Wednesday, June 20, 2012

The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen

Title: The Truth About Forever
Author: Sarah Dessen
Publisher: Speak
Release Date: May 11, 2004
Pages: 375 pages (paperback)
How I Got the Book: Bought it.
Purchase/Pre-order: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository
Promotional Materials and More: audiobook clip | author website

a long, hot 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 wonder, Is it really better to be safe than sorry?


For the last few weeks, I have had a monstrous craving for Sarah Dessen books. I'm not completely sure what triggered it, but I believe it had something to do with most of her books getting new covers. Luckily enough for me (and thankfully enough for my family, who would have otherwise seen me crawling up the wall and begging for a Dessen book), I had one of her novels--one of her most well-received novel, it appears--sitting in my stack of unread books. Even though there are a few books sitting in my pile that are a little more urgent, I put them all aside to read The Truth About Forever.

I see why Dessen is such a hit with readers. Her sense of characterization is fabulous and she has the ability to write fulfilling character arcs that drive the story in the absence of a plot. Macy sometimes got on my nerves because she tended to be passive, but I had a deep understanding of her and in the end, she's only human. I wanted to reach through the pages multiple times and give her a hug, a pat on the back, or a big cheer. The supporting characters like her sister Caroline and the Wish catering crew were just as well-written. I think my favorite moment of the novel had to be her sister Caroline calling out their mother. None of the moments between Macy and Wes had any hope of topping that.

Not that I disliked how their relationship developed. In fact, I loved it. As their friendship develops at a leisurely pace and they took small steps closer to one another, the romance it will eventually transform into becomes more and more plausible--and more anticipated. It takes almost the entire novel for them to finally give in and get together, but once it happens, it's so, so worth the wait. I was definitely happy about Macy's final decision when it came to her boyfriend Jason. He was just... Ugh!

Still, there's a certain stylistic quality to Dessen's writing that makes her books difficult for me to read for long stretches of time. There are moments where the prose smacks me in the face and I think, "Wow, this is fantastic writing," but it's more often a slog to get through. I have no trouble sitting and reading for hours at a time, but it as a challenge to read this book for more than an hour straight solely because of the prose.

I have read only one of Dessen's other novels (This Lullaby) and that was all the way back in May 2010. I liked it well enough, but I had the same issue with that novel as I had with The Truth About Forever: the prose. I hate I have this problem because it means I will have the same issue with all of her books. I doubt she will correct her natural style when that is part of what fans love about her works.

I will be back for more, that's for sure. My personal issues with the author's writing style are a little bit troublesome, but I still want more! One book is not enough to satisfy a craving of this magnitude.

4 stars!

What am I reading next?: Eternal Starling by Angela Corbett

1 comment:

  1. I really like all of Sarah Dessen's books. I enjoyed this one.

    I tagged you for the Liebster Blog Award.


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