“Life can be long or short, it all depends on how you choose to live it. it’s like forever, always changing. for any of us our forever could end in an hour, or a hundred years from now. you can never know for sure, so you’d better make every second count. what you have to decide is how you want your life to be. if your forever was ending tomorrow, is this how you’d want to have spent it?”
Losing someone you love is hard enough without being there to watch them disappear before your eyes. Hard or not, this is exactly what happens to Macy Queen when her father dies of a heart attack as she watches helplessly. Macy’s older sister grieves by bawling her eyes out for days. Macy’s mother avoids her pain by working nearly twenty-four hours a day. Macy copes by falling for the guy who has all the answers, who has somehow managed to become perfect. For over a year she copies her boyfriend Jason’s every move and goal becoming a straight A student, active in extracurricular activities, and a model daughter, but then Jason leaves for the summer to go to Brain Camp. Suddenly, Macy is left to her own devices and filling in for Jason at the library where the other employees (both female versions of Jason) seem to go out of their way to make her miserable. Everything seems to be going as well as can be expected until an email from Jason blows her world to pieces: I think it’s best for us to take a break from our relationship, and each other, until I return at the end of the summer. It will give us both time to think, so that in August we’ll know better whether we want the same things or if it’s best to sever our ties and make this separation permanent. After reading this email a spur of the moment decision and a twist of fate find Macy signing on to join the Wish catering crew, an unlikely group that just happens to include the sawoon-worthy Wes. Macy eventually discovers that Wes is also on a break from his girlfriend and the two develop a strong friendship, bonding over their non-relationship statuses and a seemingly never-ending game of Truth (the only rule, you have to tell the truth). When the end of summer starts looming closer every day, questions start to race around Macy’s head. Should she get back together with Jason? What will happen to her friendship with Wes? Why does it feel like she’s finally alive for the first time in years?
The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen is brilliant. I’ve only ever read one of her other books before (Lock and Key, also highly recommended), but I loved that one too. Sarah has a way of dealing with powerful emotions issues and family crises without making them depressing or overly melodramatic. Her characters are real and relatable and her writing is beautiful. Honestly, authors like Sarah make me wish I was still a “young adult” so that I could have discovered her at a younger age. Her stories make you think about a variety of topics but always seem to leave you with a sense of hope. I loved the subplots in this book, especially; they came together so beautifully by the end. This book will make you take a long look at death, grief, family, love, friendship, truth, flaws, luck, life, choice, infomercials, junkyard art, prison records, and how sometimes finding perfection means accepting that you’ll never have perfection.
Erica’s Rating: 5 stars