The Teen Reader

Your source for reviews and ratings on every type of YA fiction.

The Truth About Forever

Posted by Rachel on April 3, 2009

Author: Sarah Dessen

Genre: Romance, general fiction

Reading Level: Moderate

Rating:  PG for mild romance themes and a scene of underage alcohol substance abuse

Summary: “A long, hot summer. That’s what sixteen-year-old Macy Queen has to look forward to. Her boyfriend, Jason, is going away to Brain Camp. She’s stuck with a dull-as-dishwater job at the library. And all of her free time promises to be spent studying for the SATs or grieving silently with her mother over her father’s death.

But everything changes when Macy is corralled into helping out at one of her mother’s open house events, and she meets the chaotic Wish Catering crew. Before long, Macy ditches her library job and joins up with the Wish gang: bighearted Delia; quiet, introspective Monica; and fun-loving, fashion-conscious Kristy. But best of all, there’s Wes–artistic,  insightful, and understanding Wes–who gets Macy to look at life in a whole new way. . .”

Rachel’s Review: This is the second Sarah Dessen book I’ve ever read, the first being Dreamland, and I’m really beginning to fall in love with her writing style. It’s fresh and real and doesn’t shy away from what teenagers are dealing with (deaths in the family, running away from home, love,  suicide, abuse). The book is written in a beautifully bare voice. It’s very cathartic, in a way. Every character she writes seems fleshed out, really flesh and blood human beings with strengths and weaknesses and issues. The characters are easy to relate to and they are intriguing in a way that only real people are. Some of their problems are trivial and they don’t handle them properly, and some of their problems are too real and they avoid them completely. Sarah Dessen gives them a life and a vitality and an honesty that leaps off the page so you feel as though you know these characters personally, that you have laughed with them and walked with them for longer than you can remember.

I love the chemistry between Macy and Wes, too. They start out small, but they grow together and learn from each other. Plus, Wes is just a likable character from the start: artistic and handsome but with just enough mystery so that you want to know more about him, and you wonder why he is the way he is.

Throughout the book, there is a recurring theme of ‘forever.’ This is understandable, since it’s in the title. But anyways. It’s not forever in a necessarily religious afterlife sort of way, but in a life in general “the choices you make affect you forever” kind of way. It was interesting to see how each character’s perception of forever changed infinitely with their personal point of view and perspective, as well as what has happened in their lives.

“That was the thing. You just never knew. Forever was so many different things. It was always changing, it was what everything was really all about. It was twenty minutes, or a hundred years, or just this instant, or any instant I wished would last and last. But there was one truth about forever that really mattered, and that was this: it was happening. Right then…and every moment afterwards. Look, there. Now. Now. Now.”

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