Forever - Judy Blume

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.
It was a book ahead of its time - and remains, after thirty years in print, a teenage best-seller. America's No. 1 children's author has written some of the best books of our time about real-life issues - family stress and pressures, what happens when your parents divorce, the problems of growing up and sexual awakening, bereavement - with insight, sensitivity and honesty.
The response of readers all around the world continues to make her one of the best-loved writers ever published

 

While I had high expectations for my first Judy Blume, I found that this felt juvenile and almost as if it was supposed to send a message. I'm not sure if it's because I was reading this forty years after publication, but I didn't really appreciate this.

 

This whole book was about a relationship. The whole book. There was barely any subplots, just talk about Kath and Michael and Michael and Kath. I love my romances and I love my YA romances especially, but there needs to be more than what was here.

 

I did appreciate that Blume confronted the sex topic, especially for the time, but it took over a lot of the book despite barely being a conflict. Michael was a good guy and didn't pressure Kath, so I don't see why it was such a big issue.

 

The most interesting side note was Artie, whose mental health was questionable and who had an intriguing relationship with Kath's best friend, Erica. Also, Sybil was an interesting character, getting into top universities yet getting pregnant. I thought these two had a lot more depth to them than Kath and Michael, honestly.

 

Also, maybe this is a stylistic thing of the time period, but the amount of ellipses used in this book drove me up the wall. They start in the title and they never end. Additionally, Ralph was just weird.

 

At the end, it felt like Kath's parents won and got their 'I told you so' moment, and the whole book was just proving their point. I felt like, as a young adult, that I was being a little bit patronized.

 

Maybe I'll give another Blume book a shot since I had heard such great things, but this wasn't my style.