The Truth About Forever- Sarah Dessen

Synopsis from Goodreads.
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.

“For any one 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.”

High Points.
Not a wizard/mind-reader/necromancer/vampire/werewolf/Cornish Piskie (I feel there is lack of Cornish Piskies in YA novels….maybe I’ll remedy that soon)/zombie in sight. HURRAH. Outstanding supporting cast. Food (seriously, I put on about five stone just reading this book). Best friends. Good grief and real emotions. Being the person you want to be not the person they want you to be. Boys with tattoos. Girls with go go boots. Running out of petrol. Arts and crafts. Sa-wooon.

Low Points.
This book was really quite slow at points and there were a lot of description that didn’t add much to the story. (Did we need four consecutive pages about houses?!)
But it got there in the end and I ended up enjoying it a lot and I will not be shunned by the entire YA community for treason against Queen Dessen. HURRAH.

Heroine.
Macy Queen, 16, wants to be perfect and I have to admit alarm bells began ringing pretty early on in this book… but then they shut off when I realised that just because she wanted to be perfect doesn’t mean she actually was.Which is great because perfection is overrated.
So, even though for the first couple of chapters Macy kept her personality cards very close to her chest, I could see through her poker face… and I don’t even know how to play poker (even when we play for Smarties on the table instead of money..and I love Smarties!). So even though I know she wanted me to, I did not write Macy off. Because I’m stubborn and I knew there was the fun-time Macy in there somewhere.
As the book progressed, Macy started to stand up for herself and develop that little thing we call a backbone and start living the life she knew was out there. Macy had a lot to deal with in the past couple of years and had built up lots of sturdy walls around her to stop anyone seeing that she is finding grieving for her father difficult (read: human).
I know I’ve said it before but there is something so satisfying about seeing a character come into their own and fight for their right to party be someone they’ve been trying to squash because they’re afraid.
And if there is a sexy boy involved, then that’s just fine too.

Love Interest.
Jason. Seriously… what was he? Are there any seventeen year old boys actually like that? Do they truly exist? And if so why did Macy, as a girl with a pulse, stay with him so long? I guess nothing says passion like lists. Lists
Well, hello Wes with your tattoo and your past. Which is different to a past because it’s in italics exciting and dangerous and sexy. Even though it was so very obvious that you and Macy were going to end up canoodling as soon as you loped (I don’t think I’ve ever met a boy who loped. One day, Jo. One day) onto the page.
But I was OK with it because, although you had a past, you never made a secret about it and you never kept anything from Macy because you felt she couldn’t handle it and it was never an issue and Macy didn’t go mental over it. Which was refreshing because I find girls often get blind sighted by a boy with a past.
Yes, my dear Wes, you have baggage but you have managed to fold it into a nice and stylish bag that you can carry around with ease that doesn’t drag you down and make you insufferable and boring.
You are also a massive goof, you’re such a cute big brother and a loyal nephew and you are scared of clowns, which pretty much makes us soul mates.
And you and Macy are really cute together and you encouraged her to be the girl she was too afraid to be just in case she slipped up and was no longer perfect.
Also, you can weld. Which is always hot.

Best Friend(s).
I loved their interactions and their tomfooleries and the way they embraced Macy, no questions asked. Also, they have an ambulance as their method of transport. AN AMBULANCE.
It’s safe to say that I would go out with vommy Sherman from Shreveport to be friends with Kristy, Monica, Delia and Bert.

Theme Tune.

This song will always remind me of being young and giving a metaphorical middle finger to all the bitchy, stuck-up people who work in libraries who look down on you because you’re not ‘perfect’.
“We see things they’ll never see.”
I’ll take living passionately over perfection any day, thank you very much.

Angst Scale.
9/10. There was great deal of angst in this book. Whether it was Macy and her grieving for the death of her father or Macy always striving for unattainable perfection, their was always the sense of angst looming in the background. And as I mentioned early… this book was a tad wordy and it sometimes felt like I was being clobbered over the head with a brick made of teenage emotion, but it fit well with the pace of the book. Because even though it was heavy going in places, when it was funny it was really funny. I was snorting and hiccoughing with laughter here there and everywhere with this book.
I liked the dichotomy of trivial angst vs real life emotions that Dessen sets up because it allowed me to understand the difficulties that Macy feels and her insecurities and allowed me to not only understand her but to relate to her.
I thought the way that Dessen depicted losing a family member was effective and the raw emotions that come after death were written perfectly . I especially liked the parts with the products that Macy’s dad bought from the catalogues…so poignant.
BUT, I’m OK with boy angst when I care for the boy and think he’s worth your angst and fretting. But Macy… why did you even care about Jason? He did not deserve the amount of angst you gave him. He wrote lists, for goodness sake. Lists.

Recommended For.
People who like contemporary YA books. People who don’t really like contemporary YA books but who are willing to give them a try. People who like boys with a past. People who have always wanted to quit a job in a dramatic way. People who find welding a sexy past time. People who like driving around in converted ambulances with excellent best friends. People who like meatballs…. so basically, everyone.

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