Friday, 16 September 2011
Review- The Truth about Forever by Sarah Dessen
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?
What I Expected: now, this might shock you, but the first Sarah Dessen book I read, Lock and Key, didn’t wow me as much as I expected. Of course, I might’ve been reading too much hype, but still. THIS book, though- well, when I bought it, I thought the title was pretty awesome, so hey, maybe the story will be amazing. And you know what? It was.
Sarah Dessen has a gift very few people do: she knows exactly how to show grief/resentment/angry feelings without it being overpowering- without it being the ONLY thing going on in the book. The Truth about Forever is truly amazing because it has the perfect mix of pain and recovery, of love and letting go, and of course, a strong, beautiful message throughout.
When I learned that the MC Macy’s dad had died, I prepared myself for an emotional, heart-wrenching experience like The Sky is Everywhere. But in truth, this book didn’t dwell too much on the sadness Macy felt at her dad dying; it dealt with the part about death where you can finally remember someone without breaking down.
Even though the end left a major question hanging, which I usually hate in books because I happen to like happy endings, The Truth about Forever still left me feeling like, wow, I just had an AMAZING reading experience.
The characters in this book are EPIC. They’re so well-formed, each with their own traits- I mean, even the mean library girls, Bethany and Amanda, were loaded with personality. Every single character could have a book of their own, they’re so complex and wonderful.
Macy is one of the best protagonists I’ve ever read about. She was a complete human being in a way few YA book characters are- she had her flaws, her strengths, her weaknesses, and she made a whole that was so real that you could see her as clearly as your best friend.
Kristy is my favourite too, because she’s as complex and real as Macy. And Bert? I agree. The end of the world is coming. But hopefully not in our era. Monica was also amazingly well- crafted. I could hear her in my head every time she was like, “Donneven,” or “umm-hmmm.” It made me laugh.
Macy’s mother- oh my gosh, all that hurt, all that pent-up grief- wow. Sarah Dessen showed such a deep insight into how some people grieve. And Caroline was pretty awesome too, just because she was all deep and stuff about Wes’s artwork, delving into those hidden meanings and all.
And Wes- OMIGOSH THIS IS SO MY GUY. I wish guys like him were more common, because the game of Truth Wes and Macy played was way too honest to be true. I lie like seventy percent of the time while playing Truth, and these two were actually not lying. Wow. Anyways, back to Wes- I love him! And his artwork and all was beautifully done. I wish I could see something like that in real life.
Parting Thoughts: if you haven’t noticed it during this review, this book is exactly the kind of contemporary novel I was looking for, and I am officially a Sarah Dessen fan. Second time reading her book worked, then.
Rating: 4.5/5. Do I need to explain?