The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen

Welcome to Week 5 of Sundays with Sarah!

“‘Listen…the truth is, nothing is guaranteed…So don’t be afraid. Be alive.'”

truth about forever

Synopsis from GoodreadsA 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 question her sheltered life.

Feelings: This is one of two Dessen books that I’d read previously. And I loved it the first time around. I couldn’t remember why I loved it, I just knew that I did. After reading it a second time, I can safely say that I still love it. I’ve heard a few people say that this one isn’t their favorite of Dessen’s books, but it might be mine. I think that’s because I connected with Macy on so many levels. I understood her – her fears, where she was coming from, her motivations – and I wanted to heal alongside her.

Issues: I think the only thing this book was missing was a little more conversation about her belated gift from her dad. A little more closure there would have been nice.

Characters: As I said before, Macy is a character that I could really relate to. She’s experienced tragedy and been stuck in a limbo of healing ever since, unsure how to tip toe around her family members and wanting to please everyone. She’s stuck in a relationship that feels safe and steady, something she’s been desperate for. Then the beautiful Wish Catering crew come along and show Macy how to truly be alive. I want to run away and join a catering business after meeting this band of misfit toys.

I loved how this group ran on chaos. They didn’t need perfection and good luck made them antsy. They were the antithesis to Macy and her Jason-centered universe, which meant that she needed them desperately. I loved Wes’s calm, confident demeanor and the way he balanced Macy out, reassuring her of her worth and value. Every girl wants a Wes. [This girl included.]

Macy’s relationship with her mom and her sister was something that kept me a little bit on edge. I wasn’t sure how things would develop or whether things would have to get worse before they got better. In the end, I was ok with how things turned out. I wouldn’t say it was a beautiful, miraculous, tear-jerking come to Jesus meeting at the end, but sometimes that type of ending just isn’t real.

Final thoughts: I liked this one about the same amount that I liked Someone Like You. It just all felt very realistic to me. It was easy to read, easy to connect with, and easy to enjoy. This is a good summertime read!

Pick this up if you liked:

Someone Like You by Sarah Dessen

The Heir and the Spare by Emily Albright

Summer Days & Summer Nights: Twelve Love Stories by Stephanie Perkins and others

Goodreads rating: 4.14/5

Amazon.com rating: 4.6/5

My rating: 4.75/5

Happy reading! – Caitlyn

5 Summer Reads

As a teacher, summertime is a reading mecca for me. I always have a giant stack of books that I want to get through in those few short months. Because I’m from Texas, I want some light summer reads that’ll help me survive the heat. I don’t normally read heavy books with large page counts…but sometimes I do just because I have the free time.

I’ve come up with a list of 5 books that I think would be cool for the summer. I’ve got a variety – some light and easy, others thoughtful and a little deeper.

summer days

Summer Days and Summer Nights: Twelve Love Stories by Stephanie Perkins and others

I’m so excited for this book! I really enjoyed the previous anthology that Stephanie Perkins put together with her best writer friends. [Read my review for that HERE!] This collection of summertime stories has some different author than the holiday set, including Libba Bray, Leigh Bardugo, and Cassandra Clare. I preordered it…that’s how excited I am. It’s sitting on my kitchen table, awaiting the end of school. I really love anthologies like this, except for when I find a story that I love and it ends…there’s always a couple that I want to see as full length novels!

dessen3

Anything by Sarah Dessen

I’ve only read a few of Dessen’s books, but I’ve decided that this will be my Summer with Sarah. Can I get a hashhtaggg? A friend of mine told me that her books aren’t sequels or even companion novels, really, but you do see familiar characters pop up every once in a while. I know that if I spread these books out over a year or longer, I won’t notice those little Easter eggs, so I’m going to just marathon them all! Her books always deal with very real issues and situations, but they aren’t terribly heavy or dense. They’re always entertaining and have funny moments. Plus, Dessen really knows how to write a hunky dude. Starting this weekend, I’ll be reviewing Sarah’s books every Sunday!

aristotle

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz

This is a book that takes place mostly during the summertime months. The two main characters in this story are boys, so this book pick is different from the others I’ve listed. The story happens in El Paso, Texas, and when the main character mentioned Chico’s Tacos, I died a little. Heaven. #Memories Anyway, this is a story of self-discovery, friendship, and family. It’s not a light, fluffy read, but it’s one that’ll stay with you. Great for summer!

anne of island

Anne of Green Gables series by L. M. Montgomery

I always think of fields and summertime and friendship when I think about ol’ Anne and her adventures. I love these books. I think they’re so funny and full of heart, taking me back to a simpler time. These aren’t exactly beachy romance books, but they’re lighthearted and memorable. I’m a fan!

different

A Little Something Different by Sandy Hall

This book doesn’t take place during summer; it happens at a university. But it’s so different from anything else I’d read before and I swallowed it up. This is a book about writing and words…and there are  a few strange narrators. We see the perspective of a bench. And the perspective of a squirrel. Need I say more?

What books would you recommend for the summertime? Let me know in the comments!

Happy reading! – Caitlyn