Book Review: The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen

Sixteen-year-old Macy Queen is looking forward to a long, boring summer. Her boyfriend is going away. She's stuck with a dull-as-dishwater job at the library. And she'll spend all of her free time studying for the SATs or grieving silently with her mother over her father's recent unexpected death. But everything changes when Macy is corralled into helping out at one of her mother's open house events, and she meets the chaotic Wish Catering crew. Before long, Macy joins the Wish team. She loves everything about the work and the people. But the best thing about Wish is Wes—artistic, insightful, and understanding Wes—who gets Macy to look at life in a whole new way, and really start living it.

Release Date: May 11, 2004
Age Group: Young Adult
Publisher: Puffin
Source: Purchased

I've heard so many good things about Sarah Dessen and knew that I had to try her, especially since I am liking contemporary YA lately.  And I'm happy to report that I now understand what all the hype is about.  I really liked The Truth About Forever, and will definitely be reading more by Dessen in the future.

Macy's father died unexpectedly, and she and her mother are left picking up the pieces.  Macy's mom throws herself into her work and Macy pushes her grief down and tries to become perfect.  A perfect daughter, a perfect student, a perfect employee, and a perfect girlfriend (to the always-perfect Jason).  But all that perfection does is cover Macy's crushing grief over her father's death and she's left feeling like she can't tell anyone how she really feels without upsetting them.  She's relegated to a "fine, just fine" type of exsistence.  Everything changes, though, when Macy starts working with Wish Catering.  The employees there are different from anyone she's ever met, and Macy's perfect world is affected by the chaos surrounding the Wish team. 

I liked Macy right away and I fell for Wes as soon as he showed up.  I loved watching their relationship develop.  I liked the secondary characters as well, especially Delia and Kristy.  Dessen does a great job with character growth and weaves the individual characters' stories together so well that it all makes sense as a whole.

My one complaint, and this is kind of a big one, is that the story felt slow for the first half of the book.  To be fair, it took me about three weeks to read this book because for the first half of the book I could only read a few pages a night.  My "night-stand books" are always slow going for me, because I'm so tired from work and taking care of the baby (and now packing---we're moving soon) that I fall asleep just about as soon as I sit down to read at night.  But, once I got to the half-way point of the book, I had to make time to finish it during the day because I just couldn't wait to find out what would happen and if Wes and Macy ever got together. 

I was totally satisfied with the ending.  I was so happy to get a concrete ending in a stand-alone book where I don't have to wait for years to find out how the story ends!  It made me so happy that I have decided to make a point to read more stand-alone books.  Overall, The Truth About Forever was a really good read, and I'll definitely be reading more from Sarah Dessen.


  1. My favorite book of all time! This book is just, ah! I love it. You did a great review on it. Sarah Dessen is great with giving solid endings but also she gives little hints about the characters in later books. If you pay close attention you will see characters you recognize from previous books. Such as in Just Listen the two main characters go to World of Waffles and they mention seeing a couple wearing running clothes and being able to see a hint of a tattoo on the guy's arm. Hello, Macy and Wes. I love how she does that in her books. I just finished rereading a few of her books and I love them just as much now as I did the first time. I hope you do get the chance to read more of her books and I look forward to reading your reviews of them.

  2. I'm always hearing how great her books are, but my TBR pile is huge. Then I saw a movie based on a couple of the books, and decided to dive in. I haven't got to this one yet, but after reading your review, I think it's next!

  3. I've been a Dessen fan for a long time now, and I have to say that The Truth About Forever is definitely my favorite. In honest truth, yes, Sarah's books are all pretty slow, but I end up loving them anyway (except for Dreamland. I could not stand Dreamland). What YA Book Lover says is very true. Sarah Dessen is a fun author in the way that she puts her previous characters/items in her newer novels, such as Scarlett (from Someone Like You), World of Waffles (this book!), or the key necklaces (Lock and Key). It's really fun to catch them! Also, most books are set in the same city or around the same city. I hope you enjoy more Dessen books in the future!! :)

  4. I just finished her book Along for the Ride and felt the same way about the first part of the book as you did on your read. I am going to give Dessen another try, though.

    My Head is Full of Books

  5. So far I've loved the books I've read by Sarah Dessen, but I haven't read this title yet. Many people claim this as her best. Glad you enjoyed it and I do hope you try another one. I would suggest "Along for the Ride".

  6. Despite the slow start, I think the romance sounds so swoony!

    Good luck with you move. :)

  7. This book was so great! I love how Dessen keeps the book interesting with a events that are realistic. I like how she puts detail into the story but not too much as to where you lose interest. I also love the way the relationship between Wes and Macy slowly comes together! The difficulty
    that Macy has communicating with her mother represents a struggle that many teens feel. This book has a great message, dont't be who others want you to be, stay true to yourself and things will fall into place.


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