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Forever Changes

3.85  ·  Rating details ·  532 ratings  ·  115 reviews
5:30 a.m., Brianna Pelletier gets ready for her daily pounding. As she lies on the couch, her dad beats her chest, then her back, coaxing the mucus out of her lungs. The pounding doesnt take care of everything. Briannas held out for a long time, but a body with cystic fibrosis doesnt last forever. It doesnt matter that Brianna has a brilliant mathematical mind or that shes ...more
Hardcover, 181 pages
Published September 2nd 2008 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
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Average rating 3.85  · 
Rating details
 ·  532 ratings  ·  115 reviews

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Jan 31, 2009 rated it really liked it
Loved it. My only complaint is the cover-- this is an incredible book, and I am not surprised (based on the cover) that all of the reviews are by females. It is a story that would touch many young adults of all types. Brendan Halpin truly makes us appreciate life and how fortunate we are.
Feb 17, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult
This book gets 4 stars because of how it educated me regarding aspects of life with cystic fibrosis and all of the musings on life and death, but I cannot recommend it whole heartedly to everyone, because there are about ten swear words and the casual attitude toward teenage drinking and sex. (There is no actual sex in the bookno pages you'll have to skip.) While I disagree with that attitude and don't swear and while I did not like the low cut shirt on the cover, I found the novel worth reading ...more
Mar 04, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult
Forever Changes jumps into the life of a girl, Bri, with Cystic Fibrosis - a disease/condition I know very little about.

It's an interesting read. Halpin doesn't make the book about Bri, or even about CF. He makes it about purpose.

Case in point: Throughout the narraration, Bri's dad is never read as "Bri's dad..." He's always "Dad." So, even though it sometimes feels like first person narration through Bri - it really isn't. Which makes it seem like the book isn't really strictly about Bri as
Apr 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing
5:30 A.M., Brianna Pelletier an 18 year old girl gets ready and does her everyday routine which
is getting pounded, Her dad beats her chest, then her back making the mucus come right out of
her lungs. Brianna has stayed strong for a long time, but a body with Cystic fibrosis cant have a
lasting life. Brianna may be a mathematical brain machine, but her world does not revolve
around that, it revolves around the way she is. Her friends are like barbie dolls, and Adam i the
dream boy shes been
Apr 26, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult
This sat on my shelf for ages because I suspected it would be a tough read. A teen with cystic fibrosis? But I was pleasantly surprised, because rather than taking advantage of every opportunity to wring a tear from his readers' eyes, Halpin treats the majority of the book as a smart, thoughtful YA story. Sure, Brianna spends time thinking about her own mortality and her illness, her role as a mentor to a younger girl with CF, and her own mentor who recently died - but it's also got all those ...more
Brianna is just about to start her senior year of high school: all regular classes, plus AP Calc. But despite being a math whiz, she's not really gung-ho about applying to colleges, because she's not sure if her cystic fibrosis will allow her to even live long enough to bother. She knows her time is limited, and so she spends that time with her friends, her family, and yes, with calculus--people and ideas that make her happy. Brianna is more or less a regular teenager who goes to parties, helps ...more
Why do I keep reading books that make my heart hurt?

That's a rhetorical question considering I don't have an answer to it, nor should there be an answer. Anyways, this book was absolutely breathtaking. It is by far one of the better father/daughter relationship stories I have read and it is also a smart and well written novel.

First off all, the main protagonist is a female and likes math. How many times can you say that an author goes outside the box? That and she is friends with cheerleaders
Sep 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This is one of my favorite books of all time. I first read it as a junior in High School, and related to deeply to some of the issues that the protagonist faces. While I did not have the added stress of dealing with cystic fibrosis, I felt empathy towards her feelings of meaninglessness. Somehow, Halpin describes life and death in a way that makes each individual seem meaningful. I felt comforted in his descriptions of infinity, rather than terrified as I normally do. The voice was beautiful and ...more
Marta Koperska
Jun 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I cant believe i'm saying this, but this book may just be as good as The Fault In Our Stars. I actually think I liked it even more. I couldn't stop crying at the ending. It's amazing how this book shows us in a very subtle way how life is made up of the little things. I could relate to Brianna in so may ways. The way the overanalyzes everything is so relateable. The characters are so likeable and comparable to real people that we all know. Even though this is a quick read (finished it in about ...more
Oct 31, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: books-i-own
It's not like the books that I usually read, but right now I am having troubles with myself, and I read this and somehow, the Mathematical statements he did made me think critically, about life and things in it, and how small things make up a whole and every infinitesimals are important and beautiful. Might reread this before I die, ha.

The fact that this is not merely the typical YA novel made it even better. Also, it made me think of Mathematics in a different light. I've always hated it, but
Oct 09, 2010 rated it really liked it
When I went to the library last week, I was just trying to find a few books that would hold me for 2 weeks. This was one I grabbed due to the name and the cover. The title itself, at first glance, made me think it was oxymoronic. It's really not.

Brianna has cystic fibrosis. She's dealt with it her whole life. But now that she's starting her senior year in high school, she just wants to be normal. She wants to hang out with her two best friends and go to parties. She wants to be able to sleep in
Courtney Lavallee
Oct 23, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I picked up this book thinking "oh it's gojng to be stupid, look at the cover, it's already corny." And then I started reading it and I just couldn't put it down. The ending still has me dazed, like I still can't believe what happened, because the way the author was writing it didn't really give away anything, and if the author did maybe I just didn't want to believe it. I recommend this book to anyone who wants to confuse themselves, to anyone who wants a good cry or laugh.
Gerri Leen
Jul 24, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorite-author
I adore this author. His stories invariably have something tragic in them, but they also provide truly uplifting moments, and I'm not sure anyone out there is writing as interesting a dynamic for families as this man does. This story is as good as the others--Donor Boy is my favorite, but I've not read anything by him yet that's not excellent--and is an incredibly fast read. The slimness of the book should not be mistaken for lack of content or meaning. Great book.

Rated: A+
Rhonda Campbell
Jun 29, 2014 rated it liked it
I am having a hard time with this book. At times it feels unrealistic and it is supposed to be realistic fiction. I understand the whole overarching idea being presented, but the characters seem too one dimensional for me.

Upon reaching the end of this book, I still found it somewhat sterile and one dimensional.
Jun 10, 2012 rated it really liked it

The beginning was slow and that's why I didn't give it the fifth star. Other than that, I loved this. It was so deep yet somehow short! That's a talent. The characters weren't as developed in the end as I expected them to be but maybe that's what made it so unique. Warning: I sobbed for fifteen minutes finishing this. SOBBED.
Julianne Jones
May 17, 2013 rated it really liked it
I love this book. One of the reasons I like it is because it is told from a third person point of view and a first person point of view. It shows everybody's feelings and thoughts and I understood it better! I also like it because of her situation and the fact she's still happy.
Stephanie A.
I wish I loved math more so I could fully appreciate it. I'm giving it the benefit of the doubt between 3 and 4 stars because cystic fibrosis hasn't been a real popular topic as of late, and I enjoyed the update in treatment.
Aug 19, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This book literally cracked my heart in two pieces. Books like this make you realize to be grateful for the life you have. One of my favorites, one of the saddest, you won't forget it.
May 21, 2009 rated it it was amazing
the best book about a dying teenager in the world
Brandee Terry
Apr 26, 2012 rated it really liked it
This book was a quick read and was terrific. I loved the humor and sarcasm throughout the book and the ending was amazing.
Jul 28, 2011 rated it it was amazing
wow....this book was beautifully written. it was one of the first books to ever make me cry at the end.
May 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Particularly moving to me, and not in an inspiration porn way. Much of this book has shaped me and my outlook on life.
4.5 stars.

Brendan Halpin, you're killin' me here with the tear-jerkers! Good thing I like tear-jerkers...

Good book for teens who like realistic fiction with a dash of gut-wrench.
Breanna Honl
Sep 13, 2010 rated it it was amazing
This is a tear-jerker for sure! this book is defiantly one of my all-time favorites!!!!! i urge you to read this book.
Christina Borgoyn
Jan 19, 2013 rated it really liked it
a beautiful and very sad book.
Haley Koloski
Feb 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
4.5 This book started out kind of slow a tiny bit for me, but I still was enjoying it. I had this book for years, probably well over 8 years and it has no sleeve on it so I didnt get to read a description of what it was about, and I chose not to read the description on Goodreads either. I chose to read it simply because I was having a difficult time deciding what I wanted to read, so I chose one that I had no idea what it was about. And I am so glad I did. Its definitely YA, I could tell very ...more
Sep 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Forever Changes written by Brendan Halpin is a girl named Brianna, she has cystic fibrosis. There are three kids in her school that either have a disorder or a disease. She has a teacher and he was in a bad and wrote these albums and her friend Adam had gotten them and she listens to them. I enjoyed this book because one of my relatives has cystic fibrosis. I rate this book 5 stars because Brianna was faced with tough challenges and has made her way through everyone of the challenges. Also it ...more
Amy Holland
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Original/full review here:

The best word I can find to describe Forever Changes is bittersweet. It was both sad and funny and was also very thought-provoking, making me put things in perspective. Which, might I add, is something I've really been needing to do lately. XD

One thing I loved about Forever Changes was how all the characters seemed to play equally important roles in Brianna's life, from her friends to her dad to her math teacher. It was almost
Jun 06, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: young-adult
Brianna is very aware that her time in this world is quickly running out, especially after watching her friend, Molly, die from CF. As everyone around her can focus on nothing but getting in to college, she cant help but wonder if it is worth her effort to apply if she might not be alive in a year. I liked the character of Brianna. I liked that she could allow herself to enjoy being a teenager, but was never shallow and silly about her time in this life and was realistic about her illness. I ...more
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I grew up in Cincinnati, went to college in Philadelphia, and also lived in Taipei and Edinburgh along the way. I've lived in Boston since 1991.

I became a professional writer in 2000, writing about my late wife Kirsten's breast cancer diagnosis and treatment. Kirsten died in 2003, leaving me and our daughter Rowen. I married Suzanne in 2005 and got her kids Casey and Kylie in the deal too.

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“Yeah, well. You're my best friend, you know, and I love you.” 17 likes
“But here, Ms. Pelletier, is the thing. Without infinitesimals, the calculus as we know and love it simply wouldn't exist. It is these nearly-zero, sort-of-zero, sometimes-zero quantities that allow us to understand the world. Something which seems to be nearly nothing turns out to be crucial to everything. So though I, or for you that matter, or any of us, may be, as a collection of atoms, practically indistinguishable from zero, this does not necessarily mean we are insignificant. Indeed, it may be that we are actually crucially important.” 8 likes
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