young adult book reviews & more

For Keeps by Natasha Friend

For KeepsIt’s always been just Josie and her mom Kate, and that’s the way Josie likes it. For the most part, Kate is the best mom and friend a girl could ever want. But the second anyone from Kath’s high school years shows up, she loses control, still stinging from the embarrassment of being a pregnant teen. So when Josie and Kate run into the parents of Paul Tucci when shopping, Kate predictably freaks out, even more so more so usual because Paul Tucci was Kate’s high school boyfriend, the guy who knocked her up, Josie’s father. Now that Paul’s back in the picture, Kate can’t seem to navigate her own relationships while Josie struggles not to make the same mistakes her mom did as a teen. It turns out, there’s a lot about Paul Tucci, her mom, and her own self that Josie didn’t know.

Friend graduates from her previous middle grade oriented novels successfully to young adult with her latest novel For Keeps. I’ve always liked Friend’s writing style and thoughtful character driven stories, and the only difference between For Keeps and Friend’s earlier novels, thankfully, is the age of the main character. Perhaps it’s just the transition from middle grade to young adult, but Friend’s already wonderful writing seemed to take on an extra sense of sophistication in this novel. I really enjoyed reading Josie’s story. It touches on subjects like family, friendship, and other relationships in a fresh and insightful way. Best of all, though, was Friend’s still at creating extremely realistic characters. Josie’s thoughts and fears were easy to relate to, and because of this, the story was even better. I applaud Friend for this sweet and heartwarming addition to the young adult genre.

I recommend For Keeps to fans of Friend’s other novels, including Perfect and Bounce, as well as to those who enjoyed The Secret Life of Prince Charming by Deb Caletti and This Lullaby by Sarah Dessen. I look forward to reading whatever Friend produces next.

Rating: 4.5

Review copy from publisher Penguin

1 munch(es) :

Robby said...

I really want to read this book! I haven't read anything Natasha has written, but this book sounds great. Your review has convinced me. :]

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