The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen

9780142406250_TruthAboutFo_CV.inddTitle: The Truth About Forever

Author: Sarah Dessen

Genre: Contemporary

Publisher: Penguin Group Inc.

Pages: 374

Rating: 4.5/5

A long, hot summer…

That’s what Macy has to look forward to while her boyfriend, Jason, is away at Brain Camp. Days will be spent at a boring job in the library, evenings will be filled with vocabulary drills for the SATs, and spare time will be passed with her mother, the two of them sharing a silent grief at the traumatic loss of Macy’s father.

But sometimes unexpected things can happen—things such as the catering job at Wish, with its fun-loving, chaotic crew. Or her sister’s project of renovating the neglected beach house, awakening long-buried memories. Things such as meeting Wes, a boy with a past, a taste for Truth-telling, and an amazing artistic talent, the kind of boy who could turn any girl’s world upside down. As Macy ventures out of her shell, she begins to wonder, Is it really better to be safe than sorry?

I’ve been hearing about Sarah Dessen and her books for years, but I’ve never read any of them, even though I remember seeing them in the library before I even began blogging. I picked this as my introduction to her books because it was one of the highest (or the highest) rated on Goodreads, and I’m glad I did – it’s a great introduction to her books, one that makes me happy to continue reading her many others.

I was kind of confused at the beginning, thanks to Macy’s job at the library. Where was this fun-loving, chaotic crew I’d been promised in the Goodreads summary? Luckily, they showed up soon enough and I think the moment we were introduced to them, I had a feeling I would like this book. Sure, it’s important to like the main character of a book, but secondary characters can often be my favorite part of books, and I certainly loved the secondary characters in this book. One character rarely speaks and didn’t seem as fleshed out as she could have been, but overall I was a big fan of these secondary characters and really want to join Wish Catering now.

Macy was an interesting character as well. She has definitely been affected by her father’s death and it shows in her personality. So often you see “good girl” protagonists, such as Macy, but these characters normally make a point of saying that they dislike girly things, wearing makeup, and worrying about their hair. Macy is kind of the opposite – she obsesses over being perfect right down to her perfect part in her hair and perfect makeup. She seems like a regular girl. I don’t really like wearing makeup or worrying about my hair, but it’s annoying when authors seem to think that, in order to be a book-loving, regular girl, you have to shun everything girly.

This book was published in the mid-2000s, if I remember correctly, but it really doesn’t show that much. I did notice there seemed to be a lot of smoking and people didn’t care about it as much as I would expect, but otherwise this book didn’t seem too dated. It can be cool and funny to have loads of pop culture references, but once you add that to a book you instantly date it. Sure, there are some celebrities and songs that were big back then and are still big, but things have really changed in the ten or so years since this book was published. Just look at technology – there wasn’t Facebook, iPods were much bigger, and phones were rarely, if ever, “smart.” Luckily, this book didn’t feel dated and I wouldn’t have been too surprised if someone told me it had been recently published.

I enjoyed the romance in this book, but I also liked the fact that it didn’t seem to be the main focus. Sure, it kind of took over the last part of it, but there were a lot of other relationships that this book explored. There was Macy’s relationship with her mother, her boyfriend, her dead father, her new friends at Wish Catering, and a few other minor relationships. This wasn’t just a love story, this was also a story about moving on from death and dealing with that death.

Overall, I was really glad that this book was my introduction to Dessen’s writing. I definitely plan on checking out more of her books and hope that they all go this well.

4.5stars

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