Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Forever - Judy Blume


Right behind "Are You There God, It's Me Margaret" in the memory department is this little treasure "Forever". I don't think I read it as many times, probably because I was scared of getting caught with it. (Are you loving the cover that I've uploaded? This was the one I originally owned.) While Margaret was fairly innocent, this was fully loaded for a high school kid. I couldn't wait to see if it was as scandalous as an adult as it was back then, so I quickly added it to my list of Shelf Discovery Challenge books.

Katherine meets Michael at a fondue party during their senior year, their eyes meet, and the hormones fly. They immediately start dating, find in each other that something special, and are confronted with that important question faced by teenagers everywhere...to do it, or not to do it. Eventually, the inevitable happens (this is not a spoiler people), and along the way we become well-acquainted with all the other accouterments that accompany first love and first sexual experiences: birth control, finding secluded spots for intimacy, the physical pain of separation, orgasm and jealousy. We raise our eyebrows when Katherine's progressive grandmother sends her pamphlets from Planned Parenthood. We roll our eyes at the now infamous scene where Michael declares his private part to be named "Ralph".

It is a story as old as dirt, and not all that original either. But Blume's writing style makes you feel, deep down in your heart where the crumbs of adolescence still reside, that angst and longing you once knew. Yes, the story IS as scandalous now as it was then (especially with a daughter on the brink of puberty). For Pete's sake, in my library book, the best passages were underlined in INK! With little smiley faces drawn in the margins! The book truly could be entitled "How to Lose Your Virginity 101".
I finished the book feeling just a tad nostalgic for that fleeting, innocent, once-in-a-lifetime moment when your view of the world is baggage-free, heartbreak-free, and uncynical. Unfortunately, we are too young and silly at that moment to appreciate it!

5 out of 5 stars

25 comments:

Alice Teh said...

Glad you enjoyed this book! I should read Judy Blume one of these days!

farmlanebooks said...

I'm sure I must have read this book, but don't remember it at all. It can't have had the same impact as Margaret. Did you remember anything about it?

JoAnn said...

So glad you're enjoying the Blume-fest!

rhapsodyinbooks said...

This sounds good - I just finished Are You There God for the same challenge so this would make a good "sequel." And I love the part about the fondue party - I remember having one just because of that rule if you drop the whatever in the fondue you have to kiss the person next to you!

bermudaonion said...

I'm wondering how I missed these books as a kid. Great review!

Jeane said...

I know I read some Judy Blume way back when, but I'm pretty sure this wasn't one of them. I think the explicitness of it would have shocked me! Now I'd probably admire its boldness, but still want to shield it from my daughter...

S. Krishna said...

I never read this one as a kid either, but I'e been wanting to go back and read it. I'm glad it's good!

Anna said...

You know, I don't remember reading this one! How can that be??

--Anna
Diary of an Eccentric

Toni said...

Oh how I remember this one. I'd love to do a re-read.(but I don't want to feel old as dirt). You're review was entertaining and remarkable. Great to read. Thanks

Julie P. said...

I love that it still stands the test of time! Thanks for your review!

The Bumbles said...

Very sweet Sandy - "nostalgic for that fleeting, innocent, once-in-a-lifetime moment when your view of the world is baggage-free, heartbreak-free, and uncynical. Unfortunately, we are too young and silly at that moment to appreciate it!"

I'm guessing if you you probably wouldn't go and put it on the family reading list when your daughter is a little older, but if you came across her reading this you wouldn't freak but rather discuss.

Literary Feline said...

Would you believe I never read this book? I read most of Judy Blume's YA novels, but I'd "outgrown" them by the time I came across this one and wasn't interested in it. This does sound like an important book that is still as important today as it was then.

Sometimes I think about revisiting some of my old favorites. I worry though that they wouldn't hold the same magic for me that they once did.

Kathleen said...

Oh boy does that cover look familiar! You have brought many memories back for me. I can still remember thinking that my mother would have taken the book away from me if she had any concept of what was in it! Being the youngest of 9 girls I got loads of information and innuendo from my older sisters but this book made me feel like I had special information that was just for me! I vaguely remember a made for TV movie that was made of this book?

Dar said...

Oh gosh, I just read this one a few years back. I had never read it as a teenager. Those were definitely the days when we had no worries but didn't know enough to appreciate it. Great review Sandy.

Melody said...

Can you believe I've never read her books when I was younger?! But it's never too late to read it now, isn't it? :P

Jenners said...

I love that you found it held up all this time! And the underlining ... classic. I had forgotten about the Ralph part ... that seems a bit silly doesn't it?

heidenkind said...

Uh-oh, teenagers and sex! :O

Beth F said...

This came out the year I graduated college, so no wonder I never read it! This sooooo dates the book: "at a fondue party"!!!!

Alyce said...

I still haven't read this book, but I probably will at some point.

Melissa - Shhh I'm Reading said...

I loved this book! The scene in the bathroom with the cologne (?) is forever imprinted in my mind for some reason...And, when you mention not reading this one as much because you didn't want to get caught with it...my dad actually read this one after seeing me with it! He wanted to talk about it, but that was WAY too much for me, so I just ignored the whole situation. :)

I really should re-read this one!

Michele at Reader's Respite said...

Good golly....I have such vague recollections of this book, but I couldn't have even told you the chartacters names, lol. Guess this one should be a re-read, then hide it from the kids!

stacybuckeye said...

I'm sure I read this back in the day, but I don't remember it. Now it's on my list. Love Judy Blume!

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rohit said...

An enjoyable read Forever . . . by Judy Blume . loved the way you wrote it. I find your review very genuine and original, this book is going in by "to read" list.