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Forever is the Worst Long Time

4.06  ·  Rating details ·  5,977 ratings  ·  625 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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Meredith ( on Semi-Hiatus until February)
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
Feb 02, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I read the final page. Wiped my tears. Then turned back to page one to read the beginning all over again.

Forever is the Worst Long Time has been lingering on my To Read shelf since its publication in 2017. I honestly have no idea why I put it on there in the first place. Yet somehow it managed to survive periodic purging over the years, just waiting to be picked up and adored like the shyest puppy at the shelter. And oh how I found myself loving it in the end.

You can read the publisher’s synop
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
Elyse  Walters
Feb 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
Audiobook...( Kindle Unlimited) by Timothy Andres Pabon

This is the 3rd Audiobook/ and or sync with ebook... that I’ve read by author Camille Pagan

My first read - and favorite was “Women Last Seen In Her Thirties”.... I rated it 5 stars.
My next book was -
“Life and other Near-Death Experiences”. I liked it... but not ‘as’ much. I rated it 3 stars

This 3rd book - I’m rating 4 stars.
All these Pagan books are engaging Audiobooks- even ‘if’ I roll my eyes and talk back at the tape. There is so
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
Aug 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"I don't care if lovers swear it to each other and the devout sling it around as a future reward for their faithfulness. As far as I'm concerned, forever is the worst long time. At least with adversity and illness, there's a general idea of what to expect. We don't know a damn thing about the uncharted horrors of eternity . . . " -- protagonist James, at the start of chapter 26

I'm glad I went into Forever is the Worst Long Time without knowing a single thing about the book, other than I simply
Suzanne Leopold (Suzy Approved Book Reviews)
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
Mar 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2017, arc
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. ...more
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!!
Feb 08, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2021, audiobooks, fiction
This is a story about love, friendship, loyalty, and hope. It's beautifully written and I'm so glad I've finally read this one. I didn't read the book blurb before reading the book, and I'd suggest you do the same. Just know the story is told from the POV of James Hernandez, in the form of a book written to a child. I know this is a story I'll think about in the future and possibly read again in a few years.

I've enjoyed other books by Camille Pagán, and this one is no exception. I'm looking forw
mindful.librarian ☀️
Mar 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Oh my goodness. My second book by Pagan in less than a week and I'm HOOKED. This one is very different from the last one I read of hers, but equally excellent. Narrated by a man named James Hernandez in the format of a book addressed to his daughter (she is the "you" he is writing to), this is a story of friendship, love and fatherhood, and so much more. There is grief, yes, but it's not overwhelming, I promise. I don't want to write too much about it because I want you to experience it "cold" l ...more
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
Renee (itsbooktalk)
Jan 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
My 2019 has started with a bang with this couldn't-put-it-down story. One of my favorite storylines is a love triangle so right off the bat I had high hopes for this book. The story is narrated by James from a time in the future which I thought was a perfect way to not only get to know (and like) him but to also get to know Lou and Rob through his eyes. James and Rob had been friends since they were kids and I loved how Pagan incorporated the sentimentality of that type of friendship along with ...more
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. ...more
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.
Dec 30, 2016 rated it did not like it
Forever is the Worst Long Time by Camille Pagan is an appropriate title since this book is the worst. The characters are entitled and constant moaners abut how horrible their lives, specifically the male protagonist James who acts as if the sun rises and sets on him. This book spans over 15 years from the POV of James who constantly lusts after his best friend’s wife, Louisa, another entitled person who tries playing the role of a poet. She is just as bad as James but her personality is so lacki ...more
Nov 16, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm torn how to rate this. I was expecting a simple story about a love triangle, but it turned into much more than that. Certainly a lot more emotional than I had expected. By the end I had tears in my eyes. The best thing about this was the father - daughter relationship. The thing I really couldn't get my head around was why the two male protagonists, James and Rob, felt the way they did for Lou. What was it about her? Beats me. I also didn't get James' relationship with another significant fe ...more
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!!!! ...more
Karlita | Tale Out Loud
“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 per
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 Fo
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
Feb 08, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: challenge
James is an author struggling to complete his first book (he struggles the entire book). He meets his best friend's fiance, Lou, and feels an instant connection with her. He spends the next few years fighting his attraction to her. (view spoiler) ...more
Apr 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I cannot remember ever actually sobbing when listening to or reading any book. Often, I am moved and left pondering for a while after, but not bawling. This novel touched me so tremendously, I was sobbing. It was relatable, authentic, and really gives readers reason to think seriously about what is important and to not take the little things for granted. Relationships are what matters and how we treat each other.

Thank you, Ms. Pagan for this important and much-appreciated reminder. Your remarka
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. , ...more
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
Susan Haught
Dec 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I adore Ms. Pagán’s books but it took me awhile to get into this one, the first half of the book a little slow. And I was a bit put off at first with the male main character who seemed to me to be coming from a female POV—his views more of how a woman would think and feel.

But I’m so glad I stuck with it, and found James to be a softy and true to his character once the meat of the story unfolded.

I don’t do spoilers, so let me just say I’m still picking pieces of my heart off the floor. The endin
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52 weeks, 52 books: Week 2017.7: Forever is the Worst Long Time 1 37 Feb 17, 2017 05:14AM  

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I’m the author of six novels, including This Won't End Well, I'm Fine and Neither Are You, and the #1 Kindle bestseller Life and Other Near-Death Experiences, which was recently optioned for film. My novels have been translated into nearly two dozen languages.

I've written for Fast Company, Forbes, The New York Times, O: The Oprah Magazine, Parade, Real Simple, Time, and many others.

When I'm not a

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