Overall: 93/100 or A
Josie was deserted by her father before she was born. She fears the abandonment and heartbreak that her mother experienced. Her mother fuels Josie's fear with the lack of relationships in her life. Her best friend Liv tries to have her make connection with her family and the very cute, Matt Riggs. Then the grandparents on Josie's father's side of the family move back into the area. Josie quickly forges a friendship with her grandfather, which gives her insight into the family that she has never known. An unexpected tragedy brings the truth about Josie's family to light and provides a great opportunity to forge actual relationships with her family.
Josie reminded me a lot of my sister. My older sister didn't know her father growing up and has a similar personality with Josie. So, I quickly became attracted to her and wanted a positive outcome for her. I loved that Josie was still a teen while dealing with family stuff, like she started dating Matt. I also loved Josie and her mom's relationship, because it reminded me a lot of Gilmore Girls. I rarely see positive relationships between parents and their children in Young Adult fiction. I love when good parents are actually present in YA, because they are usually absent or negative parents. I also liked that Kate had her own personality, like her fears about dating and her uncertainty. Josie's best friend Liv made the story more lively. She was a funny character that made me laugh with her personality and fashion choices. I also liked that she wasn't just some supportive character, but had her own issues in the book. I also enjoyed Josie's grandfather, Big Nick. He was very sweet and spirited. Josie's love interest Matt was also cute and lovable. The plot was quite predictable, but it didn't bother me. The characters had captured my attention so much that I didn't mind that it was predictable. The plot also had some originality that I enjoyed. I also enjoyed Friend's writing as I did in her other books. This book had me thinking about it for a long time after it. It also reminded me a lot of Looking For Alibrandi and Gilmore Girls, which I love both very much. I highly recommend this book to anyone that enjoyed Friend's previous books or is searching for a wonderfully written character driven book, For Keeps is perfect for you.