Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Things I Can't Forget by Miranda Kenneally (Hundred Oaks book 3)

Kate Kelly has a couple of brief mentions in Stealing Parker. She attends the same church as Parker Shelton. Kate has a huge crush on Will Whitfield. Parker and Will are camp counselors with Kate. Jordan Woods also makes an important appearance.

"Sometimes you need to make your own trail."

Kate Kelly, 18, is a recent high school graduate. She is going to be a camp counselor at Cumberland Creek Camp for the summer although she feels like she has no business being one. She only signed up to be working with her best friend, Emily Mansfield. That was before Emily found out that she was pregnant and her parents kicked her out of the house when they found out that she had had an abortion. Now it is too late for Kate to look for another job to make some money before college starts. She is having a difficult time dealing with her role in supporting her friend's decision to end her pregnancy. She feels as if she has committed a sin and Emily doesn't understand that. She hasn't spoken to her friend in weeks.

On her first day at the camp, Kate notices a beautiful boy starring at her. He is carrying his clothes in a laundry basket and has a guitar case. He looks familiar but Kate cannot place him. During the group introductions, he tells everyone that his name is Matt and he keeps looking at Kate. Afterwards, she goes to her car to check her messages but her phone doesn't have a strong signal. Sitting in the driver's seat while sketching, Kate begins to question once again who she is without Emily, without soccer; she tore her ACL in the fall and without her relationship with God, which she felt she lost by helping Emily. She prays for a sign that she might be forgiven and can eventually forgive herself. Just then, something hits her car window and Kate hits her head in surprise. Getting out of her car, she sees Matt picking up his basketball. He apologizes and asks if she is alright. Fine, Kate says and Matt comments that she looks familiar. He asks if she has ever been to the camp as a camper. Suddenly, they recognize one another and begin to catch up. Turns out Matt gave Kate her one and only kiss when she was eleven years old.

The counselors spend the next couple of days getting ready for the campers. Kate and Parker have words when all of the counselors decide to share a cabin together, boys and girls. Kate believes it would be a sin to sleep in the same cabin as the boys and she has sinned enough already. Parker is tired of being judged by others. Alone in her cabin for the night, Kate cries herself to sleep over the loss of her only friend and how alone she is. She has done everything the church has told her to do. She is a good girl but somehow she doesn't fit in. Will has a talk with Kate to let her know how hurt Parker was when her mother left and everyone at their church turned on her. Kate didn't know. Over the next several days, she tries to apologize to her. Parker is not quick to accept Kate. Matt does try to get her to do things and seems to be flirting with her. Another counselor, Andrea, is trying to get Matt's attention. Kate overhears her tell her friend Carlie that she fell for him and wishes she knew how to work things out with him. Carlie tells her that she was a good friend when he needed one. Carlie tells Kate when she catches her eavesdropping to mind her own business. Kate takes a walk and sees the boys playing basketball. Matt makes a score and waves at Kate as she walks by. She waves back and wonders what exactly Andrea was talking about and what Matt meant when he told her earlier that she had saved him all of those years ago.

Soon the youth campers arrive and Kate has her unexpected highs and lows as the first week progresses. At the talent show, she sees how kind Matt is with some of the kids and she decides then and there that she wants Matt. When the camp director calls her in for a meeting, she reprimands her for having difficulties getting her campers' dinner on time and being late getting the talent show started. As she is leaving, Kate asks her who told her about her problems. Andrea had heard from Matt she is told. Leaving, Kate is devastated to hear Matt sold her out.

Does Kate find the forgiveness she is seeking? Can she trust people again? Will Kate be able to repair her friendship with Emily? Does Matt feel the same about Kate as she does him or is Matt interested in Andrea instead? How did Kate save Matt the first time they met? Will Kate rethink her "judgmental" attitude towards others? Can Kate and Parker find friendship?

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