The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen

8175919Published: May 11th, 2004

by: Speak

Genres: YA, Contemporary, Realistic Fiction

Format: ebook

Source: Library

My Rating: 4 Stars

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A long, hot summer…

That’s what Macy has to look forward to while her boyfriend, Jason, is away at Brain Camp. Days will be spent at a boring job in the library, evenings will be filled with vocabulary drills for the SATs, and spare time will be passed with her mother, the two of them sharing a silent grief at the traumatic loss of Macy’s father.

But sometimes, unexpected things can happen—things such as the catering job at Wish, with its fun-loving, chaotic crew. Or her sister’s project of renovating the neglected beach house, awakening long-buried memories. Things such as meeting Wes, a boy with a past, a taste for Truth-telling, and an amazing artistic talent, the kind of boy who could turn any girl’s world upside down. As Macy ventures out of her shell, she begins to question her sheltered life.

Is it really always better to be safe than sorry?



The Truth About Forever hit me like a ton of bricks. Immediately after a few pages, Macy and I had so much in common. I felt like someone slapped me hard across the face. I wanted to stop reading altogether, simply because too many memories came rushing back and I didn’t want to deal with them while I was already feeling weighted down. I relived that Sunday morning of September 2nd, 2012 and I couldn’t get it out of my head. Suddenly Macy’s grief became my own. Losing her father suddenly of a heart attack is something I’m all too familiar with. I saw myself in Macy throughout this entire book.

Macy has made it her mission to smile through the pain, and pretend that everything is perfect in her life. She’s the dutiful daughter, and perfect girlfriend. Or so she thought. As her boyfriend Jason sets off to Brain Camp for the summer, Macy takes up his job at the library while he’s away. Even though she knows that she is not wanted at the library with two of her coworkers – also Jason’s close friends, she goes in everyday and sits while the two “perfect and smart” girls treat her as if she’s not good enough. They giggle and whisper behind her back, and just outright looks down on her. When she’s home helping her mother host a get-together, she meets some interesting people. And soon, Macy finds herself among these people, with a second job catering. She makes friends, starts hanging out with them and sharing things about herself that she’s never done before. All the while, she is hurting for her father, and her mother just can’t find it in herself to slow down with work and properly grieve for her husband. And suddenly, Jason wants to take a break from their relationship. All because she said “I Love You” in an email. 

My heart hurt for Macy. Her struggle was real, and her mother sure didn’t help matters. Always dictating Macy’s priorities, and not wanting her to hang out with her new friends. Her friendship with Wes was real and honest, and I loved them being together. They clearly felt what was happening between them, but avoided it like the plague. Wes is a very talented artist, with a record all because of a stupid decision he made years earlier. Of course, as soon as Macy’s mom overhears this, she grounds Macy and forbids her to see any of her friends. Her inability to face reality kind of pissed me off, but everyone has their way of dealing with the death of a loved one. I just don’t like the way she expected Macy to go along with her. Thank God for Caroline, Macy’s older sister. I really admired her for making her mother see the light. My only complaint about this book is the fact that Macy was irritating at the end when she lied when Wes asked her a “truth” question. I felt so bad for him because he was ready to lay it all out. It wrapped up nicely, but I wish that she had given Jason a piece of her mind when he showed up wanting to talk about everything. He’s all “lets make a list of what we want out of our relationship”. Why are all smart guys dumb when it comes to these type of things? God, he got on my nerves.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. Sarah Dessen has definitely made me a fan, and I plan to read all of her books before the year is out. Another great summery read that I recommend to anyone who enjoys realistic fiction. It’s sad in a lot of ways, but it’s also very hopeful and sweet. Recommended! 


Also By This Author: The Moon and More | Keeping The Moon | Along for the Ride

38 thoughts on “The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen

    • Really scary. I was almost tempted to ask God what did he think he was doing by landing this book in my lap. LOL! It was good to read, because so many people are waiting for me to get over it. I’m not as depressed as I was, so that’s something.


  1. I am so sorry for all of your losses; I can’t imagine what that year (and, actually, every one following it) must’ve been like.

    Glad to hear you enjoyed the book, though. It’s been on my to-read list forever. Maybe its time has just about come. 🙂


  2. That must have been rough that the book brought up so many memories for you. 😦
    This was a special book for me as well. I adored every moment of it and I honestly think it’s my favorite Dessen. I loved Macy’s growth and Wes and everything else about this story.
    Wonderful review, Lekeisha!


  3. Books that you can connect with on a personal level definitely have that extra something special. Sometimes that can be good, and sometimes it can be hard. I’m glad you enjoyed this book over all, I really should try something by Sarah Dessen. I see her books around, but I’ve never read her.


    • I think we all manage to find that one book every year that has a character so much like ourselves, that we want to cry. Finally, someone who knows my pain. Even if they are fictional, the author makes them so real.


    • Exactly! I think her books are perfect for young adults, and I’m buying my cousin all of them for Christmas. I want her to know all of these things, so she can be prepared for peer pressure, and all the other things teens do to figure out the pecking order. She starts high school in September. God, help me. LOL


  4. I can feel your emotions in this review and I’m so glad you had such a connection with this! I love that you are reading all of these Sarah Dessen books — I think I may start with this one! ♥


  5. It must have been really difficult to push through, especially when you don’t necessarily want to dig up those memories at the time. But I think it does say something about how Dessen manages to really recreate the emotions and characteristics of Macy perfectly until she seems like someone human who really has gone through those things. It’s horrible that the boyfriend wants to break things off just because of those little words and it sounds like Macy has to go through so much in this book. Now this is the next Dessen book I want to try…


  6. Oh wow I love when I can connect to a character like that. I’m so glad you liked this one. All your Sarah Dessen reviews are making me want to hurry up with ones I have to read so I can get to one of her books ASAP. Fantastic review!


  7. I’m sorry to hear that, how it threw you back in your own memories that were painful. :/
    I read this book sth like two years ago and liked it very much.
    Now when I read your review, it all came back to me and I think it would be good to reread it at some point…


  8. This is my favourite Sarah Dessen novel to date but it hit me like a ton of bricks too when I first read it. I found it quite a cathartic read though, it was one of those books where I was highlighting quotes that I wanted to remember because I identified with them and they helped me.


  9. Oh my, I’ve had a book or two hit me in my own dark, shadowy places and its like being doused in ice water.
    Wow, yeah, her mom’s smothering ways would have me itching to shake her.

    But, glad this was a good friends to lovers story. You’re really working through the Dressens. 🙂 Nice review!


    • It hit hard. All I could think about was showing up at the hospital to meet up with my family to see my dad’s sister, only to have them looking sad. I thought my aunt had died and I was too late. When they told me my dad had a heart attack and died in the ER, I hit the pavement. That was a rough year for me with family deaths. My aunt died 3 days later, and my mom two months later. My depression came back tenfold.


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