Saturday, May 30, 2015

Review: The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen

Release Date: May 11, 200
Publisher: Penguin Group 
Source: Borrowed/Gift 
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?
I still do not know how I have yet to review this book. I read it way back in the 7th grade and I've re-read it ever since I got the Gift Set in 2009. It's one of my two favorite Sarah Dessen novels (you can read my review of my other favorite, Just Listen, here) and I can never seem to get enough. There's something about a Dessen novel that just screams Summer so ever year, I have to indulge in the world she creates, re-living summer vacations through the fabulous characters she brings to life. 

In The Truth About Forever, Sarah Dessen introduces us to Macy Queen. After the sudden death of her father and the consequent issues with her mother, Macy has become a shell of a person. To make matter worse, she's got a job at the library she doesn't want given to her by the boyfriend who asks her for a break through AN E-MAIL. GUYS HE IS NOT A NICE GUY. *ahem* But Macy has to keep her cool and make sure everything is going perfectly so that there isn't a rift anywhere. So seeing this girl so scared to leave her shell slowly open herself up to new experiences, new friends, and a new her was so refreshing. The slow process was kind of sad to see but it was also wonderful. She's gone through so much and all I wanted was for her to be happy. Macy is such a strong girl who feels as though the whole world is her's to perfect and seeing this change. So seeing her come to terms with what happened to her father, how to change her relationship with her mom and sister and her growing feelings for Wes makes The Truth About Forever an absolutely amazing book. 

Now if you couldn't tell from the paragraph above, Dessen knows how to write one heck of a character. But it's not just Macy's character that Dessen wrote to near perfection; it was all the supporting characters. From Macy's mom, her older sister Caroline, Wes, and all the people with the Wish Catering, they all had their own personalities, dreams, wishes, and just ways of being. They were so natural and nothing seemed out of the ordinary. All of the moments Macy had with her family was just as poignant as the time Macy spent with the Wish people and with Wes. I really appreciate that when it comes to a Dessen novel, family and friendships never take a back seat. Instead, the romance usually comes around the familiar and friendship relationships. 

But of course Wes had to have his own paragraph because he's fabulous, flawed, sexy, sweet, wonderful...and the list goes on. But seriously guys, Wes was just what Macy needed. Trying hard to be the man his mother wanted him to be, Wes was always true to himself. A truly flawed guy, Wes never let this get in the way of anything. He's made many mistakes in his past, some of which has lead to trouble with the law, but at the end of the day, Wes does not let this define him. He is his own man and I absolutely loved that about him. But the best part? It wasn't Wes who helped Macy become true to herself but Macy herself. I loved that the guy doesn't come around just for the sake of the main character.

And because I'm not sure how coherent the above review was, let me sum up my feelings for this book with a gif:

So basically, I love The Truth About Forever. And if you haven't read this Dessen, it's truly a gem and worth the read. I understand that it's one of the older Dessen novels but this one has the amazing writing, I-wish-these-people-were-real characters, a swoon worthy romance and love interest, and one heck of a main character that shows her strength in so many ways that is so prevalent in any Sarah Dessen novel.

Do I need to try and tell you why this book got my highest rating? Read the above review and you'll know! But if you want the TL-DR version: The Truth About Forever is one of the best works of fiction I've read since I began reading young adult fiction. Sarah Dessen is very well known in the world of YA literature and there's a big reason as to why that is. 
So the first time I read this book and when my dad got me the gift set, this is the cover that was on there! This is the new cover: 
Now, I'm kind of in love with the first cover because it's so simple and fits the books so well. I think this new cover doesn't do the book any justice. It's fun, yes, but not my cup of tea. 

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