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Teen Picks: “Forever…” by Judy Blume

Forever by Judy Blume

What is it about? Katherine and Michael meet at a New Year’s Eve party. They’re attracted to each other, they grow to love each other. And once they’ve decided their love is forever, they make love.

It’s the beginning of an intense and exclusive relationship, with a future all planned. Until Katherine’s parents insist that she and Michael put their love to the test with a summer apart… -Summary courtesy of Goodreads

What did you think of it & why did you pick it up? I’ve never realized just how privileged my generation is. Besides all of the incredible technology and opportunities we’re given, we also have an amazing selection of books exclusively for our age group. Based on what my mom tells me they didn’t have young adult books back in the “day”. I can see why Judy Blume became so famous. She was the only one writing specifically for teens. I can also see why her book, Forever, was so scandalous. Forever had been on my to-read list for awhile because my cousin recommended it to me, saying that every girl should read this at least once in their lifetime. When I saw it at the book sale I picked up (it was only 75 cents) and read it that night. I was vastly disappointed.

When I first read Are you there God? It’s me, Margaret, I didn’t exactly feel empowered as a growing, changing women or anything but it was cute and reassuring and perfect for those graceless years of 11-13. I assumed Forever would be the same way and be similar to an Elizabeth Scott novel. This ended up being very untrue. For starters, the character development was lacking in many places. It almost seemed as if Judy Blume just threw some people into her book and added a moral to the end of the story. The dialogue was unoriginal and unrealistic in most places. In general everything just seemed a little detached and disjointed. I felt like teenagers wouldn’t actually say or do any of these things. Bottom line is, I never related to Katherine or Micheal and I honestly didn’t care about them.

One thing Forever did do right though, was capture the utter awkwardness of being a teenager and experiencing sex for the first time. I’m not sure if that was purposeful or if it came about because of the missing character development but it was there. I did find the sex scenes to be sort of unromantic and indifferent and that sucked. Although, now that I think about it, did she do that deliberately? I’m sure that most teenage sex is quite unromantic so it’s probable.

Gosh. This is such an awkward subject. How am I even reviewing this? I admit that there was one scene that I couldn’t help but crack up at. When I showed two of my friends they were appalled and then collapsed into giggles. For anyone who’s read it, it was the bit where Katherine meets ”Ralph”. That’s all I’m saying.

Alright, now that I’ve thoroughly slammed an important milestone in YA literature, let me redeem myself. I’m not saying this was a terrible book. Why? Because I accept that it was one of the first of it’s kind. The book and the plot is old and slightly boring and gawky but, so is everything else in life. This was quick read and I don’t regret it, but it’s definitely made me realize just how happy I am to have John Green’s and Sarah Dessen’s out there in the world.

Star Rating: This was like doing homework. I finished it, but I didn’t like it.

I would suggest this for: Young girls, Judy Blume lovers

Review written by Lauren

Thanks for the review Lauren!

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