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Forever . . .

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Katherine and Michael meet at a New Year's Eve party. They're attracted to each other, they grow to love each other. And once they've decided their love is forever, they make love. It's the beginning of an intense and exclusive relationship, with a future all planned. Until Katherine's parents insist that she and Michael put their love to the test with a summer apart... Fore Katherine and Michael meet at a New Year's Eve party. They're attracted to each other, they grow to love each other. And once they've decided their love is forever, they make love. It's the beginning of an intense and exclusive relationship, with a future all planned. Until Katherine's parents insist that she and Michael put their love to the test with a summer apart... Forever is written for an older age group than Judy Blume's other novels for children. It caused a storm of controversy when it was first published because of its explicit sexual content.


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Katherine and Michael meet at a New Year's Eve party. They're attracted to each other, they grow to love each other. And once they've decided their love is forever, they make love. It's the beginning of an intense and exclusive relationship, with a future all planned. Until Katherine's parents insist that she and Michael put their love to the test with a summer apart... Fore Katherine and Michael meet at a New Year's Eve party. They're attracted to each other, they grow to love each other. And once they've decided their love is forever, they make love. It's the beginning of an intense and exclusive relationship, with a future all planned. Until Katherine's parents insist that she and Michael put their love to the test with a summer apart... Forever is written for an older age group than Judy Blume's other novels for children. It caused a storm of controversy when it was first published because of its explicit sexual content.

30 review for Forever . . .

  1. 5 out of 5

    Nataliya

    A word of warning: This review will be conducted from a soapbox (which, if you think about it, is a completely baffling expression). As one would expect from a young feminist gynecologist, of course.Let's cut to the chase: This book is about a realistically intense relationship between Kath and Michael, two teenagers in the 1970s. They meet, fall in love with a speed only teens are capable of, he wants to sleep with her, she is reluctant, eventually they do it, they are both into it, she (respo A word of warning: This review will be conducted from a soapbox¹ (which, if you think about it, is a completely baffling expression). ¹ As one would expect from a young feminist gynecologist, of course.Let's cut to the chase: This book is about a realistically intense relationship between Kath and Michael, two teenagers in the 1970s. They meet, fall in love with a speed only teens are capable of, he wants to sleep with her, she is reluctant, eventually they do it, they are both into it, she (responsibly) gets birth control. And nothing tragic happens to them even though they have sex. And they are not 'destined for each other' or 'soulmates' or any of those crap excuses that books present now every time teens decide to have sex. And even more, their relationship does not survive a brief separation. And it's treated as something perfectly normal. And this is why I love it. But let's have the author, Judy Blume of Are You There, God? It's Me, Margaret fame speak for herself:"This book was first published in 1975. My daughter Randy asked for a story about two nice kids who have sex without either of them having to die. She had read several novels about teenagers in love. If they had sex the girl was always punished—an unplanned pregnancy, a hasty trip to a relative in another state, a grisly abortion (illegal in the U.S. until the 1970's), sometimes even death. Lies. Secrets. At least one life ruined. Girls in these books had no sexual feelings and boys had no feelings other than sexual. Neither took responsibility for their actions. I wanted to present another kind of story—one in which two seniors in high school fall in love, decide together to have sex, and act responsibly." And guess what - there are many conversations about sex with the blissful conviction of that time that sexual repression and double standards and the battles over birth control and abortion are finally over and common sense prevails. Now fast-forward to the 21st century to see what unnecessary and charged emotions are still flung about when these simple things are concerned - it's like we took quite a few gigantic steps backwards, and that makes me really sad. Because it's not the world I'd like to leave behind for my future hypothetical daughter."It's up to you to decide what's right and what's wrong ... I'm not going to tell you to go ahead but I'm not going to forbid it either. It's too late for any of that. I expect you to handle it with a sense of responsibility though ... either way."The parents and grandparents discuss sex with the teens and make it clear that they'd rather have them do it under their roof than somewhere else in the unsafe fashion. Parents advise kids about sex but do not cross the boundaries in explicitly forbidding anything. Birth control is accessible and is viewed as a resposible choice, and Planned Parenthood helps Katherine make that choice (you know, the same clinics that cause politicians' rage-fueled speeches about them 'killin' babies' - and yet, from what I have seen in real world, supplying endless women with excellent prenatal care, helping bring healthy happy babies into this word. How 'bout that?). A teenage girl decides to give birth not because abortion is viewed as a horrible thing to do but because that is her choice (yes, the real pro-choice stand, unlike what the conservative media paint it these days, trying to equate choice and murder in the eyes of the public). And no one is ashamed of having sex (which would undoubtedly lead to the dreaded slut-shaming) because sex is viewed as part of a normal life, like I firmly believe it should be."Just be careful ... that's my only advice." "Of what?" "Pregnancy." "Grandma!" "And venereal disease." "Really ... " "Does it embarrass you to talk about it?" "No, but ... " "It shouldn't."We as a society keep putting sex on an unnecessary pedestal. We keep shaming girls for having sex. We have political leaders who are outraged at having society cover the cost of birth control as to them it means condoning women having sex and - God forbid! - enjoying it. There are so many people warring against birth control and abortion because there should be 'consequences' to daring to have sex! And, of course, in literature aimed at young people sex is only permitted if it's true love, nothing less. Well, guess what? I happen to believe that sex needs to be two things: (1) consensual, and (2) enjoyable for everyone involved. As long as these criteria are fulfilled, I don't have a problem with it, and I hope society would eventually come to peace with not only it but the ability and the right of people involved to make informed and responsible choices about it. And that someday the materials that are deemed unacceptable to young people would be the one with graphic violence and not the ones with peaceful sex. And that teenage experimenting, if done responsibly, is okay - because why wouldn't it be?"That's not a bad word ... hate and war are bad words but fuck isn't."And that it's perfectly okay to not find your soulmate and the 'perfect one' in the 'Twilight'-like fashion, and it's nothing to frown upon. And it's okay to have sex when you are in love, and it's okay to not have that love last forever. And therefore I gladly give this Judy Blume book 4 stars and I will make sure my future hypothetical daughter reads it at some point, close to adolescence, because I hope she absorbs the healthy attitudes towards life, and that includes realistic teenage relationships."I wanted to tell him that I will never be sorry for loving him. That in a way I still do--that maybe I always will. I'll never regret one single thing we did together because what we had was very special. Maybe if we were ten years older it would have worked out differently. Maybe. I think it's just that I'm not ready for forever."

  2. 4 out of 5

    Aleeeeeza

    Edit on 12/11/2011: To anyone who's got a problem with this review: 1) Yes, I know that this book was a big deal when it was released. That doesn't mean that when I read it in this day and age that I'm going to judge it by it's historical significance--I definitely appreciate it but it doesn't change the fact that I read it when I did and didn't like it and I don't want to have to constantly justify myself for that. (Let's ignore the fact that that's precisely what I'm doing with this edit. Right Edit on 12/11/2011: To anyone who's got a problem with this review: 1) Yes, I know that this book was a big deal when it was released. That doesn't mean that when I read it in this day and age that I'm going to judge it by it's historical significance--I definitely appreciate it but it doesn't change the fact that I read it when I did and didn't like it and I don't want to have to constantly justify myself for that. (Let's ignore the fact that that's precisely what I'm doing with this edit. Right.) 2) I know that this book's supposed to be an accurate portrayal of love at the age of seventeen and for that I should cut it some slack, but I just recently turned eighteen and I've got a good idea of what most teenagers think love to be, and what I think it's supposed to be, and with all that in mind I can't, for the life of me, abide the portrayal of love in this book. I did not enjoy reading it at all and it annoyed the bajeezus out of me, and nothing will change that. 3) Guys might go around naming their underparts but I'm always going to think that's disgusting. 4) I HATE ELLIPSES AND ANY BOOK THAT HAS FIFTEEN ELLIPSES PER PAGE WILL AUTOMATICALLY CARVE IT'S PLACE IN MY HATED-THIS-BOOK LIST. *takes deep breath* Okay, yeah, that's it. Okay, yeah, so maybe I should explain the 1 star—if you’ve been following my reviews, you’ll know that I rarely give books a 1 star rating…I’m not that hard to please as a reader, and I hate giving one of Judy Blume’s books 1 star (I used to love her MG books as kid, from what I can recall anyway). But the thing is, I don’t think there was a SINGLE redeeming factor in this book for me. Let me list a brief list of the reasons: 1) THE WRITINGGG. It was so…bland and unimaginative, and it was really hard to picture the scenes sometimes. And the dialogue could be VERY corny at times. But maybe what bothered me most was the CONSTANT use of ellipses… I mean, you know…ellipses have this really annoying effect…they make the reader keep taking pauses…and in this book there was one in practically EVERY FRIGGIN’ SENTENCE OMG. Argggggg. 2) The characters. I didn’t give a shizz about a single one of them, NOT ONE. Kath was boooooooring and Michael was the horniest male love interest of all time. I mean, yeah, teens are all lusty and hormonal and blah blah blah (Hi! 17-year-old speaking here!), but this man takes it to a whole new level. Which brings me to… 3) I wasn’t particularly impressed with love’s portrayal in this book. I mean, to me, there was zilch chemistry between the characters and even so, it felt to me like Kath was more into screwing Michael because he wanted it so bad rather than her own desire to do it. The sex in this book is also REALLY explicit. I’m no prude, but come on, all that describing takes away all the romance in the scene. Oh and, Michael calls his you-know-what RALPH. Dude. Seriously! I get why this book is important for the time it was written in—that didn’t stop me from blitzing through it to finally get over with it. Thankfully, it’s super short and I won it in a contest, so I’m not that miffed. I’m not saying no one should read this book cause it’s aaaaawfulll—a lot of people seem to really like it—but it just wasn’t for me.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Aj the Ravenous Reader

    To my dear friend, Christine’s credit, she didn’t recommend this personally. I just shamelessly meddled with her shelves and found this novel. You may as well proceed with her wonderful one-line review if you want to avoid the rant-y one coming your way.^^ But before the rant, let me just greet my sweet friend, A HAPPY BIRTHDAY.I hope you’re having the best time and even though I didn’t like this novel, again, it’s the thought that I read a book for you that counts, right? Lol! Some books we lov To my dear friend, Christine’s credit, she didn’t recommend this personally. I just shamelessly meddled with her shelves and found this novel. You may as well proceed with her wonderful one-line review if you want to avoid the rant-y one coming your way.^^ But before the rant, let me just greet my sweet friend, A HAPPY BIRTHDAY.I hope you’re having the best time and even though I didn’t like this novel, again, it’s the thought that I read a book for you that counts, right? Lol! Some books we love, some we just don’t. It’s a sad fact of life but still, cheers, Christine! Now onto the review: Allow me to spare you the suspense. The story goes basically this way. Adults go saying to the teenage character: “Here are some birth control tips. Now go pop the cherry, roll in the hay, have a go at it! You may get stoned a little too as long as there's adult supervision and remember, be responsible for your own actions (possibly ending the statement with a wink, a smile and two thumbs up).”My pitiful eyes, they suffered from the innumerable number of times getting laid was mentioned in the entire story. Now you may say, “Pft. It’s Aj. She’s just too uptight and stuffy.” Though you may be a teeny, tiny bit right to say that (and I’m totally rolling my eyes at ya), it’s not just the plot and the content of the story. It’s everything else. The writing style is kind of dull and in my opinion, too lazy. I wasn’t a fan of the plain dialogue style or the diary (of a 10 year old) entry like narrations. See below example: “My parents sleep early, usually at 10:00 to 11:00 pm." “ My father works out at a gym four times a week and plays tennis every morning from 7:30-8:30 am. " (It’s not like I’m a better writer but hey, I’m not an author.^^ ) And the characters, oh don’t even get me started with the characters! I couldn’t even mildly put it and say I couldn’t relate with them. Because in my strong personal opinion, they’re just plain flat, unfeeling paper characters and I’m so sorry that I couldn’t even euphemize my descriptions to avoid cruelty but you must know, reviews like this one is really hard for me too and as much as I wanted to give this two stars, I just can’t because two stars means “it’s okay” but this is definitely not okay especially that awful Michael guy naming his thingy, Ralph. And I liked Wreck-it Ralph a lot! Way to ruin his image for me. Ugh! Turns out this is a classic YA novel. Beats me! I should be able to appreciate and enjoy a book regardless of the time it’s written. That’s what a good book’s supposed to be (at least for me).

  4. 5 out of 5

    karen

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. they have sex. it does not last forever.at the end, she is a bitch.

  5. 4 out of 5

    JJ

    I read this book because I'm attempting to read (or reread) some classic YA books. Now, I'm a so-so fan of Judy Blume, I know she has a lot of die-hards out there. I recently read Everything I Need to Know About Being a Girl I learned from Judy Blume but I guess I was more of a Beverly Cleary kid. This book is about first loves and first sexual experiences. The story itself was good, but I think Judy Blume left out a lot of details. The boyfriend, Michael, is basically a horn dog who would do any I read this book because I'm attempting to read (or reread) some classic YA books. Now, I'm a so-so fan of Judy Blume, I know she has a lot of die-hards out there. I recently read Everything I Need to Know About Being a Girl I learned from Judy Blume but I guess I was more of a Beverly Cleary kid. This book is about first loves and first sexual experiences. The story itself was good, but I think Judy Blume left out a lot of details. The boyfriend, Michael, is basically a horn dog who would do anything to try and talk Kath into putting out. Kath is a girl who seems to devote her life to her boyfriend and put him above everything else. Both qualities I really don't like in real people, let alone fictional characters. All in all, I just think the story seemed rushed. There needed to be longer scenes and more details. Take for instance Sybil, the "fat" friend who got pregnant. Now, that's an interesting story in itself, and could have been a longer subplot. But I think poor Sybil only got mentioned in a few paragraphs. The lesson for any young girl here: If you date a guy who calls his manhood Ralph, run in the opposite direction. ::shudders::

  6. 5 out of 5

    Julie

    Wow, this “retro re-read” project I've taken on with my sister-in-snark, Vanessa, has become borderline INSUFFERABLE. We had so much enthusiasm, Vanessa and I, as we compiled an informal list of our most decadent, dirty reads, the ones we hid back in the day from the probing eyes of teachers and had covers that were worn from so many adolescent girls' hands. Once, our inexperienced selves considered these books titilating; as experienced adults I have more likely considered. . . how did this nonse Wow, this “retro re-read” project I've taken on with my sister-in-snark, Vanessa, has become borderline INSUFFERABLE. We had so much enthusiasm, Vanessa and I, as we compiled an informal list of our most decadent, dirty reads, the ones we hid back in the day from the probing eyes of teachers and had covers that were worn from so many adolescent girls' hands. Once, our inexperienced selves considered these books titilating; as experienced adults I have more likely considered. . . how did this nonsense ever get published? Our last two, Flowers in the Attic and Fear of Flying were so over-the-top awful, you could only assume that a publishing house was pushing the envelope, hoping the sex would sell (it did, in both cases), but this one, Forever, provokes the most head-scratching confusion of the bunch. I know, from much personal experience, that Judy Blume knows how to write, knows how to develop characters, and knows how to write dialogue. So what happened here? Yes, there are sex scenes and sexual information in this story that appeared in the dark ages of 1975 that caused many a teen girl to reach out her hand in quiet desperation, and there's a bit of an education to be gained here for the average adolescent. But, good God, this was boring. Bor-ing. And, the book's not only boring; it contained zero character development, zero plot points of interest and dialogue that sounded like it was being read by the characters from a teleprompter. This entire book reads like a pamphlet from Parent Parenthood rather than a story. Three stars for teaching young women about the importance of birth control.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Katrina Passick Lumsden

    What do you do when the "love of your life"....isn't? Forever answers that question with a simple and unflinching response; you move on. Kath and Michael meet at a party and quickly fall into a very physical romance. After roughly a few months, Kath finally gets up the courage to have sex with Michael, believing she is in love and that she and Michael will last forever. Michael too feels he and Kath are meant to be, so they flounder along in their romance, discovering each others' bodies and hol What do you do when the "love of your life"....isn't? Forever answers that question with a simple and unflinching response; you move on. Kath and Michael meet at a party and quickly fall into a very physical romance. After roughly a few months, Kath finally gets up the courage to have sex with Michael, believing she is in love and that she and Michael will last forever. Michael too feels he and Kath are meant to be, so they flounder along in their romance, discovering each others' bodies and holding onto their assertions that they will prove everyone wrong and stand the test of time. I've seen a lot of reviewers complain about many things in this book, with most of those complaints revolving around the behavior of Kath and Michael. I'm going to address the ones I find most amusing, in no particular order. 1. "They talk about how in love they are, but they don't even know each other very well!" Is this not how the majority of teens think and behave? How many times have you heard a teenage girl utter words of total devotion regarding a boy she's never even spoken to? A teenager is essentially a child trapped in an almost-adult body. Their brains haven't caught up with their bodies, and their bodies are essentially out-of-control. The fact that these two haven't known each other very long and barely know each other at all (even though they think they do) was purposeful. Blume was trying to get across the very simple fact that young love isn't often very deep. In fact, I find it rather silly when I read about a girl who is 16 or 17 and in the midst of some great love affair for the ages. It's silly. 2. "Michael is such a horndog and pressures Kath into having sex." And? I really don't understand this complaint about the book since Michael is a 17-year-old boy! It's called reality, ladies. Grown men are horndogs. 17-year-old boys, however, are more like hornmonsters. Seriously, fill a bag up with nothing but hormones, give it teeth, douse it in gasoline and set it on fire. That is a teenage boy. As far as him "pressuring" Kath into having sex, that is also fairly realistic. If I started making out with a guy, let him up my shirt and down my pants, even going so far as to play with "Ralph" (we'll get to that in a moment), then pulled away (not for the first time) to utter (again) how I wasn't ready....I would not only expect some whining, I'd expect a guy to be a little angry. I'm not saying this is acceptable behavior, and if you asked most guys they'd tell you that they're more than willing to wait as long as they have to. This does not, however, mean they won't whine when they get so close only to be rebuffed. By the time they've gotten down a girl's pants, they're so revved up that they can only see one thing. Imagine you're in the desert and you're parched, thisclose to dying of thirst. You see an oasis ahead of you! Your prayers have been answered! You run, stumble, crawl to that cold, life-giving fluid as quickly as you can only for someone to yank it away and say, "Nope, sorry, not ready yet." For guys, this is pretty close to the equivalent. Especially teen guys. I'm not trying to unfairly pigeonhole anyone here, and I know there's more to teen guys than just sex. I'm merely saying it's usually a very large part of their everyday thoughts. Michael didn't force Kath to have sex with him, she did "relent", but she had wanted to relent since the beginning. When they finally had sex, it was merely because Kath didn't chicken out again. 3. "Kath made her whole life about Michael! It was stupid!" Yes, it was stupid. And again, it was purposeful. I made my entire life about a boy when I was a teenager. I'm willing to bet you did, as well. If you didn't, you're the exception, not the norm. For girls in particular, sex often fosters a fake sentiment, attaching us to our "first" like he's some sort of Greek god on whom our very existence depends. I actually witnessed this in Kath. She was enamored with Michael before they had sex, but afterwards she was almost psychotically obsessed with him. 4. "Kath said she loved Michael, but after a few weeks away from him, she just willingly gave him up." Again, you're missing a very important point. The point. That, at 17, you may not be ready for "forever". That what a teenage girl might think is an everlasting love might look different once a few other factors come into play. In the beginning, Kath and Michael were insulated from the outside world. They hadn't had to go out into it yet. When Kath did, she met someone else and realized that Michael wasn't the only person in the world she could have a relationship with. Once that sunk in, she started to wonder if she really did love him at all. Then she started to think that maybe, just maybe, it was OK to have someone for a little while, then move on with your life. This is a lesson most teenagers do eventually learn. It's not easy, but it's often necessary. 5. "Michael named his penis 'Ralph'. That is so disgusting!" Double standard much? I've seen women give their breasts and/or vaginas names and that's perfectly OK, but a guy giving his penis a name is somehow disgusting? OK, so let's say you think girls who name their body parts are disgusting, as well. To you I say ---- lighten up. Life is too short to find fault with something so completely innocuous. So he named his penis, what guy hasn't, at least jokingly, called his penis by a name? Sometimes a girlfriend names it! *Gasp* Seriously, people, if this is one of the reasons you dislike this book, I will gladly hand you two quarters; one so you can go buy yourself a clue and the other so you can hire someone to pull that rod out of your ass. Phallus naming is not new, it's not rare, and it can oftentimes be hilarious. But the thing I really don't understand is how this part of the book has come to be used as proof of how bad the book is. It's realistic. I guess if you're not a huge fan of reality, however, it could be a bit problematic. Just try and forgive Ms. Blume's audacity. 6. "The sex scenes were too descriptive, I don't want my daughters reading this trash." This is a pretty common sentiment, unfortunately. I say it's unfortunate because I believe young girls should be as informed as possible regarding sex long before they begin to seriously consider participating in it. This book is not pornographic, it's descriptive. It doesn't glorify the act of sex, it presents it in a rather realistic light. Almost painfully realistic at times. Kath expresses disappointment about her first time. She had been expecting it to be perfect. No one's first time is ever perfect. Anyone who tells you their first time was perfect is probably lying to you. It's awkward, embarrassing, and uncomfortable. Furthermore, women who refer to sex scenes as "trash" (or any other common noun expressing distaste) are usually uncomfortable with the topic in general, not just as it relates to teenagers. As a society, we've spent far too many years ashamed of our bodies and terrified of sex. There is absolutely nothing wrong with the act itself, it's merely been demonized and perverted beyond the point of recognition by insecure people. So if you don't want your children reading something like this, that's fine. Just remember how ashamed you felt the first time you ever touched a penis (or yourself) and ask yourself if those feelings of shame were at all right or justified. Why should anyone feel ashamed of sex? Only human beings could take something as wonderful and necessary as sexual intercourse and turn it into something shameful and filthy. This is not a fantasy. There aren't any sparkly metrosexual vampires guarding the heroine's virtue while simultaneously watching her sleep. This is a book about two 17-year-olds who meet, like each other, hook up, fall prey to their misguided, immature conceptions of what love is, then have to deal with what their relationship is once faced with reality. It's shallow, yes, because teens are usually pretty shallow. It's sexual, again, because teens are pretty sexual. It's also over rather quickly...like the majority of teenage relationships.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Sheri

    Judy Blume has always excelled at writing about issues that are relevant to teens. Her plainspoken characters dealing with everyday contemporary topics offer relatable reads that get right to the heart of the matter. Here she takes the reader into that first real relationship, that first love, and that first sexual experience. While some say there is no plot or character development in this novel, I find that to be Blume’s point; she perfectly illustrates the shallowness of most teen relationship Judy Blume has always excelled at writing about issues that are relevant to teens. Her plainspoken characters dealing with everyday contemporary topics offer relatable reads that get right to the heart of the matter. Here she takes the reader into that first real relationship, that first love, and that first sexual experience. While some say there is no plot or character development in this novel, I find that to be Blume’s point; she perfectly illustrates the shallowness of most teen relationships. There is no story to follow because there is no substance in the relationship. Although the carefree lovers would disagree, there isn’t depth or breadth to the relationship; you can’t get to know a person when you only explore your mutual physical interest in each other. Michael and Katherine epitomize teenage lust in all senses –physical, psychological, and emotional. I enjoyed re-reading this classic from my teen years. I suspect I am rating this higher than my younger self might have because I can see and appreciate the lessons Blume is trying to impart. I do remember enjoying it as a teen, although most likely for more immature reasons! Does it stand the test of time? Would today’s teens find relevance in the story? Yes, I think so. There are a few dated references, but I think teens (especially females) would enjoy reading this tale of first love. Hopefully they’re savvy enough to pick up Blume’s inferred lessons.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Lissa

    How depressing. Keeping in mind this book was published in the mid-70s, it's still incredibly relevant to today's society. In fact, apart from the absence of conspicuous technology like cell phones, this could have taken place in the 2000s. It's a timeless story, and the reason it's getting such a low rating from me is purely personal: Michael reminded me of the ex boyfriend who broke my heart and whom I still have nightmares about years later. A pushy sex-obsessed hormonal teenage boy who pressur How depressing. Keeping in mind this book was published in the mid-70s, it's still incredibly relevant to today's society. In fact, apart from the absence of conspicuous technology like cell phones, this could have taken place in the 2000s. It's a timeless story, and the reason it's getting such a low rating from me is purely personal: Michael reminded me of the ex boyfriend who broke my heart and whom I still have nightmares about years later. A pushy sex-obsessed hormonal teenage boy who pressures Kath into giving up her virginity under the guise of 'forever'. She clearly didn't want to sleep with him even though she was into him and he just kept pushing and pushing until she gave in. And look, I'm among the first to be critical of teenage forever love. I was burned there as well. I don't necessarily want to read a book that reminds me of the more painful emotional times in my life. I don't necessarily want to read a book that waits until marriage for the sexual relationship to begin. But I was very uncomfortable reading this when the focus was on sexual love and not the intimate emotional connection. And even when you think they're getting emotionally intimate,Kath changes her mind purely because she meets another guy while she's away at summer camp. Sure, she seems a lot like a typical teenager (and I don't mean to insult my teenage friends but you guys are hardly 'typical') and I guess that's the whole point of the book. This situation will have happened to a lot of young people and it will keep on happening to a lot of young people. And yeah, I totally hate Kath's parents. What right do they have to tell her what to do once she reaches eighteen? They sabotage her relationship and for no reason other than it's her first. They weren't even dating for that long. There was nothing about Michael they didn't like except that maybe he and Kath were sexually active. Breaking up your child's relationship just because they're sexually active isn't going to return your little girl to the untouched virgin she was. She'll just find another guy. Oh and look - Kath does. Maybe it just wasn't for me because I'm in my mid-twenties, but by my judgement I think it'd be a wonderful novel for a young teenager beginning to explore relationships and sexuality. Judy Blume certainly never shied away from the important issues and if it weren't for these uber realistic young adult novels coming out in the 70s, I don't know where we'd be now.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Suzanne

    How have I not read this sooner? I am almost 40 and only finished this today! Better late than never. I consider this book to be an education, therefore the first thing I was impressed with, with my edition being from 2005, was the author's entry at the beginning covering the absolutely essential updated requirements for safe and healthy sexual responsibility. This was an easy read, a nice coming of age story, set in the mid seventies. Our protagonist, Katherine was a very sensible 17 year old, How have I not read this sooner? I am almost 40 and only finished this today! Better late than never. I consider this book to be an education, therefore the first thing I was impressed with, with my edition being from 2005, was the author's entry at the beginning covering the absolutely essential updated requirements for safe and healthy sexual responsibility. This was an easy read, a nice coming of age story, set in the mid seventies. Our protagonist, Katherine was a very sensible 17 year old, whom I think had it quite easy as she did not fall too hard! Or perhaps my memories were a tad different?! I really liked one of her observations where she was commenting on the healthy relationships of her parents and grandparents, knowing she was privy to a good foundation in having a good example to follow with her own relationships. I adored the character of Artie. I have never read a Judy Blume novel - I know, something went wrong with that - but will absolutely read more. Perhaps this one is not quite for my 12 and 13 year old daughters just yet, I'll pass it on in another couple of years! I took this off their shelf for a change of reading material, and it was an excellent book.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Kelly (and the Book Boar)

    Find all of my reviews at: http://52bookminimum.blogspot.com/ Okay, this one DID. NOT. stand the test of time. Released in 1975, Forever … topped the Banned Books charts due to its direct approach to teenagers having sexual relationships. Sadly it did not weather well. From the abuse of ellipses (and coming from me you KNOW there were a lot, because I myself am a fan), to the terrible writing, to the leading male that would have modern-day girls declaring #metoo, to the girl who wanted “forever” Find all of my reviews at: http://52bookminimum.blogspot.com/ Okay, this one DID. NOT. stand the test of time. Released in 1975, Forever … topped the Banned Books charts due to its direct approach to teenagers having sexual relationships. Sadly it did not weather well. From the abuse of ellipses (and coming from me you KNOW there were a lot, because I myself am a fan), to the terrible writing, to the leading male that would have modern-day girls declaring #metoo, to the girl who wanted “forever” – only to want to mack on the next available dude the moment her true love was not close by, to the bizarro addition of a suicidal friend storyline – all being presented by characters with absolutely ZERO dimension. Once upon a time this was a coveted little book that many of us weren’t allowed to read – much like Flowers in the Attic. Shelby and I cracked ourselves up last night talking about how these were verboten . . . and yet we were totally stealing the ongoing saga of Lucky Santangelo off our momma’s nightstands like sneaky bastards every chance we got. Back in the day Young Kelly might have found this super smexy. Old Kelly did not and will just go back to what she’s good at . . . . Even though I failed at Forever …, this remains my favorite reading week of the entire year . . .

  12. 4 out of 5

    Tanya W

    I hardly want to admit I read this book... kind of funny that a "censored" book like this managed to make it pretty far around my 5th or 6th grade in Utah (it seems all my friends at the time had read it, were reading it, or were planning to read it). I think I actually made it about half way through the book and just didn't feel like it was something I should be reading (having a strong religious background encouraging waiting until marriage to enjoy sex). It's funny to think back on what I do I hardly want to admit I read this book... kind of funny that a "censored" book like this managed to make it pretty far around my 5th or 6th grade in Utah (it seems all my friends at the time had read it, were reading it, or were planning to read it). I think I actually made it about half way through the book and just didn't feel like it was something I should be reading (having a strong religious background encouraging waiting until marriage to enjoy sex). It's funny to think back on what I do remember about the book, and to realize that I didn't even "get" some of what was going on. I would personally not want my children to read this book, and hope they wouldn't want to read it. If my daughter was older and wanted to read it, I would explain to her that I don't think it's a book that would help her make the difficult choice to save herself for that one special person in her future who would hopefully also be saving sexual intimacy for her only. My rating is heavily influenced by my religious beliefs as a Christian, and member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I think Judy Blume is generally a talented author who really relates with youth.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Erin

    I'm sure this book was very important in its time and was the means by which many girls learned about sex. Unfortunately for Forever, I am not interested in PSA books; I prefer multidimensional characters, a plot, and emotions. Weird, huh? The lack of the aforementioned qualities is what really drove this book into 1 star territory for me, but there were a few... special qualities that dug its grave even deeper. 1. Ellipses There were so many ellipses... at the end of basically every sentence spok I'm sure this book was very important in its time and was the means by which many girls learned about sex. Unfortunately for Forever, I am not interested in PSA books; I prefer multidimensional characters, a plot, and emotions. Weird, huh? The lack of the aforementioned qualities is what really drove this book into 1 star territory for me, but there were a few... special qualities that dug its grave even deeper. 1. Ellipses There were so many ellipses... at the end of basically every sentence spoken in dialogue... probably around ten times in a row, like that's a good idea... my copy even had ellipses on the cover... It was called Forever..., not Forever. Try reading that for hundreds of pages and see if you like it. 2. Ralph Michael, the boyfriend of the story, is considerate enough to name his penis Ralph, thus ensuring that the girl (whoops, forgot her name already; this is what happens when characters lack personality) won't be frightened by it. And that I would ralph in my mouth a little bit. The worst part was when they were doing the whole long-distance thing, and Michael wrote her a letter and was all: I love you and miss you. Forever, Michael P.S. Ralph misses you too. Farewell, I'm going to run away and try to forget this book now.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Stacia (the 2010 club)

    2 stars for my own personal enjoyment of the story. It was outdated, but Judy Blume is a great storyteller. I can't really blame her too much for writing a book 30 years ago and it not feeling up to date now. 5 stars for the author telling a realistic story about a girl's first time with both falling in love and having sex. I loved that the teen boy could not make it more than a few seconds without finishing. I was nodding when the girl was disappointed with her first time. These are real things 2 stars for my own personal enjoyment of the story. It was outdated, but Judy Blume is a great storyteller. I can't really blame her too much for writing a book 30 years ago and it not feeling up to date now. 5 stars for the author telling a realistic story about a girl's first time with both falling in love and having sex. I loved that the teen boy could not make it more than a few seconds without finishing. I was nodding when the girl was disappointed with her first time. These are real things that happen. Not every experience is hearts and flowers, and the realism in this book was spot on. I would recommend this book to any young girl who really wants to know what might happen their first time. So many books are a fun fantasy, which are fine for an escape, but this one is closer to the truth - at least for the first time. The fantasy comes later *grin*.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    4 stars to Judy Blume for her fantastic portrayal of teen sexuality and relationships! It's a bit dated, yes - very 70s - but I actually loved the nostalgic vibe. It reminded me a lot of The Perks of Being a Wallflower. And to be honest, the characters in this book are the most realistic teens I've read about in YA fiction in a long time. I would have loved to get my hands on this book when I was younger. Alas, I didn't know it existed. In Forever... soon-to-be highschool graduates Katherine 4 stars to Judy Blume for her fantastic portrayal of teen sexuality and relationships! It's a bit dated, yes - very 70s - but I actually loved the nostalgic vibe. It reminded me a lot of The Perks of Being a Wallflower. And to be honest, the characters in this book are the most realistic teens I've read about in YA fiction in a long time. I would have loved to get my hands on this book when I was younger. Alas, I didn't know it existed. In Forever... soon-to-be highschool graduates Katherine and Michael meet and fall in intense, ooey-gooey, and sometimes incredibly awkward teenage love. This is one of the only times I've read a book where the insta-love was believable. I felt this stuff when I was in highschool. It's easy for teens to become obsessive and dependant on a romantic relationship when they haven't really experienced it before and therefore don't have anything to compare it with. I thought this book was really sex positive! It talks about birth control, condoms, STIs, and the importance of being able to say no. Many have said they were upset by Michael's behaviour but I think it was important to portray him in this light - teenage boys can be really pushy when it comes to sex. I certainly experienced it, and Katherine is very aware of it. I think the reader was supposed to feel uncomfortable, maybe in the hopes that they would be rooting for Katherine to stand her ground, which she does, and when she finally does have sex, she's happy with her decision. Something else a lot of people have pointed out is that the sex is gross. But, hello! They're eighteen and they're having sex for the first time - it's supposed to be gross; your first time is not a fairy-tale. I had friends who were completely gutted because their first time wasn't what they expected it to be. It's important that we teach young people that first times (and second and third times) are awkward and there shouldn't be pressure for it to be "perfect." If you ask me, a lot of this pressure comes from the idea that you're supposed to be in love with someone. To each their own, but I'm a firm believer that the time is right when you feel ready, regardless of who it's with. I really liked Katherine's parents as well. They weren't overprotective and they listened to what she had to say. They made their views known but they were incredibly patient and supportive. In the end they did make a decision for her which might have seemed unfair, but when your kid is ready to throw their future away over their highschool sweetheart, it's time to step it. What I think I loved most about this book is that nobody was slut-shamed and nobody was ridiculed for being a virgin either. Sex is such an incredibly normal part of life. As an adult in a committed relationship, I am constantly baffled by how stressed out my friends and I used to be about sex. Who was having it, who wasn't having it, how many people you'd had it with... it can be such a blow to the self-esteem when you're younger and it shouldn't be that way. Finally, the forever, of course, is not really forever. And that's okay! It's healthy and normal to have romantic relationships with different people. Overall this book is really quite sweet, and I'd be more than happy to have my future daughter read it.

  16. 5 out of 5

    RachelAnne

    A rather lackluster narrative of a teen relationship, Forever is still noteworthy for a couple of reasons: 1. It's the first-written ya book I know of where the kids fall in love, make a responsible decision to have sex and neither is killed, maimed, impregnated or emotionally scarred for life. 2. Blume depicts two teens who fall in love with one another, have a fulfilling (if somewhat blah) relationship, and fall out of love. There's no patronizing insinuation that teens are too young to be in A rather lackluster narrative of a teen relationship, Forever is still noteworthy for a couple of reasons: 1. It's the first-written ya book I know of where the kids fall in love, make a responsible decision to have sex and neither is killed, maimed, impregnated or emotionally scarred for life. 2. Blume depicts two teens who fall in love with one another, have a fulfilling (if somewhat blah) relationship, and fall out of love. There's no patronizing insinuation that teens are too young to be in love, and no insistence that love is always forever.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Latasia

    Forever By Judy Blume is another one of my favorite books. I read this book a million times, and it seems like when i read it, the story seems brand new to me. This book is about young love, something that all teens can relate to. Katherine is a young teen who is in high school. She is starting to get the experience of sex when she finds the love of her life, a boy name Michael. She doesn't want to loose her virginity for the satisfaction or curiosty, she really wants it to be right and special. Forever By Judy Blume is another one of my favorite books. I read this book a million times, and it seems like when i read it, the story seems brand new to me. This book is about young love, something that all teens can relate to. Katherine is a young teen who is in high school. She is starting to get the experience of sex when she finds the love of her life, a boy name Michael. She doesn't want to loose her virginity for the satisfaction or curiosty, she really wants it to be right and special. She wants her relationship with Michael to have emotions attached to it.Katherine learns more than just what it means to have a sexual relationship. She matures through the process, gains confidence, and discovers that when one is young, sometimes "forever" does not mean the same thing as "everlasting." This is what the book means to me. I learned alot from this book, it was something that i found very interesting. Teens deal with the curiosty of sex all the time, and they are afraid to say how and what they feel about it. Judy Blume is one of my favorite authors. I feel she knows how to address the topics or issues in which teens deal with. When this book was written, it caused alot of controversy. It was baned because, it was thought to not be appropriate for teens. The things that were being discussed in the book was in detail. I feel that teens need to read things that they can relate to because it lets them see that they aren't alone in the world, and they don't have to be afraid of what they think and feel. I would reccomend this book to young adults, and even adults. Adults think they know everything, but they need to know that everything that they experienced a long time a go isn't the same. Things have changed alot from back then, there are brand new issues everyday with teens. And this book is perfect for young adults to get a greater look in the issues that they face everyday. I guarantee that reading this book will have you speechless. You won't want to put this book down. Sex is a big topic that is always presented as bad, and adults always persuade us not to do it. As teens we are going to want to do what we want, and we are much smarter than people think. Sex isn't bad, you just need to know how to protect yourself from STD's and Pregnancy. Enjoy the book!

  18. 5 out of 5

    Manybooks

    PERSONAL MUSINGS ON A CONTROVERSIAL FAVOURITE I have many fond memories of Judy Blume's Forever. It has (ever since my first read at around age fourteen or so) been a novel to appreciate and read over and over again, especially since it is still considered so controversial that an unfortunately high number of ranting parental ignoramuses (often the puritanical religiously fanatical types) continue to desire the book to be universally banned, namely that they want not simply their own children, th PERSONAL MUSINGS ON A CONTROVERSIAL FAVOURITE I have many fond memories of Judy Blume's Forever. It has (ever since my first read at around age fourteen or so) been a novel to appreciate and read over and over again, especially since it is still considered so controversial that an unfortunately high number of ranting parental ignoramuses (often the puritanical religiously fanatical types) continue to desire the book to be universally banned, namely that they want not simply their own children, their own teenagers to NOT be allowed to read Forever, they basically strive to undemocratically and dictatorially deny ALL children, ALL young adults across the board, the basic right of freedom of choice, the freedom to read. Please bear with me if this review might not be as coherent and as "organised" as some of my other offerings (I often have issues posting about my personal favourites and with many of the latter, I actually am much happier and more comfortable presenting general musings and personal reactions). I remember first reading Forever in the early 80s when I was in junior high school (in Calgary, Alberta, to be exact). It was all the rage in my class and since many of our teachers and parents were categorically against us reading this book at school (or at all), it not only made Forever incredibly enticing, it also (of course) made us clandestinely take copies of the novel to school, not only to read on the sly so to speak, but also to allow those classmates who were not allowed to read Forever at home the chance to do so (I got my first dose of respect from my erstwhile bullying classmates when they realised that I had actually managed to entice my mother to purchase a copy of Forever for me). Now my mother thought this was simply a book about first love (and I definitely made sure not to mention in any way that Forever was considered quite massively controversial by many, both publicly and privately, because while my parents were generally not all that worried about my reading choices, as Germans of the immediately post WWII generation, they also at that time still had the unfortunate tendency to consider books deemed controversial publicly and especially by my teachers, to be at best potentially problematic). I do strongly (and with a sense of annoyance that has lasted for decades) remember how everyone (from my teachers to even many of my classmates) were constantly talking and pontificating about all of the sexuality presented and featured in Forever and especially the fact that Michael had named his phallus, almost as though the whole book, the whole novel was only, solely about sex, sex, and more sex. Well, when I finally did read the book, I honestly did not understand (and still do not really quite understand) what all of the fuss was about. Forever is most definitely NOT primarily about sex, it is about two teenagers falling in love, engaging in their first heavy duty relationship, and while sex is an important part of that relationship, it is by no means the only theme presented in the novel. In fact, I think the main points of consideration are the many interpersonal relationships, Katherine's relationship with Michael, her relationship with her friends and immediate family, and also importantly, the loving and sweetly nurturing, emotionally sustaining relationship she has with her grandparents. The silly and yes, majorly and utterly frustrating part about all these so-called do-gooders who wanted to and still often continue to want to ban and/or censor Forever, is that their rantings somehow made (and continue to make) the novel appear as though it was (it is) some pornographic trash, when it is, in fact, for the most part a tender and compassionate love story about teenage relationships, feelings, school, choices (puberty and all the ups and downs this can easily cause for both girls and boys). After perusing a number of comments from individuals and special interests groups desiring to universally and categorically ban and censor Forever (many of these comments unfortunately being nothing but rather offensive and braying tirades) one of the main points of contention on which the latter always seem to harp, is usually the possibility (and for them actually the absolute probability) that the sexuality, the sexual relationship between Katherine and Michael could (and generally would) entice especially female teenage readers into similar such relationships. But personally, I more than realised after reading Forever the first time, that my teenaged self was not in any way ready or even willing to engage in that kind of emotional, heavy and problematic sexual relationship, or any intense interpersonal non platonic relationship for that matter (even with those very few boys at school whom I found physically and emotionally attractive and interesting). The candid way Judy Blume describes the ups and downs of Katherine and Michael's relationship, the responsibility required to prevent unwanted pregnancy (condoms, but particularly how the use of birth control pills is really seen as the sole responsibility of the woman, the girl), and especially, Erica's cousin Sybil (an actual teenage pregnancy), made me totally realise that I absolutely wanted and needed to wait more than ANY sex education class, any adult preaching abstinence, any condemnation from conservative church groups ever could even remotely have achieved. Now when I was recently rereading Forever for something like the tenth time or so, I immediately noticed that while I am still absolutely loving and engaging with Katherine as a character, I do tend to find Michael (and actually many if not most of the presented teenaged male characters, including Michael's friend Artie) more than a bit lacklustre, basically stock-like, stereotypical, rather flatly conceptualised, less nuanced and developed, and thus also much less interesting and intriguing than particularly Katherine and her best friend friend Erica (even Erica's cousin Sybil appears more fleshed out, and no pun is intended here). And I am not sure if this is a relevant or even a correct (and acceptable) observation, but I have actually always had somewhat of a feeling that Judy Blume often seems to do a better job depicting, writing about female characters than male characters, that her female characters (such as Katherine, Margaret, Deenie, Rachel etc.) are on the whole more nuanced and wholly believable than the majority of her male characters. And even as much as I have always enjoyed reading about Peter Hatcher and his annoying little brother Fudge, I actually do tend to now think that Peter's nemesis Sheila Tubman is a much more interesting, more nuanced, albeit I agree, massively and painfully annoying and infuriating character. In Forever, both Michael and by extension his often depressed and lonely friend Artie are not nearly as complex and interestingly depicted, presented as Katherine, Erica, and even Katherine's kid sister Jamie. And then, when a basically stock character like Artie is described as having tried to commit suicide, you end up with a bit of a potential problem. Artie is simply not developed enough as a character; there is not enough to him (and not enough of a backstory), and the suicide attempt thus has the unfortunate tendency to feel a bit as being at least somewhat a tacked-on afterthought (which I actually find more potentially problematic and unnerving in and of itself than ANY of the scenarios dealing with sexuality and love making). My original copy of Forver was a white paperback with a girl's picture encased in a simple locket as its front cover (unfortunately it fell apart due to multiple rereadings). In the more recent, more modern version I have now (and am reviewing) one can see that the cover image has two sets of legs on a bed (Katherine's and Michael's, I assume). Personally, I find this particular cover rather, no actually very much unfortunate and problematic, as it strengthens the presumption that the whole plotline of Forever is about what goes on in the bedroom, that the whole novel is about sex, when it so clearly is not (it is about Michael and Katherine falling in love, and later out of love, and sexuality is simply part of that equation). With regard to the general themes and issues presented, I tend to actually think that Katherine and Michael for the most part have a much healthier relationship than what is depicted in many more recent YA novels, certainly a lot healthier and normal than many of the rather shallow romances featured in series like Sweet Valley High and especially (and creepily) Twilight. They are perhaps a little too much into each other, but that is not abnormal and actually rather common in teenage romances. Neither Michael nor Katherine are (and fortunately) depicted as being either paragons of depravity or paragons of virtue; they are just a pretty standard teenage couple experiencing their first heavy duty relationship (I think Michael is perhaps a bit more emotionally immature, as well as a bit more sexually experienced than Katherine, but that is rather standard as well, unfortunately). Katherine and Michael thus (at least in my opinion) certainly do not have an inherently unhealthy relationship; they have a relatively standard and normal teenage romance type of relationship, a love that in the end proves not to be as long-lasting, as forever as both protagonists originally and fondly thought and hoped. Frankly, I am (personally) unfailingly glad that Judy Blume has written Forever realistically, that she has not attempted to make either Katherine or Michael into some kind of teenage role models. Sometimes you just want to (and need to) read a realistic story, a story that also does not shy away from showing the ups and downs, the problems and joys of being a teenager and experiencing love, lust and hormones. And this was (indeed) one of the main reasons I enjoyed Forever so much as a teenager (it told an interesting and engaging story, spoke realistically to me, and covered areas and issues about which I would have felt massively weird and uncomfortable approaching and asking my parents, areas and issues that my parents also likely would not have enjoyed discussing with me either). And I would like to just again reiterate the following. While I consider Forever a wonderful and in many ways even important novel, I do recognise the fact that it is controversial and that many actually despise the book and consider it anathema. But while I can both understand and even albeit a bit grudgingly appreciate this, I can NOT and will NOT accept in any manner, in any way, those individuals, those so-called special interest groups who (that) have over the years challenged the novel and attempted to have it banned, have it removed from library shelves and so on and so on. Everyone has different tastes, and everyone also has different levels of comfort, of what he or she can handle, can accept in a book (and elsewhere). However, while a parent, while anyone might indeed have the right to monitor and even restrict his or her own child's reading choices, he or she does NOT or rather should NOT have the right (or even the presented opportunity) to impose this on others (book censorship, book banning, these are simply and profoundly dictatorial, and those who attempt to get books banned and censored are basically and for all intents and purposes undemocratic, Fascist, Stalinist, you name it). Frankly, those who want to have Forever censored or banned are a collective and dangerously ignorant threat (and they are basically profoundly and dangerously undemocratic in every way).

  19. 5 out of 5

    Erin ☕ *Proud Book Hoarder*

    Wow, finally a book by Blume I didn't enjoy or think was well done. This is a famous piece of hers because of the controversy of underage sex during dating. It has been frequently banned. It's one that has eluded my collection for years and once I finally found it, read it quickly but was left disappointed. Blume is usually pro at weaving realistic situations, writing emotional depth convincingly, and propelling average stories forever with oomph, but here it all fell short. It felt too forced, a Wow, finally a book by Blume I didn't enjoy or think was well done. This is a famous piece of hers because of the controversy of underage sex during dating. It has been frequently banned. It's one that has eluded my collection for years and once I finally found it, read it quickly but was left disappointed. Blume is usually pro at weaving realistic situations, writing emotional depth convincingly, and propelling average stories forever with oomph, but here it all fell short. It felt too forced, as if it was something she was trying to write about but missed the mark on. Despite the heavy subject matter, the language was too simplistic and empty for what it accomplished, unconvincing. In times past this was an important, controversial book. Sex among teens in books now isn't as taboo and the world is more jaded. Back then a lot of kids needed a respectful fiction source to go to about sex, experiences, and questions. This did fill that purpose then, even if I still think the writing was lackluster and didn't enjoy the characterization/events. Love was supposed to be the driving factor, but the relationship seemed stale, forced, and not realistic to how seventeen year olds feel. Some of the dialogue was cheesy and almost like reading a guide. The ending left a bad taste in my mouth. It was predictable - realistic even - but it felt out there without any substance and irked me emotionally. Kathy's parents were particularly obnoxious and I would have rebelled at that age with the kind of control they were trying to exert. So, an important book for its time and while the theme hasn't diminished, I don't think the writing was stellar nor the protagonist realistic.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Briynne

    Nope. Didn't like this one either. Another YA Lit book read for class. I guess I didn't like it for two main reasons. First, the boyfriend is a completely flat character; from what the author shows/tells you of him (which is pretty much nothing save a bit of whining) you really can't figure out what all the fuss is about. I felt more toward Theo in the ten or so pages devoted to him than I did for whats-his-name (I literally can't remember even though I read it yesterday, so I guess that helps p Nope. Didn't like this one either. Another YA Lit book read for class. I guess I didn't like it for two main reasons. First, the boyfriend is a completely flat character; from what the author shows/tells you of him (which is pretty much nothing save a bit of whining) you really can't figure out what all the fuss is about. I felt more toward Theo in the ten or so pages devoted to him than I did for whats-his-name (I literally can't remember even though I read it yesterday, so I guess that helps prove my point) who starred in the entire book. Secondly, it was predictable. I mean really, really predictable. Maybe if, for even a short, fleeting moment I had thought that maybe those two crazy kids would survive seven whole weeks apart, I would have had some emotional investment. But, as it was terribly obvious they would not and that her parents would be right/there would be some teary breakup scene, I felt more like "well, yeah" than "oh no! what a terrible thing for her" when it did. Kinda boring and a little too movie-of-the-week. Oh - and my third rant: the heroine of the story seems just about as dumb as a post.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Cora ☕ Tea Party Princess

    5 Words: Sex, sex, sex, sex, sex. Seriously, that's all this book seemed to be about. Sex. I've read New Adult with much less sex and we all know what that genre can be like. I didn't connect with the characters, I couldn't really relate to them much. I think it had to do with how sex-obsessed they were. I don't feel I can write a full review for this, it didn't really leave me feeling anything at all. All I really did while reading it was roll my eyes.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Peachy

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Judy Blume brings nothing but fond memories when I think back to reading Are You There God, Its Me Margaret, or Blubber. I know I’m not alone when I credit her for keeping reading interesting at nine years old. It turns out I missed another of her books that she wrote in the ‘seventies, that was targeted at an older audience. The main character is seventeen, so I can only assume that is was aimed at older teens … I hope so anyway. Of course the book I’m referring to is Forever, a story of first Judy Blume brings nothing but fond memories when I think back to reading Are You There God, Its Me Margaret, or Blubber. I know I’m not alone when I credit her for keeping reading interesting at nine years old. It turns out I missed another of her books that she wrote in the ‘seventies, that was targeted at an older audience. The main character is seventeen, so I can only assume that is was aimed at older teens … I hope so anyway. Of course the book I’m referring to is Forever, a story of first love and consequently, teenage sex. Now, granted, safe sex and protection is a main theme of the book, and whether it is slightly outdated or not, it still feels like an after school special. However, I was rather confused with this books ultimate agenda, because even though the content is extremely graphic and comes off as a soft porn, how-to guide for sex, the basic writing style and lack of intellectual prose makes it appear to be aimed at a younger audience of possibly thirteen or fourteen. Now I may be old fashioned, but I certainly don’t want my thirteen year old reading a manual on how to give it up to her teenage boyfriend because she thinks she’s in love. Although, my thirteen year old won’t have that opportunity, I’m sure there are plenty out there that will, and I think this story is far too laissez-faire with its message. I can completely understand why this book was banned by many, especially in the time period that it was written. If the intended messages were about being responsible, and not throwing your dreams away by getting too serious too quickly, I think they could have been portrayed in a much more tactful way. www.booksnakereviews.blogspot.com

  23. 5 out of 5

    Tatiana

    This book was recommended to me and therefore I was very surprised that it wasn't very good. I don't care about the explicit nature of it. In fact, sex scenes were the only ones that kept me remotely interested in the story. Book just wasn't written that well. Language was overly simplistic, there was no depth to the story. Even at 17 there is more to a teenager's emotions than: I like the guy, he is nice, I want to have sex with him, I love him, etc. Plus, the relationship described fell flat, This book was recommended to me and therefore I was very surprised that it wasn't very good. I don't care about the explicit nature of it. In fact, sex scenes were the only ones that kept me remotely interested in the story. Book just wasn't written that well. Language was overly simplistic, there was no depth to the story. Even at 17 there is more to a teenager's emotions than: I like the guy, he is nice, I want to have sex with him, I love him, etc. Plus, the relationship described fell flat, too. There was nothing to it, no love, no infatuation, just sex.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Stacey (prettybooks)

    This post is part of the 2015 Classics Challenge. WHEN I Discovered This Classic I first read Judy Blume's Summer Sisters in late 2013 and, after falling in love with it, I bought her earlier novels for pre-teens and teenagers, Are You There God? It's Me Margaret and Forever. WHY I Chose to Read It I wanted to delve into another Judy Blume because it had been nearly a year since I read Margaret. She was also visiting the country the same month, as part of her tour to promote her latest adult no This post is part of the 2015 Classics Challenge. WHEN I Discovered This Classic I first read Judy Blume's Summer Sisters in late 2013 and, after falling in love with it, I bought her earlier novels for pre-teens and teenagers, Are You There God? It's Me Margaret and Forever. WHY I Chose to Read It I wanted to delve into another Judy Blume because it had been nearly a year since I read Margaret. She was also visiting the country the same month, as part of her tour to promote her latest adult novel, In the Unlikely Event. I was lucky to see her at both Waterstones Piccadilly and YALC (Young Adult Literature Convention). WHAT Makes It A Classic We have more young adult contemporary romance available to us than we could ever read, but in the 1970s, that wasn't the case. In the late 90s and early 2000s, even though the term 'young adult' was new, I was lucky to grow up with a lot of books aimed at older children and teenagers, but I can see why Forever was ground-breaking for a lot of people. Forever was a book that talked about falling in love, having sex for the first time and experiencing heartbreak in a way that teenagers in the 60s-80s had never known – and it still remains significant to people who read it as young teenagers. It tackles homosexuality, depression, contraception and break-ups. But have we moved on? Only a little. We have plenty of romance, but sex is often fade-to-black. Forever is still one of the most explicit stories about teenage sexuality... and it's really not that explicit! WHAT I Thought of This Classic I enjoyed all three Judy Blume novels that I've read so far, but Summer Sisters is my favourite, followed by Margaret. I appreciate the significance of Forever and how important was – and still is – to show that a teenage girl can have sex (and enjoy having sex!) and she doesn't become pregnant, get an STD, or is judged by her friends and family... but I like a bit more to my fictional relationships, too. I love the friendship between Anna and Étienne in Anna and the French Kiss and the slightly-awkward-but-still-kind-of-cute banter between Hannah and Sam in Lobsters . And, well, Michael is certainly no Étienne St. Clair. While Katherine is thoughtful, considered and mature, Michael thinks of nothing else but sex – and the way he treated Katherine didn't always sit well with me. One thing is for sure: I'll never be able to take anyone called Ralph seriously ever again. In the Unlikely Event will be my next Judy Blume and then I'll need another... perhaps Tiger Eyes ? WILL It Stay A Classic Judy Blume's Forever offered something completely new and honest for teenagers in the 1970s – a sincere look at love and sexuality. But now we have a wealth of wonderful young adult fiction, so will we need to turn to Forever in another 40 years? WHO I’d Recommend It To People who love YA contemporary romance. People who grew up in the 70s and 80s. People who have never read Judy Blume! I also reviewed this book over on Pretty Books.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Amanda

    What I learned: If you are going to have sex, use birth control. Your first love, no matter how passionate, probably isn't your true love. I remember this one with fondness because there were about three copies going around when I was in 7th grade. We read it, passed in on to the next girl, who in turn passed it on. Every 12-13 year old girl in my class read it sometime that year and it was something we all had in common. I suppose, now that I think about it, the reason we shared the books is th What I learned: If you are going to have sex, use birth control. Your first love, no matter how passionate, probably isn't your true love. I remember this one with fondness because there were about three copies going around when I was in 7th grade. We read it, passed in on to the next girl, who in turn passed it on. Every 12-13 year old girl in my class read it sometime that year and it was something we all had in common. I suppose, now that I think about it, the reason we shared the books is that many of us, growing up the conservative Bible-Belt South of my childhood, were afraid to ask our parents to buy us a book in which a teenager had s-e-x. We were all desperately curious about it and wanted to learn something, anything, about why you might want to have sex, what it would be like, could you 'do it' and still be a good person? Thank you Judy Blume, for this book.

  26. 4 out of 5

    kari

    Forever was considered quite the shocker in it's day and I'd say it's still fairly graphic for a YA book, but teenagers sex lives aren't quite the taboo subject that it was once upon a time. Kath meets Michael and feels an almost immediate connection with him, leading within several weeks to their first time together which is more that a bit of a disappointment for her. The descrptions of their fumbling attempts are very believable. The thing that makes this less stars than it otherwise would is Forever was considered quite the shocker in it's day and I'd say it's still fairly graphic for a YA book, but teenagers sex lives aren't quite the taboo subject that it was once upon a time. Kath meets Michael and feels an almost immediate connection with him, leading within several weeks to their first time together which is more that a bit of a disappointment for her. The descrptions of their fumbling attempts are very believable. The thing that makes this less stars than it otherwise would is that the relationship seems to center on that and nothing more. We don't really get any idea of what, other than sex, that these two do together or, in fact, have in common. I wasn't really sure at the end whether or not I really liked either of the main characters. Kath, at the end, seems somewhat ho-hum, oh well, about a relationship that she imagined would be forever. She simply moves on to the next guy with barely a backward glance. Michael seems more angry or heartbroken, depending on how you look at it, but I still liked him more that her. The other characters and friends, were able to give some glimpses into what happens to teenagers who aren't careful(pregnancy), who are confused about their sexual orientation, or want sex just to say they've done it. The book did try to give several different viewpoints on teenage sexuality. A quick read. Just wanted to add that this book is STILL being challenged by parents for it's content. Ready Judy Blume's blog. If you don't want your own child to read it, that's fine, but you shouldn't try to ban it and keep other people's children from reading it or discussing it with their parents, etc. Stepping back down off my soapbox.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Vanessa

    Category is: Re-read review extravaganza Julie and I have done a few trashy buddy reads now, and thus far the results have been grim (*cough cough* Flowers in the Attic, *throws up in mouth a little* Fear of Flying.) This book (which is NOT trashy; sorry to drag you into our degeneracy, Judy) more or less held up though. Rather than recycle my original review below, here are some random, additional thoughts: • I was surprised at how affecting I still found this story despite dialogue like this: As Category is: Re-read review extravaganza Julie and I have done a few trashy buddy reads now, and thus far the results have been grim (*cough cough* Flowers in the Attic, *throws up in mouth a little* Fear of Flying.) This book (which is NOT trashy; sorry to drag you into our degeneracy, Judy) more or less held up though. Rather than recycle my original review below, here are some random, additional thoughts: • I was surprised at how affecting I still found this story despite dialogue like this: As soon as we were outside and away from the house we kissed. "I had to get out of there," Michael told me. "All I could think about was being alone with you." "I know," I said, "...same here." We held hands as we walked. "I've never seen so many stars," I said. "That's because it's so dark and clear...no city lights, no traffic, no pollution..." "I love to look at stars." "I love to look at you." "Oh, Michael...come on..." When you are young and in love, who needs snappy dialogue I guess. Juno this ain't. • Despite being written in 1975, which seems unbelievable, it otherwise feels very modern other than small, obvious things like the lack of omnipresent cell phones. • Katherine's trip to Planned Parenthood is at first look a bit pedantic and literal, but I reminded myself it's not written for adults. It's written for teenage girls, and is thus timelessly useful. Reading this book demystifies the experience and lets girls know they can go to PP without having their parents called, being slut shamed, or getting their eggs stolen and sold to Scrambler Marie's, or whatever the right wing conspiracy theory du jour is now. • In my adult perspective, I can't tell if Michael is written as a teenage boy who can't express himself yet, or Katherine is just a lot smarter than he is. Their relationship has sweet moments, but reading it at 49 versus 16 I completely understand why her parents thought it wouldn't last. I feel like this may kick off a Judy Blume re-reading binge. *********************************************** Original review: I still have mad affection for this book although I suspect I've wildly overrated it due to my fond memories of passing it back and forth in gym class many years ago. Alas, I loaned it to my cousin Karen in the 9th grade only to have her mother discover it and demand to know where it came from ("Nessa" Karen replied. Needless to say, I never got that book back. And evidently I am still bitter.) This isn't Blume's best book and certainly will be a shock to those expecting something along the lines of "Superfudge." But it is a sweet and unblinkingly rendered story of teen love and, yes, sexuality. A few parts of the book are admittedly silly-I've never met a man who introduced his privates to me by name, thankfully-the trajectory of Katherine and Michael's relationship is rendered with painful honesty. Blume's ability to get in the head of her young characters without condescension is what makes her so exceptional. I say without irony that I love you Judy Blume, wherever you are.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Sabrina

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. This book is about a girl named Katherine who meets a boy in a party named Michael. They were about to be separated after the summer because Michael had to go off to college. But Katherine’s parents disapproved her going out with Michael. They planned a summer camp for her so she wouldn’t be able to get in touch with him. But they still had letter going in and out every day. But, while she was at camp, she met a guy named Theo. At one pointing camp, she kissed Theo, and could never forget that m This book is about a girl named Katherine who meets a boy in a party named Michael. They were about to be separated after the summer because Michael had to go off to college. But Katherine’s parents disapproved her going out with Michael. They planned a summer camp for her so she wouldn’t be able to get in touch with him. But they still had letter going in and out every day. But, while she was at camp, she met a guy named Theo. At one pointing camp, she kissed Theo, and could never forget that moment. She forced herself to let the moment with Theo out of her mind, but it wouldn’t. Suddenly, one day at camp, Michael came to her to visit her because he missed her so much. They went out for dinner and then brought her over to his motel. He was trying to have sex with her, but she wouldn’t let her. After she told him to stop, he got mad and broke up with her. She wanted to say sorry but knew that, that was that. I liked the way Judy Blume wrote a book to girls to teach them about safe sex. What better way to inform young innocent girls then write it into a story they can learn from. Judy Blume wrote the book so the reader could know what every girl might think about when it comes to relationship and having sex with your partner.

  29. 5 out of 5

    David

    "No 'Forever' by Judy Blume!" The county's mobile library came to my middle school and some kids were invited to choose books to supplement the stock at our own library. The English teacher, who had quite a froggy voice, stood at the door saying "No 'Forever' by Judy Blume!" Looking back, why didn't she just find it for herself and hide it somewhere? Gemma had her own copy and all the cool kids borrowed it. They said that it fell open at the sex scenes. I remember being told by one of the cool kids "No 'Forever' by Judy Blume!" The county's mobile library came to my middle school and some kids were invited to choose books to supplement the stock at our own library. The English teacher, who had quite a froggy voice, stood at the door saying "No 'Forever' by Judy Blume!" Looking back, why didn't she just find it for herself and hide it somewhere? Gemma had her own copy and all the cool kids borrowed it. They said that it fell open at the sex scenes. I remember being told by one of the cool kids that the boy calls his penis "Ralph". But then a mum was shocked to find her son reading it, and he confessed that it was Gemma's. The mum rang Gemma's parents to register her disapproval. It's like a scene from a Judy Blume story, isn't it? Not being cool, I didn't get to read it until just now. It was with "The Art of Fielding" in the "2 for a £1" bin at a local charity shop.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Elisabeth

    Ok, so for ages I had heard there was a Judy Blume book in which a boy has a penis called Ralph, but I didn't know the title. After never stumbling across it, I sorta forget and considered it an urban legend or something - until one glorious day. I picked up Forever at an op shop in Orewa, and was reading it on the bus home when I read "Katherine, I'd like you to meet someone. This is Ralph", or whatever the line is. I was so excited I gasped and tore the book in half (the spine was really britt Ok, so for ages I had heard there was a Judy Blume book in which a boy has a penis called Ralph, but I didn't know the title. After never stumbling across it, I sorta forget and considered it an urban legend or something - until one glorious day. I picked up Forever at an op shop in Orewa, and was reading it on the bus home when I read "Katherine, I'd like you to meet someone. This is Ralph", or whatever the line is. I was so excited I gasped and tore the book in half (the spine was really brittle)! I wish I had found it when I was 12. I would've been obsessed with the dirty bits.

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