The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen
Published Penguin 2004
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
Format: Hardback from the library
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?
Macy is one of my favorite Dessen leads. She’s more firey and unexpected than ones I’ve read about before. Macy does have a slight tendency to lead toward the familiar, but she very quickly finds herself and starts breaking down her own boundaries. Macy is more captivating than the average YA protagonist and I really enjoyed her perspective. This book also features two male leads – Jason and Wes. Jason is really frustrating, even though we rarely ever see him in person. Most of their communications that summer are through email, but he’s a perfectionist and that is not what Macy needs. Jason was an okay character, but he was more annoying than anything. That’s why I was very happy when Wes entered the scene. He wasn’t one of my favorite Dessen love interests, but his relationship with Macy was really cute. Wes is a little more moody and secretive than the average Dessen male. However, I liked him just as much as anyone else. Wes has his own handful of problems, plus they are both in similar situations with their relationships before meeting each other.
The romance developed really well. I always prefer when couples become friends first and then begin the romantic side of their relationship, like was done here. They play a really cute game of Truth throughout the book which increases so many plot points. I loved their banter back and forth during the game and these moments made for some of my favorite scenes. Outside of the romance, Macy’s job with catering company made me really hungry and also even more interested in Macy! I liked the group of people that she works with, all with different personalities and stories. From the lady that runs the company, to her fellow employees, they all help Macy grow in an incredible way. Macy is also struggling with the loss of her father, balancing the novel out. There were so many touching scenes throughout the book as she looks back on the times with her dad, and also seeing the grieving process for her family. I liked the way that this was handled and how real the family felt.
Overall, I really loved this book! It was classic Sarah Dessen in every way, and I have nothing wrong with that! The story is real and true. This is the perfect summer contemporary.