Customer Reviews: Friends Forever: A Novel (Random House Large Print)
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Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Danielle Steel used to be my favorite author years ago, but as time went on her books seemed to include a lot of repetition of descriptions and phrases.To the point, that at times, I thought I was reading the same page over and over. "Friends Forever" is entirely different from Danielle Steel's other books. It is a love story, but not really a romantic love story. It is about the kind of love that surrounds a good friendship. Also, it is the story of a group of five kids, who met in kindergarten and became a tightly bound group as they grew up ~ loving, supporting and caring for each other into early adulthood. I wish I could say that what this group encountered while becoming adults was unusual or "over the top", but unfortunately I think these types of life obstacles happen more and more today in all of our lives. This book restored my interest in this author, there was little repetition and what was there fit well on the page. The main characters were engaging and their families and siblings also well presented. Because of the character development there were more not only five stories going on, but also a series of mini-sagas which will keep readers on their toes remembering what was happening at all times and gathering clues as to what will come next.
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on August 19, 2012
Why? I was looking for a light summer book, sometimes I do like her books for that reason. I don't think she's a good writer, but they are fun at times. This was terrible! I really don't know why I kept going.

Besides the depressing death issues, we never actually got in the heads of any of the main characters (or any characters). It was like reading a time line--first this happened, then this happened, and then this happened. Why does she start so many sentences with the word "and"?

I also took offense to the character of Izzie becoming a teacher, and being continually reminded that it was "beneath" her. She herself said she only fell into it. I guess being a teacher, it just pissed me off. Especially when her day ended at 2:30 and she was "free to enjoy the afternoon."

She also kept alluding to the fact that the current generation of young people are all dying at an early age. Are there any facts to back this up? I know a lot of young people and they are not all dying.

By the end of the book, I was actually hoping that the other two main characters would also die.
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VINE VOICEon July 25, 2012
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
It has been a LONG time since I read a Danielle Steele book. I'm a fan of her older work, like "Star" and my all time favorite, "Jewels." To me, those books had lots of fun drama and more important to me, were great escapism. This latest book was pretty depressing, not to mention incredibly unrealistic, for a summer time read.

I loved the idea of the story- follwoing the lives of five best friends from Kindergarten through their young adult years- and that's what made me pick on of Steele's books after all these years. I knew everything couldn't stay rosy for the friends after all those years, but I was expecting a lot of soap opera-ish, over the top drama and backstabbing before they all came round and were able to be friends again. I can't go into too much detail without ruining the plotline for others, but let's just say there are lots of bad times to go with the good and that's when I think Steele went a little overboard. At one point I just couldn't believe what I was reading.

There are also a lot of characters to keep straight because we get the storylines of many of the parents/families too. While I liked this and enjoyed most of the characters, it was like 15-20 people to keep straight. I wish she would have gone into even more detail and it could have become like a saga- but the pace is pretty quick- many years get skipped over while the kids are growing up but I guess that's needed to keep the story going.

All in all, I just had a lot of trouble with Steele's plots for the five main characters. Just too fanastic, and not in a good way.
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on July 30, 2012
Most of Danielle Steel's work is passable, a pleasant way to pass a few hours. But this is terrible. For starters, there are way too many characters--aside from the five "friends", the extended family of each of them, each of whom Steel tries to give a story of their own. I say "tries", because with so many, she's unable to give anyone any significant time or depth. Then, by the time the book is done, she's killed off THREE of the friends, all before even the age of 25, before they get to get married or have children. I can certainly understand one, and knowing Steel's work, I would have surprised if she HADN'T killed off at least one of them before the book's conclusion. But three is extreme to the point of ridiculousness.

It also feels like the book ends too soon. I would have liked to see the characters get married and have children. Perhaps Steel felt with the book beginning when they were all in kindergarten that to take them into middle-age would have dragged it out too long. That's a valid point, but it still doesn't remedy the abrupt conclusion.

Read Erich Segal's "The Class" for a much better depiction of the intertwined lives of five friends.
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VINE VOICEon September 7, 2012
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This book held my interest for about the first five pages. I read it until about page 140 and then I couldn't take it anymore. Frankly I just didn't care about where the story was going or about any of the characters. It seems that Ms. Steel is just sitting in front of a typewriter and typing babble. She can capitalize on her name and be assured of getting just about anything published in my opinion. The publishers would probably publish her grocery list and people somewhere would buy it. I do not have anyone to please when I publish these "vine" reviews except to write what I really feel about what I read. I apologize only for the fact that I could not finish this piece of drivel. My life is too short and I value spending my time reading something that is more deserving on my time. My recommendation is -----save your money and spend it somewhere else.
By the way I might mention that the copy I read from was about 308 pages long so I almost made it half way. A valiant effort I feel.
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on August 4, 2012
Thought I couldn't miss with the new Danielle Steel novel, Friends Forever, so I purchased it as one of my summer reads. It was a total miss. It read like a cursory review, or brief summary without detail, of five kids' lives, kindergarten, suddenly in high school, then post-college, with no development of a story. I kept hoping the story and characters would develop in the next chapter, then the following chapter, but it never did. I couldn't immerse myself, nor relate to any of the characters, because the writing was so shallow. The telling of med student Andy's suicide, due to the death of a patient in the ER, was completely unrealistic, as was Sean's level of involvement in the FBI, considering his lack of qualifications and prior experience. Some mention was made of football player Billy's earlier involvement with drugs, then later, he was suddenly dead from an overdose. Gabby was killed by a drunk driver; was the lesson to be learned here perhaps is, don't stand in the road while hailing a cab? Shallow, yes; just like the entire book.
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on August 6, 2012
We had eight kids and my cookie jar was always full---with cookies! I can't imagine anyone having the unmitigated gall to dispense condoms to other people's children. Incredible!!!

After that the book went downhill fast!! Dull, dreary, and disappointing, this was a story with little dialogue and virtually no character development. I was a long way from needing a tissue because there was so little reality here and I really felt disconnected to the people who died!!

I was encouraged when I read "Betrayal" because I thought that perhaps the old Danielle Steel was back. Unfortunately, she
did not follow through on this one.This was just baaaad!!

After I wrote this review I went back and checked the five star reviews of this awful book. There are several reviewers giving four and five stars to every book they read. They also are submitting five and six reviews every day. These are obviously phonies who have some agenda going. This is very discouraging to me when I try so hard to be fair with my reviews. Don't you care Amazon?, or are they perchance working for you?
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on August 8, 2012
I have been a long time fan of Danielle Steel's books but this one left me completely disappointed. I wish I could get the time back I invested in reading it. Just when I thought we were done with the tragedy, another one occurred, with each one more unbeliievable than the last. Poor depiction of the young adult generation. Be warned- this is definitely a downer of a book and had I known that, I would not have read it.
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on July 26, 2012
I started off liking this book, but less than halfway thru I started to get tired of keeping the five friends straight from their siblings or lack thereof, whose parents were who and what was going to tear these five friends apart, only to reunite years later none the worse for wear or didn't happen!!!!

I am "the spoiler", but even I can't bear to divulge what a terribly disappointing story this was.....i plodded thru to the hurried and contrived ending...what a waste (shoulda at least had an epilog). I stopped reading ms. steele many, many years ago after some of her better books were turned into "made for tv" movies that had only the book titles in common with the actual stories..and only recently got back into reading her books....guess what....i'm leaving her again!!!! This book was totally depressing and in my less than expert opinion had no redeeming qualities.

My favorite authos are all writing trash, if in fact they are really writing there anybody out there that really believes Nora Roberts authors several books per year under several pseudonyms as well as her own name?????
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VINE VOICEon July 18, 2012
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Admission letters from the Atwood School are like getting into Harvard or Yale with the exception that this school goes from kindergarten to twelfth grade. It carries enormous social status and most children who graduate from this school are accepted into the finest colleges including many Ivy League ones.

The first day of school for five children is what this book is about. It focus's on Billy who has his football in hand, next to arrive is Sean holding his toy gun (which was not supposed to have gotten into the classroom) and they decided to sit down and play with the blocks.

Shortly, after that a beautifully little girl who looked like a princess walked in and said her name was Gabrille but that everyone called her Gabby. Then another little girl arrived wearing braids and her nametag read Izzie. She walked right into the kitchen and asked the two boys what they wanted to eat. Several moments later a boy came in and asked "am I too late for lunch?" and his nametag said Andy. So Izzie started preparing the lunches for all five of them and then when activities started they stayed together.

As the story progresses there friendships and problems and life is shared with all five of them. Some have problems at home as we learn that one of the children's older brothers got in trouble another two of the five parents are going to get divorced. One will remarry and the adventure's follow them thru graduation and then keep going.

They make a pact at graduation that where ever life takes them they will always remain Friends Forever.

We are taken thru some very heartwarming and touching moments in their lives some which are very happy and also sad ones. It lets us stop and realize just how precious each day can be and how things are not always what they look like.

Ms. Steel has written an excellent book that is something that could happen to any of our children today and it is a very touching story.

I have read all of her books and find this is one of the most touching and heartwarming books that she has written as we all can put ourselves into these places and possibly these situations. It's a quick read as most of her books are but this is one you wont be able to put down, as these characters are definitely real people.
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