Wendy Darling's Reviews > The Truth About Forever

The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen
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really liked it
bookshelves: favorite-ya, read-2011, realistic-fiction, young-adult
Recommended to Wendy Darling by: a zillion wise and wonderful GoodReads friends

I never, ever would have read Sarah Dessen if it weren't for my GoodReads friends. I'm not much on chick lit and I only occasionally come across realistic YA fiction that I truly enjoy, so I was extremely wary of what lay behind those pretty book covers, even though most of the reviews were positively gushing.

I fell for this book really hard, really fast, however. I expected a light, hopefully somewhat amusing read but what I got instead was a quiet, deep story that I absolutely loved reading from beginning to end. I felt so much empathy for Macy, who struggles to be the perfect daughter but feels small and unimportant in so many aspects of her life. The author also wrote incredibly touching examples of how people process grief in different ways, especially in how Macy witnessed her father's death as well as the funny and bittersweet packages that continue to arrive for him. I also found Macy's relationships with her mom and her sister to be painfully familiar as well as believably awkward and flawed.

This isn't a doom and gloom Message Book, however; it's surprisingly sweet and warm and grounded in a way that so many of these types of books are not. I loved the way Macy's friendships with Kristy and Monica and Delia and Bert, as well as her more-than-friends relationship with Wes, are portrayed. (view spoiler) Their interactions when they're working or hanging out are somehow relaxed and fun and full of self-discovery all at the same time. I truly believe that it's important to have people in our lives who bring out different sides of us, and sometimes the very truest friends turn out to be the ones who see things in us that we didn't even know are there. I'm so glad that this book spends just as much time on Macy herself, her family, and her friends as it does as on figuring out which boy she really wants.

I will say that although I enjoyed the small triumphs leading up to the end when Macy finally takes the big step towards changing her life, I do wish that there was a little more time spent with the characters afterwards. After roughly 370 pages of buildup and a really adorable friendship between Macy and Wes, I felt a little disoriented and cheated when the story ended just a few pages after the really big and sweet scene I'd been waiting for. But overall, this book was very well-written and was truly a pleasure to read. It gave me more than I expected, it put a big smile on my face, and it made me feel wonderfully warm and happy...especially because I now have so many more Dessen books to look forward to.

Big thanks to my GoodReads buddies for giving *me* the push I needed to find such a great author!
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Quotes Wendy Darling Liked

Sarah Dessen
“There is never a time or place for true love. It happens accidentally, in a heartbeat, in a single flashing, throbbing moment.”
Sarah Dessen, The Truth About Forever

Sarah Dessen
“I don't know. Just because someone's pretty doesn't mean she's decent. Or vice versa. I'm not into appearances. I like flaws, I think they make things interesting.”
Sarah Dessen, The Truth About Forever

Reading Progress

June 2, 2011 – Shelved
June 26, 2011 – Started Reading
June 26, 2011 –
page 184
49.2% "I cannot believe I've waited this long to read a Sarah Dessen book. So THIS is what the fuss was all about!"
June 27, 2011 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-49 of 49 (49 new)

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Laura Newcombe I'm so happy you liked it! Sarah Dessen is one of my favorite authors and this is one of my all-time favorite books. I agree with you about the ending, however. I remember the mixture of confusion and disappointment I felt when it ended suddenly.
Nevertheless, my love for this book (and Wes!) rages on.
Can't wait to hear your thoughts on future Dessen reads! (:

Wendy Darling I really loved it, Laura! I actually thought this was going to be one of the few 5 star books I've read this year, but the ending was so disappointing I couldn't do it. :/ I'm glad I'm not the only one who wanted more at the end.

It's still a wonderful book, though--and I'm can't wait to dive into some other Dessen titles!

message 3: by Nic (new) - added it

Nic Great review Wendy. I don't like ending either where it seems that couple just get together and then it ends abrupty. I am going to be reading this soon.

message 4: by Nalnac (new)

Nalnac lovely review Wendy! I don't know why but I always had a resistence for Sarah Dessen. You kind of convinced me to give this a try..kind of..LOL!

message 5: by Wendy Darling (last edited Jun 27, 2011 04:33AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Wendy Darling Thank you, ladies! Nic, I think you'll love this one in spite of the rather abbreviated ending.

Nanalla, the boy in it is *very* cute. If that, you know, counts for anything. ;)

message 6: by Nalnac (new)

Nalnac LMAO! oh..damn another book to go on my TBR list then! :o)

message 7: by Abigail (new) - added it

Abigail Strom I've never read Sarah Dessen, and you've definitely inspired me to give her a try. Thanks for the review!

Laura I couldn’t agree more! It put an ear to ear smile on my face!

Wendy Darling Oh, good! I hope you'll enjoy her, Abigail. And thanks Laura! This book put a smile on my face too. :)

message 10: by Tina (new) - rated it 5 stars

Tina Sa-woon :)

Wendy Darling Hah, totally! ;)

message 12: by Cara (last edited Jun 27, 2011 10:48AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Cara I'm so glad you started out with this one because of the Dessen books I'd say this is the class favorite. My personal one is Just Listen but if you ask people this one definitely wins. Probably because of Wes SA-WOON!

Wendy Darling I hear all the Dessen boys are great, Cara! I love that they're friends first and that they're nice to each other. I get really tired of reading about cynical, shallow relationships. If her other books are anything like this one, I think I'm going to really enjoy them.

message 14: by Cara (new) - rated it 5 stars

Cara Oh yeah they are superb:D I like this too it's more realistic and fun to see them as friends first. I totally adore Dessen but for some people she is a hit and miss author. I can't wait to see what you think when you read another book by her. BTW LOVED the review.

Laura Wait to you meet Eli in Along for the Ride! Sigh…so far every Dessen boy I have met is wonderful! :)

message 16: by Sandy (new) - added it

Sandy I've read a lot of YA, but I've never read a Sarah Dessen. I'm going to have to give her a try!

Wendy Darling Added and added Cara and Laura! :) And Sandy, I think you'd like this one. I mostly like paranormal YA since I think the realistic stuff is harder to get right, but I was so surprised by how genuine and non-cynical this book felt.

Glass Laura wrote: "Wait to you meet Eli in Along for the Ride! Sigh…so far every Dessen boy I have met is wonderful! :)"

So true!:) Wendy, you should definitely read Along for the Ride!

message 19: by tonya. (new)

tonya. I keep meaning to read some Dessen. I was in the same boat as you with the chick-lit, but after reading Anna and the French Kiss (and falling hard and fast) I asked if there was anything comparable and got quite a few Dessen recs.

I will be adding this one to my pile. :)

Wendy Darling Thanks, I will, Glass. :)

Tonya, this one was a lot more layered than I expected. I really dislike books where all the seams show, if you know what I mean, or the ones that don't really have anything to say. This had a good blend of self-discovery and sweetness. Look forward to hearing what you think!

message 21: by Ali (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ali I love Sarah Dessen, though to be honest the majority of her stories have a big buildup to a certain moment, followed by a short scene of the main character's changed life afterwards.

Wendy Darling Oh, that's disappointing to hear, Alicia! :( But thanks, I guess it's good to know that going into the next one I read. I wonder why she doesn't give the characters (and the readers) a bit more time to enjoy themselves...

message 23: by Ali (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ali I don't know. I think for her the story is about the journey of self discovery in her novels. I recommend reading them because they are really good, she just isn't much of an after the climax type writer.

Sarah I am so glad you liked the book. Love your review! :D

Wendy Darling Thanks Sarah! And thanks for being one of the friends who nudged me into reading it. :) Now for Marbury Lens...

message 26: by Katie (new)

Katie Marbury Lens is kinda dark...

Wendy Darling Hah, I know. Sarah told me if I attempted to read Marbury Lens I should have a good happy back-up book on hand, such as a Sarah Dessen book. I somehow skipped right past the dark, violent book this time and went straight to the feel-good one. It's very unlike me.

Milly Great review Wendy! Surprisingly I haven't read this book of hers. Sounds like I'm missing out! My faves of hers are: This Lullaby by Sarah Dessen, Keeping the Moon by Sarah Dessen, and Lock and Key by Sarah Dessen.

Wendy Darling Thanks Milly! And thanks for those recommendations, too. I think between everyone's favorites, I now have every single Dessen book marked TBR. :) Which is not a bad thing at all.

Milly Wendy Darling wrote: "Thanks Milly! And thanks for those recommendations, too. I think between everyone's favorites, I now have every single Dessen book marked TBR. :) Which is not a bad thing at all."

Unfortunately her newest one didn't get good reviews. I'm still going to read it just because I'm a fan. Enjoy reading!

Wendy Darling I bought 4 Dessen titles at a secondhand bookstore this morning. ;) I have her new one, too, and plan to read them all at some point. It's so great to find a new author I like.

Milly Wendy Darling wrote: "I bought 4 Dessen titles at a secondhand bookstore this morning. ;) I have her new one, too, and plan to read them all at some point. It's so great to find a new author I like."

No way! You go girl! What other 3 did you get?

Wendy Darling Everything they had? :) These titles:

Keeping the Moon by Sarah Dessen Just Listen by Sarah Dessen Someone Like You by Sarah Dessen That Summer by Sarah Dessen

Sadly no Along for the Ride there, but I did get your faves, Milly and Cara...and I will definitely be on the lookout for others! That's enough to get me started, though. And enough to keep my husband from going insane from the girly books piled up everywhere.

Sarah Sure, Wendy. :) And it's a good thing you have other Sarah Dessen back-up book. You will need it after Marbury Lens. I swear! :D

Wendy Darling I've started Marbury Lens, and you are totally right about that.

Milly Have fun M!

Milly I'm so glad you enjoyed this one! I need to read this one soon! I don't even know why it's taken me so long to read this one when I've read most of her books! Sweet review M!

message 38: by Joy (new) - rated it 5 stars

Joy Joy Yippee! I was browsing this page and found your indugling review... Ill be reading this reeeeaaaalll soon!!!

Wendy Darling I hope you like it, Joy! I really did. :)

message 40: by Nix (new) - rated it 5 stars

Nix Same with me :)
This is actually my favorite of Sarah Dessen's book so far & it's also the third book of hers that I had read and loved. Great review!

Wendy Darling Thanks Hikary, I appreciate it. :) I didn't expect to like this book, but I ended up really enjoying it.

message 42: by Kareema (new) - added it

Kareema i get you mean and i am about to read the book soon after 10 books that i am desperate to read lol

message 43: by Jade (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jade Excellent review! I just re-read this book and I fell in love with it all over again. Ditto on everything you said.

Mallory So glad you're getting into Sarah Dessen! I love your review of this book! I'm currently on my last Sarah Dessen book and just a bit of a warning that the more of them you read the more the stories sound the same. There are a few that differ but this one is ultimately my favourite!

Kathryn Leonorio Great review! It was like you wrote all the things running in my head about this book, in a much much proper way. I agree with you. I perceived Sarah Dessen's books as light and typical. But as the saying goes, never judge.

Zainab well based on your review going to give this book a go

message 47: by Ella (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ella I completely agree, this book exceeded all my expectations on it! i also agree that the ending was rushed, and after the big build up, we should have been able to get more of a glimpse of life afterwards.

Tandie Just listened to he audio and loved it. I thought Delia & the other caterers/friends were wonderful characters. I've got to confess, I suh-wooooned over Wes too. I wanted a little bit more at the very end.

message 49: by Kacie (new) - added it

Kacie Idol Love this review!! Very well said!

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