Forever by Judy Blume
Published By: Macmillan
Published On: October 1, 1975
Source: Read It Swap It
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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...
I understand that this is cult classic and has been extremely well loved since its publication in the 1970s but I just wasn't a fan. If I hadn't been on holiday, with pretty much unlimited reading time, I would have DNFed this. While I can understand the appeal of the book, I just don't think it was for me and there are several reasons for that.
This book is 41 years old so obviously a lot has changed in terms of the style of writing over the years. While the outdated references and wording didn't bother me, I just couldn't abide the older writing style. You could really tell from the writing style just how old the book was, and though when reading classics this issue doesn't arise, for some reason it really bugged me during this book. It did become less of an issue as the book went on.
This is probably a very unpopular opinion, given the hoards of people who love this book, but I didn't think this was an accurate portrayal of love at a young age. At 21, I have been through all of this, and it wasn't even slightly like it is portrayed in this book. This relationship was complete instalove! I would hazard a guess that at least 90% of teenagers do not enter into serious relationships the day after meeting someone for the first time. These characters literally met on page 2 of the book and were inseparable and in love by page 4! This is not at all realistic. I found the relationship, because of this, to be quite fake and forced. I didn't see any kind of chemistry or connection between the two characters.
If I'm being completely honest, I found this book to be fairly boring. There didn't seem to be much of a story beyond the main characters struggle to decided whether or not she wanted to have sex, and then about sex itself. There was the capacity for more of a story with the introduction of topics like mental illness and death, but those were simply glossed over and pushed to the side to make space for more sex chat. I understand that this book is about first love and the first time having sex, but at this stage in your life the world does not just revolve around sex, life continues and other things are important too.
Overall, despite my problems with this book, it was a very short, quick read that I managed to get through in just a few hours. However, I wouldn't have spent any longer on it. It is obviously a well loved book, considering I am here talking about it more than 40 years after it was initially published, but it just wasn't for me. Though I can see why people would like it, I just had too many problems with it. I do think, though, that this is one you have to read for yourself, not rely on others' opinions of.