Author: Sarah Dessen
Narrator: Stina Nielsen
Release date: October 13th 2005
Publisher: Recorded Books
Lenght: 12 hrs 14 min
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 wonder, Is it really better to be safe than sorry?
For the longest time, whenever someone reviewed one of Sarah Dessen’s books, I had to start my comment with the words “I’ve never actually read anything by her before…” and to be honest, I was getting tired of it. So when an audiobook came my way, I decided to change that once and for all.
You all know that contemporary YA makes me uncomfortable at times, even when it’s not about something I can easily relate to. To make matters worse, The Truth About Forever hit too close to home, but instead of abandoning it like a coward I usually am, I kept listening… and I soon found myself wanting to hug it and run away from it at the same time.
Like Macy, I know all about being that girl whose dad died. The weight you carry when you lose the most important person in your life is as familiar to me as my own skin. Therefore, feeling her struggle was easy for me and I especially understood her need to tiptoe around her mother, trying to avoid hurting her at all costs.
It was clear right from the beginning that Macy’s relationship with Jason was based on all the wrong things. It was convenient, isolating and passionless, not something a sixteen-year-old girl should be in permanently… or at all. Right from the start, I saw Jason as just another integral piece of her coping mechanism, and as such, he didn’t invoke any kind of emotional response for me, except mild annoyance and maybe a bit of pity.
Enter Wes, a normal boy with his own problems and a kind soul. He and Macy start a tentative friendship and, through an ongoing game of Truth, open up to each other. Suddenly Macy finds herself talking about things she’s never talked about before, and the experience is liberating. Theirs is an extremely slow-burning romance, and the emphasis is always on their friendship, although it doesn’t hurt that Wes is as gorgeous as they come.
The Truth About Forever is, in some small way, a love story. But more than that, it is a story about friendships and grief, about learning to communicate when staying quiet is the safest thing to do.
The narrator, Stina Nielsen, is excellent. Her voice is calm and soothing, and she avoided bringing unnecessary drama to the story. There were times when her voices sounded just a tad too old to belong to a 16-year-old girl, but that’s a minor thing that can easily be overlooked. I admit there were times when I wanted to drop the audio and just read the rest because 12 hours is a very long time to spend listening to a fairly uneventful book, but I’m glad I didn’t give up. It made the final part so much more rewarding.
Sarah Dessen and I have just started our adventure, and I still need to read something by both Sarah Ockler and Sara Zarr or you people will come at me with pitchforks. But there’s no need for extreme measures. I promised, didn’t I?