{Book Review} The Truth About ForeverThe Truth about Forever by Sarah Dessen
Published by Penguin on 2006
Genres: Adolescence, Death & Dying, Love & Romance, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Social Issues, Young Adult
Pages: 374
Source: Purchased
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Macy's summer stretches before her, carefully planned and outlined. She will spend her days sitting at the library information desk. She will spend her evenings studying for the SATs. Spare time will be used to help her obsessive mother prepare for the big opening of the townhouse section of her luxury development. But Macy's plans don't anticipate a surprising and chaotic job with Wish Catering, a motley crew of new friends, or ... Wes. Tattooed, artistic, anything-but-expected Wes. He doesn't fit Macy's life at all--so why does she feel so comfortable with him? So ... happy? What is it about him that makes her let down her guard and finally talk about how much she misses her father, who died before he eyes the year before? Sarah Dessen delivers a page-turning novel that carries readers on a roller coaster of denial, grief, comfort, and love as we watch a broken but resilient girl pick up the pieces of her life and fit them back together.

My thoughts: Sarah Dessen knows how to reel you in emotionally and connect you with each of her characters. She has one of the most lyrical and poetic writing that I have read and continue to be astounded and wrapped up in her writing. She knows how to keep the reader turning the pages and I cannot read a Sarah Dessen book without a fresh pack of sticky notes on hand.

Macy, her sister and mom are still dealing with the sudden death of her dad; her mom buries her grief deep inside by working 24/7 and getting rid of everything connected with her dad, her sister has a quick romance and is suddenly married, while Macy hides from her grief behind a safe, unemotional boyfriend. The one thing that Macy hangs onto are the quirky purchases her father made from infomercials and which continue to arrive even after his death and what is this mysterious gift her father said he had for her at Christmas?

“Grief can be a burden, but also an anchor. You get used to the weight, to how it holds you to a place.” p. 180

When Macy’s boyfriend goes away to spend the summer at brain camp, leaving her the responsibility of his job at the library which she hates, fate intervenes and she begins to work for the completely disorganized and absolutely fun and spontaneous Wish Catering company. Delia is the ever disorganized but “everything works out” owner, Kristy is fun loving and says what she feels, while her sister Monica barely says a word, and then there is Wes.  Ahhh Wes, the gorgeous, quiet, artistic and mysterious Wes who manages to help Macy discover who she really is and that she doesn’t need to be safe and that she can live again. As Macy and Wes learn about each other through their game of Truth, Macy must decide between her safe boyfriend or take a chance on Wes.

“There is never,” Kristy said adamantly, “a time or place for true love. It happens accidentally, in a heartbeat, in a single flashing, throbbing moment.” p. 356

The story ends in a culmination of chaotic events that forces everyone in Macy’s family to confront their grief and finally come together.

“You think you’re so strong because you never talk about Dad. Anyone can hide. Facing up to things, working through them, that’s what makes you strong.” p. 327

I won’t spoil what the mysterious gift was and while I was reading I was hoping and praying that Sarah Dessen’s plan was what I was thinking and she did not let me down; she magically brought fate and destiny together.

“That was the thing. You just never knew. Forever was so many different things. It was always changing, it was what everything was really all about.” p. 374