43 of 43 people found the following review helpful
on June 14, 2007
When I finished The Truth About Forever, I picked it right back up again and read all my favorite parts again--which meant that I almost read the entire book over. It was the first of Sarah Dessen's books that I had read, and even after finishing many of her other books (including This Lullaby and Keeping the Moon, both great), it is still my favorite.
The Truth About Forever is about sixteen-year-old Macy, who's father has recently died and who's mother has emotionally shut her out. She hides her loss behind a mask of perfection--everything has to be flawless...her hair, her boyfriend, her schoolwork. That is, until she meets the chaotic crew that is Wish Catering, who teach her things don't have to be perfect to be beautiful. She meets Wes, and through a continuous game of Truth with him, Macy learns that broken hearts, like her's, can be patched up again. Her rigid, ideal life begins to be chipped away, as she learns the real truth about forever.
The moral of The Truth About Forever is that life isn't perfect. Everyone has that dark secret in their past, has that huge hole in their road, or is that girl who saw her father die. We accept the imperfections and move on. I really empathized with Macy, because a lot of the time, I too feel that I have to strive for perfection, which makes me lose focus on the things that really matter. This book also makes you think--what would you do if you saw your father die? Would you shut out the outside world and plaster on a makes of happiness, as Macy does?
In The Truth About Forever, Sarah Dessen has flawlessly created the balance between humor and depression, between loss and love. The turbulent emotions of this book gripped me to the very end, and stayed with me long after I finished the book. I would recommend it to everyone, but especially teens.
48 of 54 people found the following review helpful
on March 22, 2006
As a long time Dessen fan, I was eagerly awaiting this book, but held off reading it until recently, because I am always disappointed when I run out of Dessen books to read. I must say, this was WELL worth the wait, perhaps my favorite book of hers yet.
This story is much deeper than any of her previous novels, but not overly dramatic to the point that it's too heavy to enjoy. The characters are fun, lovable, exciting, and unique making the story even better. Any young woman will be able to relate to Macy as she deals with the loss of her father, rejection from her boyfriend, and new friendships from a group of unlikely people. I fell in love with the story and the characters.
She performed the magic that most writer's aren't able to accomplish: She took a simple plot and filled it with complex characters to live out the story. I was sad when it ended, but it's definitely one of those books you can read again. Very highly recommended.
22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
So I've been thinking I should give Sarah Dessen another try for awhile now. It seems every other day people are extolling her virtues and it's not uncommon to hear Dessen referred to as the Queen of the contemporary YA. Quite the crown of laurels, really. Several years ago I picked up two Dessen books in a row--This Lullaby and Someone Like You--I believe it was. I was unenthused. I read both through to the finish but remained distinctly underwhelmed and promptly forgot them. But it's hard to avoid Dessen's work over a long period of reading young adult novels and they always seemed like books I would really like. So after hearing a multitude of people hail THE TRUTH ABOUT FOREVER as their very favorite of her works, I decided it was high time to give her another shot.
Macy strives for perfection. Or at the very least she strives to facilitate it in others. Namely her brainiac boyfriend (and I use the term loosely) Jason. Having lost her father a year or so ago, she and her mother live alone in their huge house making time by ignoring their grief and focusing on making every aspect of their individual lives "perfect." Of course, everything is anything but. And when perfectly milquetoast Jason goes away for the summer, Macy promises to faithfully uphold his job at the local library as well as all their other clubs, cliques, and causes. But then the Wish Catering company invades Macy's home one night when her mother is entertaining prospective real estate clients. Led by extremely pregnant, extremely absentminded Delia, this motley crew soon worm their way into Macy's heart and she finds herself moonlighting as a caterer and, in the process, finds Wes. Who helps her realize there's more to life than frozen grief and insipid perfection.
THE TRUTH ABOUT FOREVER started out well enough. I felt bad for Macy and the incredibly sad circumstances under which she lost her dad. I loved the idea of the crazy band of caterers operating in a chronic state of panic. I was definitely ready to find myself enamored of the kind and handsome Wes. But things just never went anywhere from there. I felt ready to feel those things the entire time without ever actually feeling them. Macy never morphed into a fully-fledged character for me. All of her emotions felt muted and mine followed suit. Though she was described as being torn between her relationship with Jason and her budding romance with Wes, she never really seemed to be. She and Wes spend hours and hours playing the truth game and divulging their innermost secrets to one another. And yet they didn't seem to forge a real, tangible connection. The kind of feelings that we're told were simmering on the surface never bubbled up. And the initially charming and quirky cast of characters slowly fade away into the lackluster background as the story goes on. What can I say? I didn't dislike the book. I just finished it feeling indifferent. Which I know is not the desired response. I feel like I've read books similar to this one done better, more dynamically--the writing, the characterization, the emotions, the whole thing. Jennifer Echols, Lisa Ann Sandell, Julia Hoban, and E. Lockhart come immediately to mind. And so I must conclude that I just don't possess the Sarah Dessen gene and leave it at that. It's a shame, but my reaction is definitely in the minority and thus the multitude of other reviews below.
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on January 5, 2005
Set in present time, The Truth About Forever, talks about a sixteen year old girl named Macy Queen. Since her father died of a heart attack, Macy has been keeping a simple perfect life. This summer, her boyfriend Jason went off to brain camp and they went on a break. She ends up working part-time at Wish Catering where she meets Delia, Wes, Kristy and others who help her understand that she can have some fun and that sometimes you just got to take risks. As the summer progresses, Macy and Wes get to know each other more and more.
When reading this book I really gor hooked onto it and wanted to read on and on to see what shall happen next. I enjoy these kinds of books about teenage girls and their lives and how they deal with problems. This book was no exception because I liked the way each character's lives were pieced together in the story.
I learned the same lesson that Macy learned, that being perfect is not the best thing to be. It is just better to be yourself. I also learned that anything can look beautiful because of the way Wes turned junk into beautiful creative things that people like Caroline, Macy's sister, wanted to buy.
Just like every other book by Sarah Dessen such as This Lullaby, Someone like You and Dreamland, I would definitely recommend this book to any pre-teen/teen girl because she writes stories that we can relate to and learn things from.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on September 16, 2005
Although the heroine of this novel, Macy, is only seventeen, it's a wonderful read for anyone who has ever experienced the lost of a love one; for anyone who's strived to be the "perfect" person that everyone can know and love; and for every mother, daughter, sister, aunt, friend who has only wanted one thing from life--to be happy, loved, and accepted for who we really are.
The last year and a half has been hard on Macy. After witnessing her father's death after a Christmastime morning run, she's strived to be the "fine just fine" girl--a perfect helper for her mother, a perfect balance to her older sister Caroline's wild days, and a perfect girlfriend to her genius boyfriend.
But when Jason heads off to Brain Camp for the summer and unexpectedly asks for a "break" in their relationship, Macy's world is thrown even more off-kilter. She'd already committed to taking Jason's place at the Library Information Desk for the summer, and she hates the job, and the Miss Perfection girls she gets snubbed by on a daily basis. Her evenings are spent dutifully studying for her SATs the following year, and even her weekends are filled with helping her mother with her business and ironing her clothes for the week.
Then, during a party her mother throws for prospective clients, Macy meets the staff members of Wish, a chaotic catering business. Delia, the very pregnant owner; Kristy, the scarred girl in the outrageous outfits; Monica, the Queen of the One Word Answer; Bert, who's convinced the end of the world is near; and Wes, a boy who spent time in reform school after his parent's divorce and then lost his mother to cancer.
During this particular summer, Macy comes to realize that being the perfect daughter, sister, and girlfriend doesn't stop the world from being a crazy place. It doesn't insulate you from hurt. In fact, being spontaneous, creating new friends, looking outside the shell of a perfect existence, is the only way to realize the truth about forever--it can be two seconds long, or a hundred years. The moment you're living now is your forever, and Macy finally learns how to reach out and grab the moment.
I really loved this book! Although touted as a YA read, I think any woman would enjoy it. It's sad, humorous, and compelling, a definitely wonderful read.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on March 4, 2005
The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen is an excellent book and should be read by girls everywhere. It is happy, sad, encouraging, and life changing all in one book. It is not a hard read, but will keep readers engaged for hours on end thrown into the life and world of Macy Queen, the perfectionist, runner, and main character of this story.
Macy is overcome in grief from her dad's death, but keeps it all inside. Her mother and over accomplishing boyfriend expect too much from her and want her to be perfect, if there even is such a thing. Her whole life is based around doing what others want and expect out of her, working at a job that she hates, and studying a SAT wordbook every night for next year. That is not a great life style. She doesn't do anything that she wants to do and has no fun in her life. But that all changes when she joins Wish, a catering company. She makes great friends, gets to work at a fun job, falls in love, and learns lessons on life in the process.
The Truth About Forever is a great book and readers, girls especially can get a lot out of it. The lessons that readers can get out of it can really be useful in life. It teaches that no one is perfect and to be yourself, and that a hole in the ground can teach you a lot. "There have to be a few holes in the road. It's how life is." This is a great book if you want to cry, laugh and be moved. There's so much that can be taken out of Sarah Dessen's work and be thought deeply upon. So what is the truth about forever? You'll just have to find out for yourself.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on June 27, 2004
The Truth About Forever is very put together novel. It doesn't leave you with those uncertainty questions like: Well, why did that happen and how? Macy's father died a year and a half ago but she still hasn't really grieved yet. She also has a "perfect" boyfriend, Jason, who she thinks will make everything better. Wes and her other friends at Wish Catering show her what it's like to live. Macy learns to live and love life. Her and Wes's relationship grow stronger due to the fact that they share a common ground. But that's not all to it. I highly recommend this book of love, life, and death, to everyone who is willing to read it. Enjoy!
P.S. It has nothing to even DO with Dawson's Creek. The two stories are completely different. Not to mention that this book was way more interesting than Dawson's Creek ever was.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on November 15, 2004
Hands down, this is by far the best book I've read in a long time. While Sarah Dessen may be my favorite author, and I truly do enjoy every single one of her books, this one touched me the most, because of its simple message...embracing imperfection.
Macy is a good, obediant teenage girl. She gets good grades, has scored the all time smart boyfriend (captain of the Debate team, Math team, and others...), and is planning on spending her summer as a librarian filling in while her boyfriend is at "Brain Camp". She has a troubled past; she saw her father die of a heart attack while they were out for a morning run.
Things change when by chance, Macy is offerred a job with Wish Catering and spontaneously accepts. There, she meets a group of new friends that accept her for who she is, not who she's trying to be. She also meets Wes, a boy who embraces flaws and sees them as nothing less than full of potential. He helps her find herself, even when it seems like its too late.
Sarah Dessen always finds a way to connect with her readers, every moment feels real and tangible. As you read, you become lost in the story; Macy is your neighbor, your best friend, your sister, you even begin to see parts of her in yourself. The way she delves into the lives of the characters is truly amazing, and it makes you feel as if you known these characters for years. Everyone struggles to be perfect, in school, in life, whatever. But the message she puts across is strong: embrace your imperfections, its what makes you who you are.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on February 4, 2007
If I could give this book more stars, I would in a heartbeat. This was one of the best books that I've ever read. I recommend it highly if you're looking for a good book to read. I couldn't stop reading it, it has really good cliff-hangers that just made me read the next chapter.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on June 8, 2007
I've read six of Sarah Dessen's books. They are all kind of the same, girl isn't really satisfied with her life, and meets a guy (who is from a different crowd). They start dating, or this case don't know that they are. Conflicts happen, then the end result changes per book. Some how even though every book is the same, they don't stop being a fun, powerful book to read.
Now to this book it's not one of those books that everyone has to read, but it is worth the effort. There were well developed characters, that developed throughout the book. Also the plot was telling and brought the reader into what was going on in Macy's mind.
Some of the dislikes I had with it, was the end. It was very predictable, which was kind of dispointing. Also it was the sudden ending to the slow part before it. The ending was not really a let down, just could have been a bit more suprising. Also the conclusion wasn't very solid, it concludes what happened that summer, but left me think now what?
Over all, another touching book, the same in quility as her other books. Not a perfect book, but an enjoyment to read.