by Judy Blume
Summary: Forever… is a timeless account of a young boy and girl falling in love and embarking on a sexual relationship. Katharine is in her last year of high school when she is introduced to a friend of a friend named Michael at a party. Michael is instantly impressed with Katharine’s sarcasm and seemed indifference. After a surprise meeting, a mutual attraction is realized and the pair begins dating. Initially, Katharine struggles with the sexual aspect of her new relationship and we see her try to come to terms with what she really wants. She also struggles to legitimize her relationship to her parents and grandparents. Ultimately, however, after choosing to go on the birth control pill, Michael and Katharine decide to take their relationship to the next level and begin having sex. Like many people their age they believe that their love is unique and will stand the test of time. However, they come to realize that sometimes people are just not ready for “forever.”
Review: Judy Blume’s Forever addresses many of the main aspects of being a teenager embarking on a first serious (sexual) relationship. Despite being written in the 1970’s, the themes and language are still very relevant, especially aspects of feeling like one’s current relationship will last forever and feeling one has to prove something to the adults in one’s life. While criticised for the sexual content and the promotion of birth control (American Library Association’s list of the 100 Most Frequently Challenged Books of 1990-2000 at number eight), in today’s age of shows like Gossip Girl the book is actually tame. While the couple does have unmarried sex, it is not handled with the same laissez-faire attitude that seems prevalent in our current culture. The characters were in a committed relationship, it was a mutual and thought out decision and they used protection. Overall this book is a classic and should be included in a collection because of its relevance and the mature way it handles teen sexuality.
Other books by Judy Blume: Are you there God? It’s me Margaret; Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing; and Summer Sisters.
4Q 3P (only because it is an older book) JS