Saturday, July 3, 2010

Review: For Keeps

For Keeps
By Natasha Friend
Publication date: April 6, 2010

My review:

Josie Gardner has never met her dad. All her life it's just been Josie and her mom Kate. When Kate was just sixteen she became pregnant and shortly after, her boyfriend Paul Tucci moved away when his dad got a job across the country. Now, Paul's parents have moved back into the area, making things more complicated for Josie and Kate especially when some surprising truths are revealed.

The premise of this book reminded me of Gilmore Girls, one of my favorite T.V. shows featuring a single mom and her daughter who are best friends. Josie and Kate are close and they have a good relationship. That relationship is tested when Kate starts seriously dating a music teacher and Josie pushes her mom for answers about the past.  It is nice to see a positive mother/daughter relationship in YA fiction. I also liked the emphasis on family in this book. Olivia Weiss-Longo is Josie's best friend and one of my favorite characters in the book. She is quirky and very much her own person. I like how she encourages and pushes Josie to step outside her comfort zone. Olivia is also part of a nontraditional family as her parents are a gay couple but this is not turned into an "issue" in the book. Instead, they are shown to be a stable and loving family who are very supportive of Kate and Josie. Since Kate's parents have passed away, the Weiss-Longos are like family to the Gardner girls.

I think the picture on the cover of the book is a little misleading because the romance between Josie and Matt is almost an afterthought. I didn't really approve of the way he treated her and he seemed to be a jerk. In contrast, Kate's past relationship with Paul seemed to be really sweet though it ended sadly. Even her current relationship is more positive than Josie's relationship with Matt. Thankfully the story is more about family and dealing with the pain of the past. Overall I thought For Keeps was a good book with some minor flaws. I didn't care for the Matt subplot and the book lacked some of the heart that I was expecting but I did think that the ending was very realistic. What I liked most was the message about the importance of family. If you were a fan of Gilmore Girls, definitely consider adding For Keeps to your TBR list.

Readalikes: Something, Maybe by Elizabeth Scott, The Sweet Life of Stella Madison by Lara M. Zeises, That Summer by Sarah Dessen


  1. Definitely a huge fan of Gilmore Girls (I continue watching reruns all the time). So it sounds as if I should give this a whirl.

  2. Nice review! Gotta agree about the cover/relationship bit, didn't quite work for me.

  3. Good review! Thanks for your honest thoughts about it. I have this book from the library, still need to read it.


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