Book Review: The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen

July 30, 2015

Book Review: The Truth About Forever by Sarah DessenThe Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen
Published by Puffin on 1st May 2008
Source: Bought Physical Copy
Pages: 391
Sixteen-year-old Macy Queen is looking forward to a long, boring summer. Her boyfriend is going away. She's stuck with a dull-as-dishwater job at the library. And she'll spend all of her free time studying for the SATs or grieving silently with her mother over her father's recent unexpected death. But everything changes when Macy is corralled into helping out at one of her mother's open house events, and she meets the chaotic Wish Catering crew. Before long, Macy joins the Wish team. She loves everything about, the work and the people. But the best thing about Wish is Wes—artistic, insightful, and understanding Wes—who gets Macy to look at life in a whole new way, and really start living it.

I am so late to the party with this one. So very late. Not that I really care, because hello – this is one of the best contemporaries I have read. Ever.

A lot of people say The Truth About Forever is their favourite Sarah Dessen novel. I can’t pass judgement on that, as I’ve only read Lock & Key  as well, but I will say I can understand why this is such a firm favourite. This book takes so many elements that work well on their own and combines them in a way that’s truly irresistible to read. Dessen’s writing is so fluid and addictive that I couldn’t help but read the entire book in a day which, at the time, was unheard of for me.

Macy is a character who I connected to immediately. It’s so easy to fall into being the person other people want or expect you to be – believe me, I’ve been there, and I could certainly relate to her grief for her father. I hated how her mum shut her out and focused on work instead of grieving with Macy – that’s not fair. If you don’t want to grieve, fine, but don’t act as if grief isn’t allowed by anyone. You cannot be expected to move on if you’re not allowed to grieve, but that’s what her mother seemed to expect and I really, really, didn’t like her for it. Jason was a total idiot, so I’m not even going to mention him.

Wes on the other hand? Wes was exactly was Macy needed. They seem like polar opposites, but they really aren’t and they just worked so well together. It takes a fair amount of time for Wes and Macy to happen, and I found myself internally screaming at them to just get together already! I loved how Macy found herself new friends and stretched her wings in The Truth About Forever, the entire catering team just brought her to life and encouraged her to feel and do what she wants to do for herself. Oh, and the present that her dad left her? I came so close to bawling my eyes out because it was so, so so perfect!

I am so grateful I picked up The Truth About Forever, not only did it put me out of a hideous reading slump, it introduced me to one of the most amazing contemporaries ever. I’m signing myself up to he Sarah Dessen fan club, stat.

Book Review: Let It Snow by Maureen Johnson, John Green & Lauren Myracle

December 29, 2011

Book Review: Let It Snow by Maureen Johnson, John Green & Lauren MyracleLet It Snow by John Green, Lauren Myracle, Maureen Johnson
Published by Puffin on 11th September 2008
Source: Bought Physical Copy
Pages: 352
Sparkling white snowdrifts, beautiful presents wrapped in ribbons, and multicolored lights glittering in the night through the falling snow. A Christmas Eve snowstorm transforms one small town into a romantic haven, the kind you see only in movies. Well, kinda. After all, a cold and wet hike from a stranded train through the middle of nowhere would not normally end with a delicious kiss from a charming stranger. And no one would think that a trip to the Waffle House through four feet of snow would lead to love with an old friend. Or that the way back to true love begins with a painfully early morning shift at Starbucks. Thanks to three of today's bestselling teen authors—John Green, Maureen Johnson, and Lauren Myracle—the magic of the holidays shines on these hilarious and charming interconnected tales of love, romance, and breathtaking kisses
I’d been meaning to pick up a copy of this book for a while, and whilst I was in America, I was lucky enough to snag a copy for under 4 dollars, which I considered to be quite the bargain. I thought this would make a perfect read for the holiday season, and I was not wrong at all.

What worked for me: I loved the fact that this book introduced me to two new authors: Maureen Johnson and Lauren Myracle. I have Johnson’s ‘The Name of the Star’ waiting to be read, and reading her story made me very excited to do so. I loved her characters and the plot of her story. I also liked how she managed to put in subtle hints towards the other characters from the other stories in her own, like Jeb. This really aided in the book’s continuity and made all the stories great to read. Green’s story was packed full of humour, something which I have come to expect in his writing. Although the concept of the story was familiar, I still loved the plot and the way it ended. Unfortunately, I found Myracle’s the weakest of the three, but that didn’t stop me from still enjoying it. I also liked her neat way of tying all the stories together, even if it did veer on the side of very clichéd.

What didn’t work for me: I found the main character in Myracle’s story, Addie, rather annoying. I know that was the point of the story, and if she hadn’t of been so self-absorbed the story wouldn’t have happened, but I still found her annoying to deal with. I think this was probably what weakened my enjoyment of Myracle’s story.

Overall, I found this to be a really, really enjoyable book to curl up with during the festive holiday period. It certainly got me in the mood for Christmas!

Book Review: Matched by Ally Condie

November 10, 2011

Book Review: Matched by Ally CondieMatched by Ally Condie
Series: Matched #1
Published by Puffin on 2nd December 2010
Source: Bought Physical Copy
Pages: 366
Cassia has always trusted the Society to make the right choices for her: what to read, what to watch, what to believe. So when Xander's face appears on-screen at her Matching ceremony, Cassia knows with complete certainty that he is her ideal mate... until she sees Ky Markham's face flash for an instant before the screen fades to black. 

The Society tells her it's a glitch, a rare malfunction, and that she should focus on the happy life she's destined to lead with Xander. But Cassia can't stop thinking about Ky, and as they slowly fall in love, Cassia begins to doubt the Society's infallibility and is faced with an impossible choice: between Xander and Ky, between the only life she's known and a path that no one else has dared to follow.
I’ve had Matched sat on my tbr pile for at least six months. I’ve wanted to read it, just not as much as I’ve wanted to read other books. So I decided it was finally time to start reading this when I was shoved into the Surf Shop (this time, I was aware) and I knew I would need a good book to get me through the boredom of the day.

The first 80 pages or so were brilliant. Then I had to stop reading, and I just lost interest in picking it up again. I don’t know why, but I just did. Then, when my laptop was playing up and giving me all kinds of gip, I picked it up again and sped through the rest of the book. It was good. I loved the characters, the world Condie has created, the development of Cassia as she goes from someone who believes in the Society to someone who believes in making her own choices.

I suppose part of my reluctance to pick up the book again revolved around the fact that I had developed a big fat book crush on Xander, and I just wanted Cassia to live with him happily ever after. Lame, I know. I just can’t help it! I am pleased I did pick it up again, as the more I read, the more invested in all the characters I became, and it’s made me really eager to read the sequel, Crossed.

Ultimately, I’d say that this was well worth the read, as I’m now desperate to find out what happens next with Cassia and Ky!