For sixteen years, Josie Gardner and her mom, Kate, have been a team. It's been the Gardner Girls against the world, and that's how Josie likes it. Until one day, they find out that Paul Tucci, Kate's high school boyfriend-the father Josie has never met-is back in town. Josie's mom suddenly turns back into the heartbroken teenager she was when Paul moved away. Meanwhile, Josie's on the verge of having her first real boyfriend. And when Josie learns some surprising truths about Paul Tucci and the past, she begins questioning what she thought she knew, and finds out what happens when a girl gets the guy she always wanted and the dad she never knew she needed.
My rating: 3 stars.
Charming, approachable, sweet.
For Keeps begins with a good premise, good characters, good descriptions/dialogue/etc. In many ways I was reminded of that TV show, Modern Family (Ever heard of it? So funny.). The characters are quirky but real and relatable. And then there's Matt, Josie's sort-of boyfriend; he's perfect, which makes him incredibly flat and boring. But aside from him, I don't have many complaints against the rest.
When Josie finally interacts with Paul Tucci's parents, I was hooked. But shortly thereafter, the pace slows and the book flounders. Issues that arise with her mom are out of character for the two of them. Josie's friend, Liz, suddenly interrupts with her own drama. Matt swoops in with his boyish charm. And I was left wondering where the plot was going. Too many things are going on at once, and not all to Josie, so it's difficult to only focus on her. But it's not that those other characters and their problems are uninteresting. It's just that this should be Josie's story, and to me it feels as though they're telling the story for her - like they're doing all the work. (Like I said - Modern Family.)
For Keeps is still a pleasant, easy read. It just didn't go in the direction I anticipated, even though it has so much potential to do so.