Whenever I tell people that I love YA books, more often than not, Sarah Dessen’s name comes up. Then they are surprised to find that the only one of her books that I’ve read is “What Happened to Goodbye,” even though I loved it. What about all the others, they seem to always say. So, when a friend’s daughter loaned me her copy of “The Truth About Forever,” I was more than happy to read it.
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?
There are so many reasons why this book has been added to our “Books We Adore” list. In “The Truth About Forever,” Dessen has created characters that we can all relate to in some way. Protagonist Macy is a teen who believes that she has to be “perfect” for her mother after the death of her much loved father. She also feels she has to be “perfect” for her “perfect” boyfriend Jason. Everything in her life is orderly and laid out. Until the night that her mother throws a dinner party for clients and Macy meets the crew of Wish Catering. They are anything but orderly. There is so much chaos going on in the kitchen, yet Macy finds herself drawn to them. She even helps them out that night and as a result, Delia, the head of Wish Catering gives Macy a standing job offer.
Macy declines until she receives an email from her boyfriend Jason that sends her driving around in an emotional state. When she spots the Wish Catering van she follows them. She ultimately joins them on their job that evening and the whole Wish crew: Delia, Kristy, Bert, Monica and Wes all become a part of her life. Little by little they help Macy start enjoying her life again. Yet it’s Wes, who becomes a special part of her life and her healing. Although Macy is unsure about her relationship with Jason, she finds herself more and more drawn to Wes and their “friendship.” There’s really one word to describe Wes. As Kristy says to Macy, “Sa-woon!”
Dessen deals with grief, love, friendship, family, and the idea of what “perfect” really means. This is definitely one to put on your TBR list.
“There is never a time or place for true love. It happens accidentally, in a heartbeat, in a single flashing, throbbing moment.”
“That was the thing. You never got used to it, the idea of someone being gone. Just when you think it’s reconciled, accepted, someone points it out to you, and it just hits you all over again, that shocking.”
“It’s all in the view. That’s what I mean about forever, too. For any one of us our forever could end in an hour, or a hundred years from now. You never know for sure, so you’d better make every second count.”
“We’d start slow, the way we always did, because the run, and the game, could go on for awhile. Maybe even forever.
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. It was twenty minutes, or a hundred years, or just this instant, or any instant I wished would last and last. But there was only one truth about forever that really mattered, and that was this: it was happening. Right then, as I ran with Wes into that bright sun, and every moment afterwards. Look, there. Now. Now. Now.”