So far I’ve had a great experience with Sarah Dessen books. The Truth About Forever really upped the ante. I just can’t help but wonder what took me so long to dive into the Young Adult genre.
The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen
Genre: Young Adult
Publication Date: May 11th, 2004
Angie’s Review – 5 Stars – A+
I feel like this book snuck up on me. I mean – I knew I was reading it, and I knew was enjoying it, but WOW! Usually when I talk about a slow build, I’m referring to the romance (which does apply here,) but the emotion in this book was like water lapping gently at the shore, and then BAM! The tide came in – just like it did for Macy, and I was sobbing.
Ever since her father passed away, Macy’s been pretending everything’s OK, and she’s been busying herself trying to be perfect. Her boyfriend (unknowingly) is a perfect enabler, as he is perfect at everything he does and accepts nothing less from Macy. It’s not until he leaves for the summer and Macy stumbles upon a new job that she realizes she hasn’t moved on from her loss. Her new job with a catering company is chaos, and Macy starts to see the beauty in imperfection. This author really knows how to do secondary characters. They’re fleshed out enough so you feel you know them almost as much as the main character, but they never overwhelm the story. Macy’s mother has come to expect the perfection her daughter is delivering, her older sister is concerned they aren’t dealing with their patriarch’s death, and the eclectic crew at the Wish the catering company were colorful to say the least. They were close knit and accepted each other just as they were, and it’s no wonder Macy wanted to be part of the assemblage. It’s Wes, with his art and quiet strength that intrigues her the most. I loved the evolution of their friendship, and the unique way they came to know each other. They formed such a strong bond, and had such respect for each other. And again, while their relationship was part of the story, it didn’t overtake it. I just love the way Dessen’s books revolve around so much more than girl/boy troubles. Pacing, as usual, was perfection. Nothing ever felt rushed or forced – from Macy and her family coming to terms with their emotions to Macy and Wes taking the next step. Everything happened at just the right time. Macy was a wonderful lead character, seizing opportunities even when it scared her.
The Truth About Forever is my favorite Sarah Dessen from what I’ve read so far. It was brimming with emotion, and I know it’s a story that’ll stay with me for a long time. If you’re a fan of Young Adult and haven’t read this one, it should be on your to be read list! Every time I read a new book from this author, it makes me even more excited for the next.
Note about audio: When I listened to the sample of this one, I decided it wasn’t for me because the sound was terrible. But when it actually became available from the library, I decided to give it another go. It wasn’t nearly as muffled or echo-y, and I really enjoyed the narrator. I’m not sure why they were so different. Just something to keep in mind if you sample the audio of this one.
This is my tentative reading order for my year reading Sarah Dessen. If there’s a book you think should be added to the list or one that is so spectacular it should be moved up, feel free to let me know in the comments below!
1. Just Listen – March 2016
2. Lock and Key – April 2016
3. Saint Anything – May 2016
4. The Truth About Forever – June 2016
5. Dreamland – July 2016
6. Someone Like You – August 2016
7. This Lullaby – September 2016
8. Along for the Ride – October 2016
9. That Summer – November 2016
10. The Moon and More – December 2016
11. Keeping the Moon – January 2017
12. What Happened to Goodbye – February 2017
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