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...
“I peek over at him, I begin to understand that he probably won’t forget me, that he thinks there’s something inside me worth knowing.”
Kate is working as a camp counselor for the summer. After so many years, here in camp, is where she meets again the boy who gave her her first kiss. (He’s back and is way cuter than before) This is where everything begins. But this is not where it started. Kate’s story starts with an unforgivable act, something down right wrong. Through out the novel, Kate struggles to forgive herself, balance her beliefs and find out where she belongs.
My thoughts on Kate during the first few chapters: What a total prude. And this is exactly how people, her co-counselors mostly view her. Even in high school, Kate never really fitted in because of her too strong beliefs in her religion. She tends to offend people when she questions the morality of their acts and she comes off as a “judge mental bitch”, as her ex-bestfriend tells her. Not knowing how to place herself with other people, Kate is mostly alone except when Matt is around. But as camp activities go on and as Kate spends more time with her co-counselors, she learns to make friends and fall in love. I really was annoyed with Kate during the earlier chapters but I began to love her when it hit me how devoted she really is to her religion. She says all the wrong things, I know, but she feels sorry for them afterward. She has a hard time hating people because she tends to hate herself for hating anyone. She always associates her acts to whether it is or isn’t to God’s approval. I really loved how Kate changed so much through out the book. You tend to notice the little differences in her. I liked how her character improved, especially when it came to relating with other people.
Speaking of other people, I really loved Kate’s camp counselors. I love that Will and Parker (from Stealing Parker) make a regular appearance here. Even Drew Bates, Sam Henry, and Jordan! It’s mostly why I like novel series like Miranda Kenneally’s Hundred Oaks. I love seeing people I’ve read before appear in different books, seeing a glimpse of how they are even after their story ended already. The other counselors in camp are Ian, Carlie, Brad, Andrea, Megan and even Erick were great too. They each had very different personas and I love how they all have their little stories and issues too. I kept wondering about who will show up in the next Hundred Oaks books. My favorite counselor is probably Ian just because he’s hilarious.
Aside from them, I loved both Matt’s and Kate’s families. Both have Christian families but Matt’s is more liberal. Matt comes from a big family and I loved seeing Matt being all brotherly. I also loved his interaction with his parents, who seemed cool. Same goes with Kate’s parents. Although they seemed more conservative, Kate’s parents were very loving to her especially since she’s a lone child. I loved how Kate’s interactions with her family shows how she grew up to be so conscious and moral and religious.
Along the way, Kate finds several truths that wake her up from her little bubble. She finds out that she can still be Christian and enjoy life. I felt happy for her as she found happiness in Matt. Matt is an amazing guy (funny and cute and everything you basically want in a guy) and he and Kate are perfectly imperfect for each other. I think the ending was satisfactory and right. I didn’t expect how much I’d end up falling in love with this book! Miranda Kenneally, deserves a round of applause for writing a novel that exceeds her previous ones. I can’t wait for Racing Savannah!