When I first read this Sarah Dessen book, I was in high school and was desperately looking for a book that reflected how alone I often felt. Now, each time I read it, I see something new in it that I need at that time.
The Truth About Forever was the first Sarah Dessen book that I read, but it was definitely not the last. (I may or may not have FINALLY snagged the only one I haven’t read yet on a recent trip to Half-Price Books…) At seventeen, I needed it. I needed this book so desperately that I’m not sure what I was doing or who I was before I read it anymore. My copy is missing it’s jacket now, and the binding is warped and falling apart. I recently lent it to my cousin, in the hopes that she finds something in it just like I did.
So what’s it about?
Macy Queen is trapped in her last summer of high school. Her boyfriend, Jason, is going away to Brain Camp (don’t even get me started on Jason), and she is expected to fill in for him during the day at a boring library job. She intends to spend the rest of her spare time studying for the SATs and trying to fill her brain with useless knowledge in the lonely quiet of the house she shares with only her mother after her dad’s unexpected death. But everything changes during one of her mother’s parties, when she meets the Wish Catering team, and starts to see that her life, while safe, is also… dull. And her boyfriend, while perfect on paper, is robotic. For the first time since her dad died, she stops being known in reference to that one tragic event and starts being known as Macy. Just Macy. And it’s just what she needed.
Why is it my favorite?
I’ll be honest—I’ve read a lot of books in my life. So many that I sometimes legitimately forget that I’ve read a book until I’m reading the synopsis and thinking that it sounds vaguely familiar. But this one has always stuck with me. I related to Macy in a lot of ways (but I didn’t find my Wes until years later) back in high school, but I find that I still relate to her now. It’s easy to feel content in situations where you’re safe, where you don’t have to go out on a limb or take a chance. Who doesn’t understand what that feels like? But what Macy has to learn for herself is that it’s not always better to be safe than sorry. And she had to figure that out on her own. If that doesn’t resonate with a teenage girl, I’m not sure what could.
On Sarah Dessen
From the very first word I typed in a story I considered to be contemporary young adult, I wanted to be like Sarah Dessen. She has a way of writing beautifully complicated and flawed young female characters and equally flawed and sa-woon-worthy male counterparts. She can tackle super tough issues in a realistic way without getting preachy (such as the tragic death of a parent) and can show the subtle growth in characters in simple dialogue. She’s a YA genius, and I still want to be like her. I’ll always want to be like her.
The Truth About Forever is available where books are sold.
And even though I just reread it this summer, I might snag it back from my cousin and reread it again, now that I was reminded of the love I have for it.