Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Forever by Judy Blume

by Judy Blume

Summary: 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. It was a book ahead of its time - and remains, after thirty years in print, a teenage best-seller.
I wanted to see what all the fuss was about Judy Blume and I had heard a lot about this book. I don't know if her other books are better than this one, but I thought the book was kind of overrated.

Maybe it would've been different if I had read it when I was much younger, or if this wasn't 2011 and I was reading it nearer the time it was published. I mean, I get why it would've been a bigger deal back in 1975, because of the sex thing but reading it now, at my age, at this time - it was just...not all that great. And the subject matter that would've seemed more controversial in a teen book back in the 70's is pretty tame now.

It can't hold a candle to the majority of books I read. It wasn't bad, it just didn't stand out. It's one of those...forgettable books.

The writing was just - basic, didn't stand out at all, I didn't have to mark a single page to bookmark a quote that I liked because there weren't really any. And while I did like the characters and they felt real, the book was so short that I didn't particularly care all that much. The one moment in the book that really got to me, was near the end, but it wasn't even the focus of the book - just a side plot and only a couple of pages really payed attention to it (the bit with her granddad).

I guess the point of the book is the message it gives about love and sex and the idea of loving someone forever, and it does get that message across. The story is realistic when it comes to relationships at that age. But the impact of the book was muffled by the blandness of the story and writing and all that other stuff. Really...authors like Sarah Dessen do the whole realistic story with a message thing a whole lot better.

Verdict: I did like the book, it was a really quick read with a really good message. But I'd much rather read books by Sarah Dessen, or John Green, or Melina Marchetta...or really, any of the other awesome authors of YA books that are around now. Because with them, you don't just get a book with a message; you get beautiful writing, characters who manage to be amazing without becoming unrealistic and addictive plots that have you laughing and crying as you turn the pages (not that older books can't have that too, but Judy Blume--at least with this book--just didn't tick those boxes for me).

But, if you're younger than I am or you grew up with Judy Blume books, then I do understand the appeal she would have. It just wasn't my cup of tea and I don't think I'll bother checking out anything else by her, the time has passed when I could've read and really enjoyed them.



  1. I'm glad for this review right now. I just got back from the bookstore and considered buying it, but I thought the very same thing you did. It was controversial in the 70s, and now probably not so much. The synopsis didn't sound all the special either. I get why those who grew up with her books might see things differently though.

  2. An enjoyable read Forever . . . by Judy Blume . loved the way you wrote it. I find your review very genuine and original, this book is going in by "to read" list.



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