on 28 March 2010
I am now 36 but still remember reading this when I was 15-6, yes there was a furore about it, none of my friends were allowed to read it. My mum was so cool, I was allowed to borrow it from the library and I still consider it a seminal text of my youth. It isnt up there with Dickens, it is not a work of massive literary content, but it is a work that is accessible by teenagers, spoken in a language that they understand about something that is scary at that age. Times have changed massively in the last 15-20 years, what was scary and unknown to me at 15 then, is not now but I believe this is timeless. I would still recommend it to teenage girls. And I recommend it to Mums that are a little nervous to get it for their teenage girls... you never want them to do it.. this will make it safer and easier.
When I first read this book it was controversial as it was a book for teenage girls that described sex explicitly and from the perspectives of a teenage girl and boy experiencing their first sexual relationship. At the time I was going through the same experiences as a teenager and really valued the book as something to relate to. It sympathises with teenagers when they really feel they have found "the one" and how this feels for the first time. It deals with issues of peer pressure, virginity and STI's and I think every teenager should read it. Great for parents to give to their teenage daughter to avoid embarrassing talks! It's also a really good story and guaranteed to make you cry at the end! We've all been where Katherine has! Heading for 22 now I really look back and value this book!
on 8 November 2000
This is one of the best books i have ever read, and one i shall probably read again. Gives an interesting insight into a youngsters life and the discovery of the opposite sex. Beautifully writen and with a brilliant story line. If you only read 1 book this year make sure it's this one.
on 4 November 2011
What can I say about this book... firstly, it is the best growing up book I have read, and secondly Judy Blume has captured the process of growing up extremely well.
Forever is about first love, first sex and first heartbreak, and I believe that Blume has portrayed this effectively by the way she has described what is involved in first love relationships. This book is aimed at teenage girls who will be going through the same steps of growing up, so Katherine, the main character, is leading the way and showing that everyone goes through the same thing. Blume has portrayed Katherine's worries and feeling about the subject of sex, which will help other girls to think about what they want for the future. Throughout the book we also read about other girls and their own experiences on sex which Blume will have added so that the reader learns of what happens when you take different steps of action through sex.
However to be honest, I did think that throughout the book it kept skipping parts, for example it was talking about one day, then the next sentence it was talking about a few days later. But this could be seen as effective because Blume wanted to get across the facts of relationships, so she may have felt that skipping parts and moving straight on to the relationship parts of the story would help people keep in their minds what the story is portraying.
When it was first published there was a debate about whether it was suitable for teenage girls, because of its sexual content. However, in my opinion this book is most definitely suitable because teenage girls need to learn of risks of sex (pregnancy, STIs), and this book includes all the steps to take for when you first start having sex. If you ask yourself a question, whom do girls go to for help and advice? The answer may very well be family or doctors/family planning clinic, but some girls don't have the confidence to speak about their worries. Therefore this book will give them all the information about sex, without having to speak out about it. It may well contain graphic scenes, but that's the whole part about growing up and learning.
The fact that this book has been in print for so long is perhaps a testament to Judy Blume and her talents as a writer for younger people. Although I am now in my late twenties, I remember being at school and hearing about this book from a friend of mine, who said that I must read it (mainly for the sex)!
I suppose, considering who the audience is for this piece of work, the fact that titillation shall perhaps be the main reason for picking it up is to be expected - teenagers are always going to remain curious, and so they should. Yet, considering that all those years have passed, but teenagers of today are still choosing this book, shows that perhaps there is more than just sexy writing within this piece of literature for young adults.
For myself, the honesty that Blume exhibited within her writing was the reason I read the whole book, not just the juicy bits. At that time of life, when you are eager to learn about love and the sexual side of relationships, for someone to have the guts to give you an honest insight into what that might mean for a relationship, is a very empowering thing. But it is interesting that, although I tried reading other pieces by Blume, no other book by her managed to hold my attention!
While I am sure that young girls shall remain to turn to this book in order to read about sex, I hope that they also consider the wider message that the book tries to put across - that 'forever' at such a tender age is such a long time, and that people can change, their hearts can change, but that this is all part of love sometimes too.
on 8 April 2002
Love, sex, pregnancy, alcohol, drugs. This book should be called 'The answers for every teenager'. I first got hold of a copy of 'Forever' when I was 13. The pages were worn and some falling out from the many teenagers hands through which it had past. The original owner was long gone! 'Forever' was my first experience of sex. Its a love story, but what makes this book so popular is the way Judy Blume peeled back the skin of sex and wrote it how it is. Surprises, experiences, are all put into the written word - so real!! I recommend any teenager picks this up - Your Mum and Dad wouldn't tell it this well!
on 10 January 2007
To begin with, I would have to take issue with a previous reviewer's comment that from the first paragraph, this book is "dirty".
If anyone here is looking for a "dirty" book, I suggest you buy a Mills & Boon. The sex scenes in "Forever" are explicit, certainly, but are the least erotic scenes I have ever read. I'm not a fan of excessive bodice-ripper language but this book made sex sound like having an enema.
On the other hand, if you're looking for a book that might help a teenager understand the emotional aspects of a sexual relationship, Judy Blume knows what she's doing (although I have never liked the way no-one ever finishes a sentence... they just all trail off like this...) The story takes a very realistic route, considering the almost oppressive intensity of the relationship and the constant insistence on "forever" at such a young age.
This is a worthy book for a teen. But the stigma of being a "dirty book" is one that should never be applied to it.
on 6 August 2008
I actualy love this book, even thought its over 30 years since its been writen, the issues in the book havn't chanaged. I can completely relate to what Kath goes through.
I so wanted it to work out between them, and it all be okay, but thats not how real life works, and its not how the book is.
But, saying that , its not like the book had one of them horrible soppy ending , its just how real life is.
A definite read for anyone 12 upwards, and i only say 12 upwards because some of the scenes in the book are a little explicit.
A timeless book, well wortth reading.
on 6 October 2001
i'm not speechless because it was a fantastic book, in fact, as most of Judy Blume's books are, it was easy to read, written in a simple, easy and fairly patronising way. What i like was the fact that Judy Blume wasn't scared to really describe sex. Many adults and teenagers feel embarrassed about this subject and i think that its good that there is a book out there telling the complete and utter truth.
This book handled many subjects that are still confusing for teenagers today even though it was written 25 years ago. The obvious subject was love and relationships, but also, drugs, alcohol, pregnancy, contraception, sex, friendship and depression.
This book is about Michael and Katherine falling in love, they take their love to the furthest level and then they are forced to spend a summer apart..........
This book does not end how you want it to do, but very realistcally.
Worth a read.
on 11 July 2006
I first read this book when I was 15 in Mrs Price's Home Economics lesson! By that time 40% of my class had read the book, by the end of the school year about 75% of our year had read the book. It is a fantastic book for girls of that age, when forever really does seem like it means forever! It's a great coming of age book and after 2 years of hunting for it (it has such a simple title but I couldn't remember it!) it really was worth the wait....even now I'm 23!! A book you could read over and over again and reminice about with your friends as they all should read it!