I have really been on a tear lately with reading books in which I really dislike the protagonist.
Which isn't to say I don't think unlikeable protagonists are an inherently bad thing. They have a place.
But this protagonist, Kate, is such a small-minded, self-righteous goody goody I kind of wanted to claw her eyes out. You're supposed to like her, to identify with her, to appreciate her struggle. All I appreciated was that she got somewhat less self-righteous as the book went on. OH GOD SHE EVEN GREW ENOUGH TO HELP A GAY KID SHOP FOR CLOTHES. The tolerance she "learns" is staggering! < /sarcasm >
I read this for two reasons: mainly, because it's the third in a trilogy, and I hate loose ends, but moreso because it's set in Tennessee, which I am a sucker for, being my home state and all. This one even had a character (Matt) who is from my tiny hometown of Bell Buckle! (No, that is NOT fictional.) That makes me squee. However, isn't the "boys want sex all the time and it's up to the girl to say NO NO NO" trope kind of played out by now? I'm so over it. That "boys will be boys" attitude bullshit that this novel seems to implicitly accept is just that--bullshit.
But overall, this was the weakest of the three novels by Kenneally. I'm sure it will resonate with some people, the whole crisis-of-faith bit, but having it at eighteen... really? Isn't that a little late? This one just didn't feel honest to me, lacked some accurate reflection of young adulthood that I felt Catching Jordan
and Stealing Parker
Though maybe I'm just a heathen.