Posts tagged ‘sa-woon’

July 9th, 2010

The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen; Review

by Madeleine Rex

Title: The Truth About Forever

Author: Sarah Dessen

Published: May, 2004

Number of Pages: 384

Rating: 4/5


Life can be long or short, it all depends on how you choose to live it. It’s like forever, always changing. For any of us our forever could end in an hour, or a hundred years from now. You can never know for sure, so you’d better make every second count. What you have to decide is how you want your life to be. If your forever was ending tomorrow, is this how you’d want to have spent it?”


Sixteen-year-old Macy Queen is looking forward to a long, boring summer. Her boyfriend is going away. She’s stuck with a dull-as-dishwater job at the library. And she’ll spend all of her free time studying for the SATs or grieving silently with her mother over her father’s recent unexpected death. But everything changes when Macy is corralled into helping out at one of her mother’s open house events, and she meets the chaotic Wish Catering crew. Before long, Macy joins the Wish team. She loves everything about, the work and the people. But the best thing about Wish is Wes—artistic, insightful, and understanding Wes—who gets Macy to look at life in a whole new way, and really start living it. [From Goodreads]


I’m always so happy when people and things give me reasons to love them. It’s wonderful when the feeling is effortless, when the pros drastically outweigh the cons. The Truth About Forever is a novel that falls under the effortlessly-lovable category.

I’ve heard so much about Sarah Dessen, but I had never felt the inclination to read a book of hers until I read Audrey‘s reviews. She and I have similar tastes, and it was clear that she found something special in these books. The Truth About Forever is supposed to be one of Dessen’s best. Best or not, it’s most certainly no disappointment.

One of the novel’s strong-points is its heroine, Macy. She’s instantly likable. I loved that she was responsible and sensitive, as opposed to being self-centered – as a lot of characters are. She’s the sort of person I’m certain I’d get along well with in real life. There were many bits of her character that I admire in others or share. It was enjoyable to read from the point of view of someone with whom, ultimately, I agree. Not to mention the fact that it’s incredibly easy to root for her throughout the book. Honestly, I was rooting for her before I even knew what the problem was.

There was an obvious, overlying story-arc (which Miranda and I actually discussed recently), but there’s also an immense amount of little issues and stories. The relationship between Macy and her mother is a key factor of the novel. Macy’s mom works constantly forward to avoid the past, or anything that reminds her of her husband’s death. The stressful work schedule and the pile of conversations-they-should-have-had-but-didn’t eventually lead to a wonderful mother-daughter plot line that I think a lot of readers will connect with.

In my conversation with Miranda the other day, I mentioned that I prefer books that have a story-arc that has to do with character growth/development and smaller plot issues. This book is perfect in that way – better than perfect. It’s indubitably character-driven. Everything has an emotion tied to it. Every decision effects one relationship or the other.

And, naturally, with a character-driven story, the character’s are called-upon to be utterly fabulous, and these characters are. I was totally enthralled by the friends at Wish. I ached to be one of them, to see the van drive by with their logo on the side. When I was reading this (on vacation. I couldn’t put it down), I told my mom:

I love books like this, where the main motivation for reading it is just to spend more time with great people.

Nearly every character is well-rounded. No one is strictly bad. There are innumerable personality quirks with each character, and ultimately, every one of them feels inexplicably real.

Including the love interest. As you guys know, I firmly believe that the love interest and main character must be on equal ground. When one is “superior” to the other, I feel like both the superior one and I have been cheated. Wes, the love interest in this book, is great. And I mean sa-wooon. (Yeah, I said it. Read the book and you’ll understand.)

The only character I felt was a bit 2-dimensional was Macy’s boyfriend, Jason. I didn’t feel like I truly understood him. Not for a lack of trying, mind you. It just seemed as though there was hardly any depth to him. However, it’s barely noticeable while you’re reading. I was too swept away by everything, by the fun that is reading this book, to realize much about him until afterward.

When I say swept away, I mean it. I stayed up until one o’clock in the morning reading in the hotel room by my reading light, the AC fighting valiantly to freeze my toes off. And this is a contemporary YA novel. No bombs or fist fights. No evil wizards or demons. Simply intriguing people whose lives you want to be a part of.