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Forever is the Worst Long Time

4.09  ·  Rating details ·  2,344 Ratings  ·  286 Reviews
From acclaimed author Camille Pagán comes a wry, heartfelt exploration of love and loss.

When struggling novelist James Hernandez meets poet Louisa “Lou” Bell, he’s sure he’s just found the love of his life. There’s just one problem: she’s engaged to his oldest friend, Rob. So James toasts their union and swallows his desire.

As the years pass, James’s dreams always seem jus
Hardcover, 284 pages
Published February 7th 2017 by Lake Union Publishing
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Mar 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
Forever is the Worst Long Time is a love story that spans 18 years. It focuses on the love between friends, romantic love, and most significantly, a father’s love for his daughter.

In 1998, James Hernandez meets his best friend Rob’s girlfriend, Lou, and instantly falls in love. He believes Lou is the perfect woman and pines for her from afar. James’s belief that Lou is his ideal taints his future romantic relationships and eventually leads to the destruction of his friendship with Rob. As the y
Dec 30, 2016 rated it liked it
James is in love with Lou from the moment they meet, but she's engaged to his childhood best friend, Rob. For years, James loves Lou from afar, only wanting what's best for her, even if he believes that's a marriage to another man. From a distance, he watches Rob and Lou's love blossom, and then is witness as their relationship crashes and burns. In a moment of vulnerability, Lou and James act on their unspoken attraction to one another, and no one is spared the consequences, good or bad.

This bo
What a lovely book to come across! With thanks to my friend Kelli for recommending this book, as I don’t always love receiving requests having almost 2000 on my list of books to be read. I suggested this for purchase, my public library being awesome added it straight away. Happy to help my fellow library patrons.

Love is enticing, love is intoxicating and love sometimes occurs at the wrong time. Most of all I found love to be cyclical here. That may sound clinical, but the cycle of love, marriag
Suzanne Leopold
Jan 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
While visiting Rob and and his fiancee Lou in New York City, James is asked to be the best man at their wedding. Rob and James have been best friends since childhood and went to college together in Michigan. James stayed near home working as a professor when Rob left to develop his career. An attraction is evident between James and Lou but neither pursue anything.

For many years Rob’s and Lou’s relationship flourish as does Rob’s career in finance. Meanwhile, James career path stalls when he isn’
Feb 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: physical-arcs
All of my reviews can be found on


This book made me cry. That’s a pretty big deal for me you guys, I’m not really a crier, sure I have my moments but for the most part I’m pretty stoic. To say that this was an emotional read is an understatement and if you want a read with characters that are flawed, yet able to pull on your emotions, get this book!

James is the narrator here and I found hearing from a male perspective to be a really refreshing experience. He’s writing to
Sherri Thacker
This is my 2nd book written by Camille Pagan and I really wasn’t sure what to expect of this book. But I’m so glad I read it. I really enjoyed it! The ending gave me goose bumps and that rarely happens! Highly recommend this one!!
Mar 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc, read-2017
This book made me cry and hug my husband tight last night. I wasn't expecting such an emotional read - this story surprised me in all the best ways.
Catherine McKenzie
Dec 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing
From the beginning of this novel, you know that the narrator, James, is narrating the book for someone, a child. Who that child is, what his relationship is to her and why he's writing this novel are the central mysteries of the book. This is a book about many things: friendships, love, parenthood, growing up, and loss. The final reveal - what prompted James to write in the first place - is heartbreaking but also fitting. A fast-paced novel that is well worth the read.
Feb 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
Fabulous book! I really, really loved this book and it's going on my "Favorites" list for 2017! First of all, the title itself is amazing. The book was humorous in parts and heartbreaking in others with characters very likable and well developed. A story about the power of love, friendship, heartbreak, and forgiveness! This book had me captivated from the very beginning and was so hard to put down. If life hadn't gotten in the way, I probably would have read it in one sitting!! The writing was s ...more
“This story ends with loss.”

When you read a bunch of romance novels getting the same hype, characters, plot, ending and so forth, and read a book that was entirely different from what you were used to, you started to appreciate (which is an understatement by the way) the minds behind these great novelas. As clever and brilliant as it is, Forever is the Worst Long Time was one of those where the story was carefully thought, created in such a way the result was nothing but absolute perfection!
Jan 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
Loved this book! Beautifully written and deeply moving. I just love when a book allows you to feel as though you are listening to an old friend.

"It was one of those moments when you feel unbelievably lucky to have been placed on the planet at the same time as the people in your life." THIS. This quote is everything. Page 8. It is the exact moment that I knew my romantic heart was lost on this wonderful story.

I immediately added other books by this author to my book queue at the library.
This was a decent read. The story is intriguing, told unusually, and I really like Mrs. Pagán's way with words.
But I didn't like the characters as much. I couldn't connect to anyone, especially not to the two characters I share a career-goal with. I found them both infuriating.
I thought I would like it more, I wish I did.

Pre-review note:
This was my last read for 2016 (go out with a bang). Review soon.
Lisa Montanaro
Great book! It is told from the perspective of a male protagonist named James who falls in love with his best friend's girlfriend/wife. At turns heartbreaking, funny, poignant, and heartwarming, it follows the lives of the characters as they make mistakes, fall apart, come together, fall apart, realize dreams, give up on goals, etc. But through it all, they are real, flawed, and lovable. I would probably characterize this as a romantic drama, but because it is told from a male perspective, it do ...more
Jan 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This was such an interesting story. As I started, I wasn't sure what was going to happen, but the story kept building until I was emotionally wrapped up in it. I really LOVED James Hernandez. I would date James Hernandez! He seemed like such a wonderful friend, colleague, boyfriend, and lover. I think that's why I felt so upset about the things that happened to him. Much of story is about unconventional relationships. James is an English major/aspiring novelist from Ann Arbor Michigan where he s ...more
Nov 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This was a fantastic book and I definitely recommend it to anyone who wants to read about characters so well written that you feel like you know them working through situations that you feel like you've been through; if you want to read a book that will make you laugh and cry and if you want to read a book that will stay with you long after the last page has been been read - then this is the book for you to read.

When Jim meets his best friend's girlfriend Lou, he falls in love with her. She is e
Oct 31, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is such a wonderful read! Characters are so well developed. I enjoy this Authors 's work her wry humor and her understanding of difficult subjects makes it a pleasure for me to read. I recommend this book for bookclubs so many things to discuss love , forgiveness, infidelity ALS disease, and friendships. ,
Jul 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: romance
I finished this book early this morning and have spent much of today thinking about it. It was not at all what I expected.

This book is all about the heartbreak of life - for good and bad. It's about love in all of its forms - forbidden, unrequited, between friends, for a child, for a parent. So very many versions of love are experienced while reading this book yet you don't fully realize it or appreciate it until it all pulls together in the end.

This is also a story about the choices we make a
Mar 12, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5 stars
This book was completely wonderful. I loved each step of the journey I was taken on with these characters. It left me in tears, and was a very heartfelt read. This is definitely my favorite by this author.
Be prepared to read a story about loss, including: loss of a friend, loss of a great love, loss of a friendship and loss of family members but Forever is the Worst Long Time is also about the love triangle between three good friends and their rocky road through adulthood, life and forgiveness.

I won a Kindle copy of Forever is the Worst Long Time from a Goodreads Giveaway.

I wasn't sure what to expect since this is the first book I've read from Ms. Pagan but I had several issues with Forever
Title: Forever Is The Worst Long Time
Author: Camille Pagan
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing
Reviewed By: Arlena Dean
Rating: Four

"Forever Is The Worst Long Time" by Camille Pagan

My Thoughts....

This was a read of emotions, love, friendship, betrayal, tragic, loss,regret, forgiveness with three main characters: James, Lou and Rob who were all far from perfect. With their stupid mistakes they made, along with some crazy decisions will they ever be able to stop all of the hurting that is going o
Hannah Ellis
Feb 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Loved this book! It's beautifully written and I couldn't put it down. Balled my eyes out at the end. I'm a big Camille Pagan fan! Hope she has more books coming soon.
Kelsey Walters
Dec 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book gave me All. The. Feels. A beautiful story and the last chapter ties the entire thing together so perfectly.
Carol Boyer
Feb 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
An emotional roller coaster ride is what it is like reading Forever is the Worst Long Time. From the intriguing title to the reality of a story of forbidden or unrequited love I was hooked. James's feeling of friendship and love for his best friend Rob were solid and true. He visits Rob in NYC and meets Lou Rob's fiance, who he is instantly attracted to and she seems like a perfect girl but just not the type for Rob according to James. Rob is a successful financier, James an aspiring writer of a ...more
Kathleen Crowell
so conflicted about how to rate this book. let me start by saying I was totally confused by page one, line one and had to go back and forth for a few pages to get myself oriented. could be just me and my state of mind lately! that was how my read started. I was swimming along for about 1/2 of the book and started thinking this isn't going anywhere except from year to year and while I LOVE James--I'm really not fond of Lou and Rob is pretty one-dimensional. Then BANG! Everything changes and it's ...more
Christine Moore
Nov 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: giveaways
What an emotional roller coaster of a book! I laughed, I cried, and felt every emotion of the characters! This book is about James, his best friend Rob, and Rob's wife Lou. James finds himself in love with Lou but doesn't act on it since she is with his best friend. Everything James wants in life is just out of reach. He can't finish the novel he is writing and he is not a very good professor. Lou and Rob's marriage falls apart and Lou turns to James. This changes forever the lives of James, Lou ...more
Dec 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: galley, favorites
I loved James , he was such a sweet guy, he was in love with his best friend’s wife since the beginning but he never tried to act on his feelings. The story is mostly about these 2 best friends: James and Rob and the woman between them: Lou. The book is so well written and the characters are so well developed, you really think that this is a real story. My heart got broken at the end but I really enjoyed the story. I would recommend this book to everyone.
Thanks for the ARC!
Lisa Steinke
Nov 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing
FOREVER IS THE WORST LONG TIME is one of the best books I've read in a very long time. I fell in love with the characters, the writing, the plot. . . EVERYTHING. This is by far Camille Pagan's best yet. It reminded me of Frederik Backman's writing--that ability to make you absolutely root for and love even the most fallible people. Bravo, Camille!!!!
Mar 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
I loved this book. I can't remember the last time that I liked a character in a book so much and really cared what happened to them. It was a delight to read: funny and sad, and beautifully written.
Mar 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I got this novel (sent directly from the author since I've had the chance to "meet her online") at 6pm on Wednesday night. I started reading about 90 minutes later and was immediately hooked. The synopsis of this novel read that like it would be a light read featuring a love triangle and a friendship that is shattered by the same. This synopsis is very misleading. Instead this novel tells the story of unconditional love, the need to stay connected with your past, the true meaning of second chanc ...more
Tony Parsons
Mar 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
11/1998, Rob (23, James BMF), & Louisa “Lou” Bell (26, poet, U of Virginia, Columbia; MBA) were getting married.
2006, Lou published her 1st. book of poetry.
The 2 of them now live in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn, NY.
Dr. Kathryn Pierce (James’ ex-GF, Professor, PhD, English, Ann Arbor, MI.), introduced her husband Christopher Bucknell (physicist), to Dr. James Javier Hernandez (Kathryn’s ex-BF narrator, Professor, PhD, English literature). Pagán, Camille.

Jennifer (Lou’s BFF) called everyone to let
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52 weeks, 52 books: Week 2017.7: Forever is the Worst Long Time 1 36 Feb 17, 2017 05:14AM  
I’m the author of Woman Last Seen in Her Thirties (out 2/27/18), Forever is the Worst Long Time, The Art of Forgetting, and the #1 Kindle bestseller Life and Other Near-Death Experiences, which was recently optioned for film. My novels have been translated into twelve languages.

In another life, I was a health editor at Real Simple and Fitness magazines; these days, I write for publications like F
More about Camille Pagán

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“Once you love someone that way, you love them forever. That's just how it goes.” 4 likes
“As much as we crave a concise, linear narrative, life happens as it will, often in a haphazard fashion that feels anything but finished. We must cobble together our most important moments and call them our story.” 3 likes
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