Book Review: Forever (Judy Blume)

* I have been given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review *

Publisher: Pan Macmillan

Pages: 202

Release Date: January 1st 2015 (originally published 1975)

 

Summary (from Goodreads):

Katherine and Michael meet at a New Year’s Eve party. They’re attracted to each other, they grow to love each other. And once they’ve decided their love is forever, they make love.

It’s the beginning of an intense and exclusive relationship, with a future all planned. Until Katherine’s parents insist that she and Michael put their love to the test with a summer apart…

“Forever” is written for an older age group than Judy Blume’s other novels for children. It caused a storm of controversy when it was first published because of its explicit sexual content.

Review:

It’s been far too long since I read a book by Judy Blume. I remember reading several as a youngster, but the one that really sticks in my mind is Blubber. That chocolate ant scene has always stayed with me! I was really excited when Forever came up on NetGalley as it was the perfect excuse to get back into a bit o’ Blume.

What I loved about Forever was how real it felt: from the awkward beginnings of the relationship, to the intense obsession and the surety that you’re going to be together forever (no matter what your parents say) to that moment when you realise that forever doesn’t always mean forever at that age. I know I’ve been there when I was 17, and I think that’s part of the charm of the book: it’s so relatable, for someone older who can remember that time with some some fondness, and for someone who’s going through that exact situation and needs to know that it doesn’t matter if your forever doesn’t work out.

In the beginning, I struggled a little with the ages of the characters. They sometimes felt a little younger than the age I realised they were supposed to be. But I think this could also be due to the fact that it’s American and I’m not sure what grade equals what age.

I know this book caused a bit of a storm when it originally came out and I can only imagine what kind of effect it would have had on me then. As it was, the sexual content wasn’t too shocking for me, but this is 30 years on and I’m an adult and we live in the era of Fifty Shades of Grey

Overall I really enjoyed this book and I think it’s a real recommended read for any teenager, or a slightly older ‘teenager’ wanting to relive a memorable part of their youth.

4