My Review of “The Truth About Forever”

Now, I’ve read a lot of Chic Lit in my time, too much, in my opinion, but it was always something I grabbed from the shelf in a moment of extreme boredom and desperation. I think I speak for the world when I say that each time I grabbed for one I was hopeful that it would fulfill my literary and intellectual needs; however, each time I was dismayed to find that not only are they written badly but my IQ level seemed to decrease at a steady rate as I continued through the book.

When I picked up The Truth about Forever by Sarah Dessen, I thought it would be the same: another book that was recommended by friends but was full of immature agony over middle  or high school life. In this case, however, it was my pessimistic side that was disappointed. Of course, this book does contain the necessary elements of Chick Lit (summer setting, romance, hurt, healing, and “learning”) but within this overly dramatic mess is something new: a true analysis into the complex array of human emotion caused by events, of any type, in a person’s life. The author did not just look at the young girl’s wild emotional roller coaster, but also at the people around her and how they reacted and acted to certain events. By reading this deeply into a book we learn the true lessons that should be learned; even if they are not the one intended by the author.

Although this might seem a little farfetched to you, this is the lesson that I learned from this one book: All people are connected; your actions affect the person next to you, who affects another person. A cycle that goes on forever, that is, of course, based entirely of your perspective of “forever”. If forever is the two minutes that are left in you last period math class, then you are more likely not to be thinking about how your actions in those next two minutes will affect your life and the people around you. Your prespective is different again if you are behind on your rent and are about to be kicked out; forever then becomes the time that you might have to be without a home. All your mind is thinking is that “I will be in this situation forever”, but many times when we think like this, we are ignoring the important people around us that might need more support than we do. As you think about “forever”, you might be ignoring your child who is stoically putting up a front so that you don’t look so tired and worried. If you got a different impression from this book, please tell me; I would be fascinated to learn other people’s perspective on this topic.

This type of look into the grayness of life is fascinating because so many authors seemed delusional into believing that everything is black and white, that there is a good and bad side to everything. In reality though, all of us just react to someone else’s act and are rarely trying to hurt anyone, and if we do try to hurt then it is usually based on perception of the other persons action(s).

The only thing that is very unrealistic in this book that you will have to watch for is the possibility that everyone is happy in the end, that everyone settles into a happy relationship with all their troubles past, but I wouldn’t dwell on that too much; this is a book that to be enjoyed must be read at a deeper level than the mindless scribbling of a lovesick girl. But of course, that might just be my pessimistic side, coming up for air again, maybe it will be proved wrong again… maybe everyone ends up happy in real life… but I doubt it.

Published in: on November 20, 2009 at 6:55 pm  Leave a Comment  
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