AUTHOR: Judy Blume
ONE SENTENCE SUMMARY: Teens haves sex.
WARNING: This review is not spoiler free. Also, this book deals with adult-ish themes like sex, but mostly first love.
Judy Blume has, what I call, flowibility. Something about her books is just easy to read. There has never been a moment in her books that makes me stop and go back to understand what she’s saying. That automatically gets a book at least 3 stars from me.
Did I like the book? I would have to say I don’t know. On one hand I read it in one weekend, which is pretty fast for me, so I had to like it to some extent.
Even though it was written way back in the 70s, Kath’s problems are still relevant, still relatable, and realistic. A teen having sex is not the end of the world like sex-ed classes make you think. You will not die no matter how many times that gym teacher from Mean Girls says you will. I was wary going into the book knowing what it was about because I expected to be lectured on the dangers of sex. I thought Kath would have everything from unprotected sex, STDs (aka venereal diseases, VD), to teen pregnancies. But, spoiler alert, she doesn’t. Instead, Blume introduces us to other side characters who deal with these different problems, which is a relief from reading the same “oh I think I’m pregnant – just kidding” storylines.
Forever avoids the cliché of having sex and then catastrophe ensues and everyone dies. In the past few years, every time there’s a sex scene everybody dies on the next chapter. Example, Game of Thrones (and many other books I don’t want to mention because I don’t want to spoil it) it’s the epitome of sex and death. Even Blume writes, “Sex is an antidote to death… Somebody dies… you need to prove you’re alive. And what better way is there?” Anyways, by doing this Forever acknowledges and accepts sex in a way other YA novels don’t. I think that’s what I liked the most about the novel.
It also recognizes that wonderful feeling of first love and what happens when you realize “forever” isn’t for well, forever. You do grow. You do meet new people. You do get to fall in love again. And all of that is absolutely normal.
Reading Turtle-Duck if this book is so great, why isn’t this book 5 stars for you?
Because I had a major problem with Michael. I sort of liked him when they first met but he turned out to be such a teenage boy when all he thought about was having sex. Every time they were alone he just talked about how much he wanted to do it with Katherine. I didn’t like how he pressured her every chance he got. I hated that he named his penis. I cringed every time they referred to it as Ralph. Nope! Not my sort of thing. But when he asked Katherine “is that why you’re acting like such a bitch,” that’s when I completely lost it. That’s when I stopped really caring about him or their relationship. Trust me, I wanted to like him for Katherine’s sake, but in the end I couldn’t. I wish I could have seen what she saw in him. In the end his only redeeming quality was that he patiently waited for her to be “mentally ready.”
So do I recommend the book? Yes, because (in my opinion) it treats sex in a more realistic way than other YA novels treating the same topic. Besides, it’s an easy read.
P.S. I have no idea where to put this book in my categories. Is it a classic? Is it contemporary? What is it?