The Truth about Forever - Sarah Dessen
After the death of her father Macy retreats from everything that reminds her of him, including her running, and struggles to be perfect. Then the summer comes and her boyfriend Jason, the one person who makes her feel safe, leaves for Brain camp. Macy is stuck with a job at the library with girls who make her feel far from perfect. Meanwhile her Mom is working herself into the ground to try and forget her own grief. It looks like its going to be a long hard summer.
Then Macy meets the gang at Wish Catering Company, scatty disorganised Delia, fun loving, clothes obsessed Kristy and her silent sister Monica. Bert who is watching out for the end of the world and artistic, swoon worthy Wes. Suddenly the summer starts looking up.
This is a wonderful book Macy's pain and struggle with her grief are so realistically and beautifully portrayed, you really feel for her. The simple story of finding yourself is brought alive by the writing and the interesting, well rounded secondary characters.
The book deals with how we react to loss and pain, how we move on and become stronger or hide from it and grow weak. I liked the contrast between Kristy's reaction to her outward scars, caused by a car accident and Macy's reaction to her inner scars. There is also a contrast between Macy's Mom's grief, she clears out the house of reminders and Delia's grief for her sister, she won't fill in a pot hole because she thinks there's a reason it's there. Kristy and Delia face their pain head on, they incorporate it into their lives and make it part of them so it doesn't destroy them. Macy and her Mom are running from their grief and you can see how unhappy and uptight it makes them.
There is also Wes, possibly one of my favourite characters ever, it's hard not to love a gorgeous, sensitive, bad boy turned good who fashions angels and hearts out of junk. His game of truth with Macy which runs throughout the book is a great device for revealing their past, hopes, fears and dreams. Wes isn't in to perfection, he likes flaws and he shows Macy that being "perfect" isn't something to aspire too.
I devoured this book and the end was perfect without being overly sentimental.
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