Happy Thursday, everyone!
Today, we're celebrating Penguin's #IHeartDessen summer, with a review of The Truth About Forever!
I've read other Dessen books before, but this is my first time reading this book. I loved it, and now I can understand why several blog friends - including Eileen from BookCatPin - say that this is her favorite book!
Paperback, Reissue, 374 pages
Published June 2012 by Speak (first published May 11th 2004)
Format read: Finished copy via publisher
Sarah Dessen’s wisdom on the trials and tribulations of adulthood is beautifully realized in this classic novel, which is absolutely perfect for 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 question her sheltered life.
Is it really always better to be safe than sorry?
So I was seriously stoked, when Penguin offered me the opportunity to read The Truth About Forever, as a part of their #IHeartDessen summer of love series.
Dessen introduces us to Macy, a teen girl who is still recovering from the death of her father, who thinks that her summer is to be ordinary - a dull library job; preparing for the SATs - but the universe has other plans in mind. One thing leads to another, and Macy ends up meeting a new group of friends, including an enigmatic, talented young man named Wes, who is about to turn her life upside down...
One of the best things that Dessen is able to capture with her novels, is her ability to recognize the obstacles that come along with burgeoning teenagehood and the adolescent experience. When we first meet Macy, we see and understand her feelings of loss - she's still recovering from the untimely death of her father - and the general sense of "Is this it?" that sometimes comes along with teenaged life.
Dessen beautifully covers the feeling of loss and lack of closure felt by Macy, as she copes with her father's death. There's tacit emphasis on Macy's desire to control other aspects of her life, and Dessen smartly shows how this is actually a very human, teenaged response by someone who isn't entirely sure how to not make herself vulnerable again.
But being a teenager is also about making mistakes and pushing boundaries, and Dessen is able to show how Macy's meeting with Wish Catering is actually saving her, and helping her live again. It's not just that they're different than her family, or the life that she's carved out for herself, but they also understand Macy, and truly want her to want the best for herself.
It's a strong reminder that when you're a teenager, life is sometimes defined by the examples by those that are set around you, and it's heady, lovely and rewarding, to watch Macy challenge those expectations of what should have, would have been forever, from her romantic life to her summer job.
Ultimately, this is a beautiful, rewrding book about one girl who learns how to grow up in the best way, thanks to her bravery in opening herself up again, and an electic group of friends who help her love herself again.
Macy is also one of my favorite kind of heroines; she deals with her emotions realistically and honestly, and also isn't afraid to take charge of her life, when needed. I wish I had half of her wisdom when I had been a teen, and I'm confident that there are many young teens who will value her experiences and insight.
I highly, highly recommend this book for all readers, full stop. This is a summer read with lessons that will resonate far into the months beyond.
1) Tell us wh you like Sarah Dessen, and
2) Tell us what your favorite Dessen book is!
Ends 08/17. US/INT.
Also, don't forget to check out Penguin's epic #IHeartDessen giveaway here!
About the author:
Sarah Dessen is one of the most popular writers for young adults. She is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of many novels, which have received numerous awards and rave reviews, and have sold more than seven million copies. She lives in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, with her husband, Jay, and their daughter, Sasha Clementine. Visit her online at www.sarahdessen.com.