For Keeps by Natasha Friend
Paperback: 272 Pages
Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group
Synopsis: 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.
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Fans of Gilmore Girls will flock to this book about a mother and daughter – the Gardner Girls – who grow up together. Josie’s mom had her in high school and she has never met her father who moved away before Josie was born. But now he is back in town and everything Josie thought she knew about her life is in question.
While the plot similarities to the television show Gilmore Girls was uncanny, the book was still an entertaining story about a mother-daughter relationship and their story of growing up together. The mystery surrounding Josie’s father’s disappearance prior to her birth propelled me through the book, as well as the eventual father-daughter reunion (well, introduction really).
The characters were compelling and the bond between mother and daughter stood out from the first page, which is essential to a story like this. However, if people do not enjoy stories about mother-daughter bonds, this would not be a story for them – i.e. fans of the TV show Gilmore Girls would love this book, people who don’t like the television show might have similar feelings to this book, which has a very similar focus and story line.