Tuesday, January 4, 2011

For Keeps by Natasha Friend

For sixteen years, Josie Gardner and her mom, Kate, have been a team. It's the Gardner girls against the world, and that's how Josie likes it. Until one day, in the pet food aisle of Shop-Co, they run into the parents of Paul Tucci, Kate's high school boyfriend - the father Josie has never met. If Mr. and Mrs. Tucci were back in town, it's only a matter of time until Paul shows up.

Suddenly Josie's mature, capable mother regresses to the heartbroken teenager she was when Paul moved away. Meanwhile, Josie's on the verge of having her first real boyfriend, while her free-loving best friend, Liv, begins yet another no-strings-attached fling.

When Josie learns some surprising truths about Paul Tucci, she finds herself questioning what she's always believed about her parents - and herself.

In For Keeps, Natasha Friend tells a fresh, funny, smart story about what happens when a girl gets the guy she always wanted and the dad she never knew she need. (from book jacket)

If you've ever seen the TV show Gilmore Girls, then you already know what For Keeps is about. And if you liked that show, then you will also like For Keeps.

Like Gilmore Girls, For Keeps features two funny, smart, quirky and lovable characters in the shape of mother and daughter. The dynamic is pretty much the same: young mother who's fun-loving but has a daughter who is a little more responsible and grounded. I felt like I could relate to Josie because she is the one that makes sure everything is running smoothly and is a little more even-keeled, while Kate is very sentimental and often reminiscing about the past. Besides the two leads, I loved all the other characters, including Josie's best friend Liv and the resident love interest Matt. Both brought something to the table, and I found Liv in her outrageous outfits and bold statements to be hilarious.

There are many subplots in For Keeps, one of which is Kate's new boyfriend that Josie seems to be determined not to like. The only time in the novel that I disliked Josie was when she was whining about her mom's new boyfriend. Even though I understand how hard that might be for a daughter, Josie was acting very selfish and slightly out of character in my opinion. However, this part was the only thing that I didn't like about For Keeps.

I loved that Josie's father makes an appearance, and that you learn a lot about him. You wouldn't expect it, but For Keeps has some twists, in that you learn some truths about Kate and Paul before Josie was born. Everything was very interesting, and I liked that not everything was as it seemed to be on the surface.

Overall, I found For Keeps to be a very sweet and adorable novel, much like the TV show Gilmore Girls. If you like books about the mother-daughter dynamic, then I would definitely check this one out, because Natasha Friend does a great job writing about this particular subject.

Rating: 8 out of 10.
FTC: borrowed from library.

2010/Viking/267 pages.


Anonymous said...

I loved this book. It made me feel all warm and fuzzy. The mother daughter relationship in this one was great.

Anonymous said...

Loved this book. I wish Ms/Mrs Friend would write more books from this series!