To 16-year-old Macy Queen, "forever" isn’t a sound concept. Her dad had died while he was out running. Since then, she has focused on being perfect. As she sees it, perfection will overshadow her grief and guilt for not going along when her dad had asked her to join him. Her boyfriend Jason is away at camp, and she's just not as connected to her mom and sister as she was to her dad.
During an open house event hosted by her mom, Macy s asked to check on the catering crew. When she gets to the kitchen, it is chaos. In the process of helping contain it, she discovers that she can be someone other than “the girl whose dad died.” She starts working at Wish, and team members Delia, Monica, Kristy, Bert, and Wes grow to be her friends. She grows closest to Wes, whose personality and experiences help Macy shed the mold that she has forced herself into.
As summer goes by, Macy’s time with the crew and her changing relationship with her quietly grieving mother and emotionally absent boyfriend all come together to show that forever does, in fact, have a truth to it.
BTSYA / Teen Reader (16):
One of the reasons why I love Sarah Dessen’s books so much is because I can always count on them to have a happy ending. They’re predictable in that way, but her books still have substance. The Truth About Forever is no exception. Dessen does a beautiful job of outlining what grief can do to people and how different it is for everyone, and yet, still maintain a lighthearted, touching, and funny-at-times atmosphere.
She also writes well-developed characters and realistic relationships. Macy is probably the first protagonist I’ve read who actively tries to be perfect instead of rejecting the label even though everyone else describes her as such. I loved Macy's interactions with the catering crew, especially those with Wes. Their friendship was sweet and exactly what Macy needed. I just wished their eventual romance could have been more detailed.
This is a great read for when you just need to get away from more intense subjects. I’ve actually reread this several times, and I never get tired of it. There’s not a lot of action, but there are plenty of feels. It’s what I call a “filler book”: one that keeps you entertained and helps you forget about more stressful things for a while.
The Truth About Forever is for readers looking for a heartwarming, engaging read that is slightly predictable but still refreshing.
The plot contains profanity, sexual situations, and alcohol use.
This is a coming-of-age story about a teen dealing with grief, loneliness, and finding who she is.
The story is largely a light romance, and most teens will see it that way. But as our reviewer points out, Dessen adeptly shares how grief "looks and acts" differently for different people. Because of that, this book has potential in book clubs or discussion groups as a discussion catalyst for teens dealing with the loss of a close friend or family member.
14 and Up
13 and Up
Teen STAR Review Team, Be the Star You Are!™ . Reviewer’s Age: 16
Borrow. This is the kind of book you read at the beach or when you just want something light and refreshing.