Review: The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen

So as you can see, I am feeling much better.

Although I am not feeling 100% yet, there is a vast improvement (especially since I am able to write this review only after a day of posting my last one!) Thank you to everyone for your well wishes, I’m sure they contributed in some way to my recovery. šŸ™‚ I have no clue why, but this nasty bug has been going around. Everyone I know is sick or has a loved one that is. Eek.

Anyway, I am now halfway through my *summer of Sarah Dessen*. I admit, I had hoped to be a little further in my reading at this point, but I still have about a month left to finish up – wish me luck. So, without further ado:

The Truth About Forever

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Since her father passed away, Macy has done her utmost to be perfect. The perfect daughter, the perfect girlfriend. She has quite running to spend all her time studying for the SATs and helping to keep the house in order, putting up walls in order to keepĀ her grief to herself. When her brainy boyfriend Jason goes off to Brain Camp, she even agrees to take on his front desk job at the library. The she meets the crew at Wish Catering, and everything suddenly changes as Macy’s walls start to crumble down.

(Dessen, 2004)

My thoughts

As you can tell by frayed edges on the cover of the book, this was a popular one with the kids. Thus, it was one of the books I was most anticipating to read.

Although the theme of this story is a sad one, there were a few “LOL” moments to lighten the mood. I most definitely giggled during thisĀ particular passage:

“There is never, ” Kristy said adamantly, “a time or place for true love. It happens accidentally, in a heartbeat, in a single flashing, throbbing moment.”

“Throbbing?” my mother said, leaning forward and looking at me. “Who’s throbbing?”

(Dessen, 2004, p. 356)

Okay, probably a very immature response on my end, but you know, throbbing, ha!

I also discovered, that there is a word for this condition I seem to suffer at weddings – I am a gobbler and I am not ashamed to say it.

…most gobblers position themselves right by the door, where they have first dibs on anything you bring out, and if you try to sidestep them, they quickly move into grabber mode…

(Dessen, 2004, p.69).

Yup, sad to say, but that is definitely me. In my defence,Ā I am not that bad (I think?). I will never shove someone over to grab a bite (which I swear I have seen others do). I don’t know about you, but at the weddings I go to, it is always a free for all during the hors-d’oeuvres cocktail hour; if you don’t go for it someone else will and there will be nothing left for you. I know, I sound like a savage, but after 2 hours of church and another 2 hours of waiting for the food to come, I get slightly hangry (think the Snickers commercials where the coach turns into the Incredible Hulk!), so much better to feed me than reap the consequences.

And of course, the characters. Mainly, the Wish Catering team. Who could not love the dreamy tortured artist Wes, the awkward but loveable Bert, the fun and outspoken Kristy, sweet but disorganized Delia, and clumsy and monotoneĀ Monica? They all added much flavour to the story, and like most of Sarah Dessen’s characters, I could not get enough of them.

The Talbots, including Jason, quite frankly annoyed the poop out of me. Pretentious braniac snots. That’s all I have to say about that.

I found I could identify with Macy and her insecurities. How many times have I quietly suffered inside, not able to voice my thoughts and opinions in fear of upsetting the balance in my family, my circle of friends, the world? I’m sure we’ve all been there at some point in our lives. However, at times I just wanted to shake her, tell her to grow a pair and stand up for herself. It was quite frustrating. However, in her situation, could I really say that I would I have done differently? After all, it is always easier said than done.

In sum, unsurprisingly, I enjoyed this book. And, as per usual, I doĀ recommend it. Definitely more for the YA crowd, although any adult can identify with the aftermath of the loss of a loved one. This is a story about grief, change, and coping. Anyone who has ever lost someone can in some way relate to this book. Just as everyone grieves differently, so do the characters – Dessen sends the clear message that it’s okay to grieve in whatever way you need to. The emotions are raw, and Sarah Dessen paints an accurate picture of the stages of grief. Each of the characters depict some aspect of these stages, whether it be denial, anger, bargaining, depression or acceptance – what you really go through when you lose someone you love. I don’t want to go too much into this without giving anything away, so you’ll just have to trust me on this one. If you’ve read it, how do you think the characters fit into the stages of grief (please comment below)?

I am, however, eager to move on.Ā The next book in my journey isĀ Just Listen. As I’ve heard nothing but good things about it, I am very excited to start reading. I hope you are as excited for my next review as I am!

Sincerely,
The Struggling Librarian

References
Dessen, S. (2004). The truth about forever. New York: Speak.
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