Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Throwback Thursday - "The Truth About Forever" by Sarah Dessen

Note: I'll be out of town for Independence Day festivities tomorrow, but I still wanted to get something out for Throwback Thursday. Have a happy and safe 4th of July, everyone!

**Originally posted on cj's bookshelf on April 27, 2011**

Title: The Truth About Forever
Author: Sarah Dessen
Publisher: Speak
Date of Publication:  May 2006
Reading Level: 14 and up

Synopsis: (from Goodreads) –

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?

My Review:

I. Love. This. Book. When I first picked it up, I thought it was going to be the typical whiney-piney story about a high school girl that develops a crush on a boy that she meets during a summer job and the plot would only get as complex as wondering if their relationship could make it after the summertime.

How wrong I was (and Sarah Dessen really ought to have a talk with the person who writes the summaries for the back of her books).

Very much like “Dairy Queen” – which I also enjoyed – this story deals with changes in Macy’s life and how she copes with them. She has a number of choices: either do what everyone else thinks is best for her (including her sort-of-but-not-really boyfriend Jason) or latch onto this new group of friends that really are the ones helping her deal with her father’s death.

I love that Macy falls in with the Wish Catering crowd almost by accident, but that they are the ones that help her out the most. It goes along with the theme of the book that amazing things in life are typically the things that you don’t plan for. As I read the book – especially the climax of the story where Macy and Jason finally meet up again when Jason comes home from camp – I realized a lot of things about myself and how my life has gone the past year and a half. Without getting too personal, I experienced a change very much like Macy in that things I thought were solid and secure really weren't and I wound up latching onto something rather unconventional, but it was exactly what I needed at that time. My point is that this book resonated with me and that’s probably why I enjoyed it so much.

I suppose that’s why we want teens to read a variety of things. You never know what is going to change a kid’s life – even if it’s just a moment when they need something to take their minds off whatever problems they have. There are a lot of good things out there to read and experience – many in the most unlikely places. Just take the time to get out of your comfort zone to find it.

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