undermining the girls' friendship, and clouding her experience as a summer camp counselor, as she observes her peers' behavior through a lens of judgment and disapproval. A budding romantic interest awakens Kate's awareness of the power of sexual urges, while an unexpected friendship with a fellow churchgoer, whom she had shunned in a time of need, causes Kate to question the moral guidance of her church and examine the "Christian" nature of her own actions. Throughout the novel, Kenneally (Catching Jordan) uses a light touch, addressing teenage pregnancy, sexuality, and alcohol use without being pedantic. Wisdom from Kate's father, "Your truth isn't everybody else's truth," provides unanticipated guidance in this compassionate and nuanced exploration of friendship, love, and maturing religious understanding. Ages 13–up. Agent: Sara Megibow, Nelson Literary Agency. (Mar.)