Release date: April 6th, 2010
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, 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 are 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 about herself.
Review: For Keeps is sweet, thoughtful, and realistic.
For Keeps delivers a tale about Josie, her mother Kate, and all of the relationships that touch their lives. For Josie, Kate is the only parent she's ever known, and she likes it that way. They have such a unique relationship, and it's absolutely refreshing (to begin with, anyway). Josie keeps people at an arms distance, especially boys like Matt, who seems to be quite interested in her. You can't really blame her though, since her own father Paul Tucci left Kate years back when she was pregnant.
So when Paul's parents, and Josie's grandparents, move back to town, everything gets a bit more complex. Suddenly, Josie's facing her grandfather on almost a daily basis, dealing with her budding relationship with Matt, and watching her mother fall for a guy that just doesn't seem to fit.
Highlights: I really found this novel easy to get into, and I adored the way Friend portrayed the relationships in the novel. I've got to admit too, some of the revelations that Josie makes regarding her family just broke my heart a bit.
Lowlights: Josie's best friend, Liv. At first I kind of liked the girl, but then she got on my nerves. Also, it seemed fairly obvious where this story was leading up to (kind of like A + B = C). The story was a bit too predictable for my tastes, yet enjoyable.