Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Summer of Sarah Dessen : The Truth About Forever

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. . . As Macy ventures out of her shell, she begins to wonder, Is it really better to be safe than sorry

Macy Queen's boyfriend  is the smart and driven Jason Talbot. Macy Queen's sister had the most beautiful wedding at the Lakeview Inn. Macy Queen's mother is the businesswoman behind the Wildflower Ridge subdivision.

But what Macy Queen is most know for is watching her father die.

There on the sidewalk as Macy's father slips away so does life as she knew it . Now nothing but perfection, studying and order will do for her and her now smaller family. This summer is shaping up to be just that; until the chaos that is Wish Catering barrels into her life. Crab cakes, meatballs, a game of Truth and all.

Wish Catering is--in one word--  chaos. Run by the frazzled and very pregnant owner Delia; along with boy-crazy Kristy, monotone Monica, Bert and the mysteriously artistic Wes.

Through a summer of spilled drinks and missing food, Wes and Macy begin a dangerous game of Truth. The rules are simple all they have to do is ask a question and tell the truth no matter how hard it is. As Macy fights between the person everyone expects her to be and the person she wants to be, she learns to pull herself and her family out of the grief they didn't even know they were in.

Macy is one of those straight-laced Dessen heroines taken in by a rag-tag bunch of misfits spewing life lessons and laughs along the way (think Keeping The Moon). I liked Macy because while she was reluctant to join the craziness and she is also loyal to her family and boyfriend. She doesn't abandon herself for the first hot guy she sees.

In my opinion, Wes wasn't that dynamic. He had so much story but we hear very little from him. Especially compared to the  male characters in other Dessen novels like Dreamland and This Lullaby. I could definitely see the appeal; he's responsible, artistic and sentimental, but I guess he seemed too perfect to me.

I've always said This Lullaby was my favorite Sarah Dessen novel because it is more complex than previous Dessen novels. This Lullaby juggles quite a few story lines and develops more characters than her previous work. The Truth About Forever is very much in the same vein. We get to hear from secondary characters like older sister Caroline and Macy's Mom. In the end all of their stories entwine and wrap up rather nicely.

What  works well in this book is that it is fun. We want to crawl into the world of Wish Catering and have fun with the characters.  Yes, the novel is a bit predictable but it is predictable with characters that we care about.

The Truth About Forever fittingly comes right after This Lullaby. These are the first two novels that don't deal outright with a teen issues since her 1996 novel That Summer.  I think this is during a time when we realized YA literature didn't have to be about teaching teens something, it could  just be a story.

The Truth About Forever is a mix of everything that one can expect from a Dessen novel; summer settings, quirky characters, humor, inspiration and a few life lessons. If you want to start reading a Dessen novel I would suggest this one first.

Side Note : I'm not sure why the new cover has beads on it. Is that a Wishbone charm ?  I also wonder why the cover I read had a flower on it. The new cover from Dreamland would suit it so much better.

  • The Truth About Forever takes place in Lakeview, NC
  • Lorna McPhail from That Summer appears on the news.
  • A Barbra Starr novel from This Lullaby is read.
  • Macy's family has a house in Colby, NC and enjoy Last Chance Cafe from Keeping The Moon


  1. niceee! I havent read this book by Sarah Dessen, but I'll totally give it a chance! and Nice blog!! New follower ^^
    Farah @MajiBookshelf

  2. It's been a while since I read this book, but it was my first Sarah Dessen book so it will always have a place in my heart. I loved the story!

  3. I liked the story too. It was simple and fun.

  4. Thanks for following ! I enjoy reading your blog (:


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