As a teenager I was a big fan of Judy Blume. I devoured Are you There God? It’s Me Margaret and felt like she was writing just for me. Somehow I never read Forever until now. I actually picked up the book for a college course I’m taking on Banned Books and Censorship. Our first unit is on Young Adult literature and Forever was on the reading list. Since I enjoyed Blume’s work as a teen I thought I’d enjoy Forever as well.
Forever is the story of young love between Katherine and Michael. Seniors in high school, they meet and cannot get enough of each other. As young relationships are wont to do, they get very serious about one another very quickly and their relationship becomes more physical in nature. The book follows their young relationship and blooming sexuality in a very real way.
I loved that the book had a very realistic teen voice, even when discussing adult matters of sexuality. Reading about sex from the viewpoint of teens is very different than reading about it in an adult novel, and Judy Blume nails the voice. I felt Katherine’s confusion as she grows more attached to Michael and felt her pain when they are separated. I think every girl has had a high school love that she couldn’t image being separated from.
I won’t spoil the ending for you, but I will say that this is a wonderful book. It is well written and fast paced and brings me right back to high school. All the feelings of young lover come rushing back when I read this book. I love Blume’s straightforward style and the fact that nothing is sugar coated. even the relationship between Katherine and her parents is realistic and open.
From the standpoint of my banned books class, I can see now why Forever might be considered inappropriate to some schools. There are some very vivid sexual scenes in the book that might frighten a parent. I personally don’t think that books of any sort should be banned, and Forever isn’t presenting any material that high school students aren’t talking about or experiencing on their own, but parents and schools might be wary of putting those ideas into the minds of students who aren’t already exposed to them.
If you’ve never read Judy Blume, you simply have to read Are You There God? It’s Me Margaret, and then move right on to Forever.