Friday, 15 July 2011

The Truth about Forever by Sarah Dessen

5 Stars. (Young Adult)

I read this book months back in March and have just now gotten around to writing a review for it. So here goes...

The Truth about Forever is right up there with my other two favourites, Just Listen and Lock & Key. The relationships between the group of characters was key in this book, which in a way was different from the last three Dessen books I've read where the key relationship seems to be between the main female and male characters. In this one, though, from the beginning Macy is surrounded by loving, open-minded, silly, charismatic and unique individuals all from the Wish catering company. Every character has a sparkling personality and what I loved most about reading this story was the interactions they all had with one another throughout the book. Macy is hurting; she's still grieving the loss of her father and her mother's emotional shutdown and for the longest time Macy has lived in a type of gilded prison where everything has to be perfect in order to preserve her mother's tenuous sanity. The Wish Catering with all the eccentricities and daily chaos of the business and people who are a part of it build Macy's world and allow her to reclaim herself and throw herself out there into the chaos. They don't need her to be perfect and she relishes the opportunity to just be a teen going through the bittersweet moments as they happen.

I love books about catering companies, I don’t' really know why but ever since I read Maeve Binchy's The Scarlet Feather when I was in my early teens I fell in love with all the possibilities of that chaotic and fascinating world where everyone seemed to love one another and get along, despite the hiccups of everyday life. It was a support system, a home away from home, a place of comfort and support and all this is still true of Dessen's rendition.

Macy and Will's relationship is slow boiling. I liked that. One thing I will always appreciate about Dessen's writing is that she makes the hero and heroine friends first and then they slowing grow to develop deeper feelings for one another. It makes the relationship seem more real and allows the reader to get to know each person separately before they become an item. Will was a suitably fascinating and charismatic hero. Quieter I'd say than Owen or even Nate, but I liked his artistic side, his quiet thoughtfulness and the way he supported and loved his friends and family. He and his brother Burt haven't had an easy time of it either and yet I admired that Will had realized his mistakes and was steadily trying to heal himself.

I think this book had a lot of subtlety and heart, which is classic Dessen and the only negative I'd pick out is that Macy's reluctance to ever confront her obsessive-compulsive, "trying to be perfect so no one can see the cracks in my facade" mother started to grate on my nerves. Her mom was harsh and unyielding, never tried to understand her daughter much and instead just tried to impose rules and strictures on Macy to keep her perfect. Macy's boyfriend was also a very annoying aspect of this book. He was meant to be and readers are meant to think he's the ultimate in jerkdom but seriously?! Do guys like this actually exist? I'd hate to think so. But these two characters where the driving force standing between Macy and her real self and it only made her strength in the end that much more satisfying when she bulldozed through their chains. (how's that for a metaphor ;P)

Another Dessen Favourite!


  1. Yayy, I also love Sarah Dessen :)
    This was my first Dessen book and I fell in love right away. I kind of forget what happens so I'll need to reread it again soon...
    My favourites are Just Listen, Lock and Key and This Lullaby- have you read it yet?

  2. This was the last Dessen book I read lol, I went on a Dessen marathon and read 4 of her books almost in a row. Such a good YA author. I started with This Lullaby but it's my least favourite. I gave it about 2.5 stars. I love Lock & Key and Just Listen though :) I have Along for the Ride and What Happened to Goodbye sitting on my shelf waiting to provide me with that perfect comfort read lol

  3. This story was really beautiful. Just like all of Sarah Dessen's novels this one also had these amazing characters that we could all relate to. She weaves such amazing story lines that one finds it hard to get it out of our head even when the story is finished. I will say that when i finished this novel a sigh actually escaped my lips and there was a huge smile on my face. Only a few novels have been able to do that to me.