Tuesday, February 1, 2011

YA Lit Week Two: Forever - Judy Blume - 1975

This book was read for the second week of the YA Lit course.

Course Theme for the Week: History of Young Adults and Young Adult Literature (2-2-2011)
Title: Forever...
Author: Judy Blume
Year: 1975
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Date Read: 2-1-2011
Overall: * * * * *

GoodReads Blurb: 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. America's No. 1 children's author has written some of the best books of our time about real-life issues - family stress and pressures, what happens when your parents divorce, the problems of growing up and sexual awakening, bereavement - with insight, sensitivity and honesty. The response of readers all around the world continues to make her one of the best-loved writers ever published.

My Review: This book was also a reread for me. I actually read this for the first time about a year ago. I felt like I was the only 20-something girl who hadn't read Forever yet, so I made it my mission last year. Even as I reread it, I was still struck with how honest and open Katherine is. She is so open and blunt and just very real, so very unlike many of the "woe is me, I need a man, help I am clumsy!" type girls who exist literature now.

I still love how the lesson in the book isn't about pregnancy, it isn't about HIV, it isn't about abusive first boyfriends... it's about love, and how it can feel like it will last forever at times and then that same love can change. It is such an important message for people, of any age, to know. When I was a teenager in love it felt like it would never end, that it could last forever and that I wanted it to last forever. But it didn't, and it's very realistic for people to change, and for feelings and relationships to change, even though so many "first loves" feel never-ending.

I do love that those other messages are still included in the story. Sybil experiences a pregnancy and gives the baby up for adoption, Artie experiences psychological problems, and Katherine visits Planned Parenthood to go on the pill and to get information about being safe. This book pretty much covers all the important bases when it comes to young love and young sex.

To Purchase: Amazon

Currently Reading: Grave Sight by Charlaine Harris, and Shrinking Violet by Danielle Joseph
Currently Listening To: The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (read by Carolyn McCormick)

Books Read in 2011: 14

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