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Forever . . .
(original 1975; edition 2007)
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"Going all the way" is still a taboo subject in young
adult literature. Judy Blume was the first author to write candidly about a sexually active teen, and she's been defending teenagers' rights to read about such subjects ever since. Here, Blume tells a convincing tale of first love--a love that seems strong and true enough to last forever. Katherine loves Michael so much, in fact, that she's willing to lose her virginity to him, and, as the months go by, it gets harder and harder for her to imagine living without him. However, something happens when they are separated for the summer: Katherine begins to have feelings for another guy. What does this mean about her love for Michael? What does this mean about love in general? What does "forever" mean, anyway? As always, Blume writes as if she's never forgotten a moment of what it's like to be a teenager.
| Jun 20, 2007 |
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i read this book when i was 10. one of my friends borrowed it from the school library and of course, it got passed around the classroom.
when it was finally my turn my mum found it in my schoolbag and got really mad. hahaha
if i think about it, i'm pretty sure it wasn't a very good book. i was just shocked because i'd never read anything like this before!
also, i still can't get over the fact that they name his penis ralph ... wtf.
| Oct 17, 2013 |
This book is about a girl who is senior in high school falling in love for the first time. Kath starts dating Micheal and everything is perfect. Like most relationships they have issues and sex is a big thing for them. Throughout the story the couple face issues that they have be there for each other for. Over the summer they spend time apart and Kath realizes that what she thought would be forever may not be when she starts liking another guy. This break up is hard for both of them.
I am not sure I would allow my students to read this story, if i did it would only be seniors who are allowed to read this book, I think is a great book to teach about the different issues that affect teens like sex, alcohol, attempt suicide, death, and pregnancy. These are all things that they characters in this story faced. If i was to teach this in my class room I would ask my student to reflect on issues that are facing and express those issues and the different outcome of them through different media.
I enjoyed reading this book. I was a really easy read for me. I can also understand why is banned in many schools. Although I don't agree with the banning of it because I feel like students need to know that they are not alone when facing their issues that they face daily. And reading books like this can help to learn to deal with the many curve balls that life will throw their way.
| Apr 7, 2013 |
One of those classic YA novels that you have to read to see where we've been. Pretty unremarkable and tame by modern "Gossip Girl" standards but still gets challenged.
| Apr 4, 2013 |
I can understand why this book is a "classic," and banned as well, as it dealt with many topics that were taboo in children's/young adult literature at the time.
I wasn't crazy about the book, but I think it's mostly because I couldn't really relate to it. I felt like every page was about sex and the affects of it on a relationship, and that's what the main character was focused on, which got annoying after awhile.
I did like the honesty in the ending. It wasn't "perfect" and it didn't give an idealized view of relationships and love, which I think is good.
I probably would have liked this book better if I had read it when I was in junior high or high school, I just wanted more depth of the character (instead of just sex and boys) but, overall, a decent (and quick) read and I can see why it continues to be published and a favorite of young adults everywhere (and why it still is banned).
| Apr 3, 2013 |
I'm sorry I missed this when I was in high school. In some ways, of course, it's dated, but in others it's much more progressive than I would have expected for a book that was first published in 1957. I enjoyed it, and thought it was a fairly realistic/representative portrayal of high school friendships and relationships.
| Apr 3, 2013 |
First July book club book down. Two to go.
This was a quick read. Seeing as how I was born after this book was published it's hard to imagine the reaction to this book when it published in 1975.
| Apr 2, 2013 |
This book made a great impression on me. I read it with great pleasure and interest: it was about teenagers that were older and more mature than I was, and as a 12 year old that is very interesting.
What also stuck to mind was, that
I had a fight over it with the librarian: she thought the book was not fit for me (yet), since it was in the section 13-18 years of age. I won, after my parents approved I borrowed books from that section. What a time that was...
I wonder what the original title of the book is. Anyone?
| Mar 31, 2013 |
So this is what all the fuss is about... Yes, FOREVER has lots of sex. But it's also a beautifully written book with a distinct voice and a complex look at love, the meaning of forever, and growing up.
| Mar 31, 2013 |
I've mixed feelings on this one. On the one hand, it is a pretty realistic portrayal of that first romance as a teenager, the first time you fall in love and get caught up in a physical relationship. On the other hand, the writing is kind of blah, and while I recognize the relationship only too well, much in this story is dated. (For instance, the pill being all you need for safe sex--though there is a note at the beginning reminding readers that this was written in '75, when pregnancy
all you had to worry about.)
I'm waffling between three and four stars, but I think my instinct toward 4 is based on nostalgia rather than quality.
| Mar 30, 2013 |
I still have not gotten the nerve to ask a guy about aftershave cologne...
| Mar 29, 2013 |
Author: Judy Blume
Characters: Michael and Katherine
Setting: Westfield, 1970’s
Theme: First Love, romance, relationships and coming of age
Genre: Young Adult Romance
Audience: Young adults
Curriculum: Great for a health class or family studies class or recommendation for STAR reading
Summary: Two young teens meet and have a connection. They get close and are a couple. But what happens at this age when you are so close and have sexual attraction? Do you act on those feelings? How do you prepare? It’s a great tale from a young woman’s perspective on her first sexual encounter.
I hadn’t heard of this book until recently and I had to read it! I am so glad I did. Judy Blume, I understand why you are so famous and why your books are so widely enjoyed. The characters are relatable, tangible and real. The situations are not always ideal but they survive and enduring the struggles and coming out of those challenges learning more about themselves. The reason why we love great books is because the characters grow just as readers do. Love is a universal topic that many want and the tales of first loves the most enticing and this story is no different. I also loved the underlying topic for a woman’s choice to be sexually active and the best line on the cover of the book, “- is there a difference between first love and true love?”
| Mar 16, 2013 |
It was a pretty interesting book. I read some of it on Google Books, and I think it was written kind of sloppy.
| Sep 23, 2012 |
Katherine struggles with sexual feelings. She tries to figure out if sex is purely a physical act or a romantic one. Learning about sex and working with relationships is a mjor theme is this book.
| May 3, 2012 |
Blume’s groundbreaking teen romance includes topics such as “going all the way, condoms, sex for pleasure being okay, and others that made it stand out when it was first published 37 years ago. Now all standard material, the novel serves as an artifact of changing attitudes in young adult literature in a different era. The love story between Katherine and Michael provides kitschy fun for many of today’s young (and not-so-young) readers.
| May 3, 2012 |
Review by: Heather
Tough topics: Love, Relationships, Sex
During her senior year, Katherine Danziger meets a guy that she soon finds herself dating. Through time they become much closer, and she finds herself having sexual feelings for him. Though their relationship keeps getting stronger while they’re together, the summer brings other things. Tempted by a coworker at her summer job, will Katherine remain faithful to her boyfriend Michael? Or will their relationship come to an abrupt end?
I don’t have a favorite part, I love all of it! It relates to life today, which many adults don’t understand. Though I hate the end of the book because of how it relates to real life. I would recommend this book to teens, but also to anyone who isn’t sexually experienced. It would show a male figure how a woman feels in this situation, and it would cause a woman to think about her choices and her sexual relations with others. How it will affect their lives before and after the relationship is over. It also shows young girls that it’s okay to say no to sex even if it means losing that boyfriend.
I would give this book a five out of five because it really empowers the reader to listen to their heart rather than others’ voices. It’s a real page turner, and I could hardly put it down. Even though it was written thirty years ago, it still deals with the issues that teens deal with today. It would really make you think twice about “giving it up.”
Review by: Kelly G
Katherine falls for Michael pretty quickly and their relationship is full of fun times as she goes through a sextual journey. She grows very close with him through winter. She imagines being with him forever. However, when her life takes an unexpected turn while she is at summer camp she has nobody to turn to but a coworker. This was a fun read. It is very educational, so I would recommend it to a middle or high school student.
| Apr 27, 2012 |
Forever... tells the story of Katherine and her first love who she met her senior year of college. The two date for about six months and the young girl looses her virginity to the boy. Her parents are uncomfortable with the relationship and try to separate the couple. This book would be appropriate for teens ages 15-18. The book was written in 1975 so it is a little dated, but I think it would still be a valid choice for teens in this day and age. The book is told in first person from the perspective of Katherine.
| Jan 17, 2012 |
A very moving story that leaves one wondering. I was very autoridad that i enjoyed it because it was a very girly book. After reading i thpught about my life n how id prevent myself from getting hurt. I constantly read this book from time to time because it truly is a page turner. It teaches Manu things to round teenagers such as my self
| Jan 16, 2012 |
A story of young love almost anyone can relate to, Judy Blume's Forever is a quick read that glimpses into the lives of teenagers during the 1970s and all of the drama that comes along with young love.
| Jan 16, 2012 |
This book is a quick and excellent read. It tells the story of Kath, a 17 year old, and her first love. She believes that she will be with him forever, but eventually realizes through separation that the heart often wanders. Great for younger to middle ages of YA (13-16). Addresses the importance of birth control when sexually active, and also talks about the ability to say no and not be pressured into sex.
| Jan 13, 2012 |
As i was reading this book the content of this book got a little innapropriate at times but I enjoyed the plot of the book . As we met kate the main character in the book she went through many realationship problems and romantic love affairs .But ,to me this book was more to me then just a book it was llike this girl was living next door ! I am rating this book a four because i loved the text in the book also i loved the romance in this book. i was infactuated with how it was written but I didnt care for some of the parts but over all i just have to say that this book was an alaround great book for a teenage girl . Personaly its the best book ive read in a long time and i hope its not the last one !
| Sep 12, 2011 |
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.
| Aug 5, 2011 |
Forever was originally published in 1975 and served as a primer for the vapid sexuality that defines Generation-X. Blume would have you believe that this book is about love - it's not. The capricious main character Katherine falls for Michael and has an upstanding Planned-Parenthood relationship with him. The ending of Forever is bizarre - Kath decides that her relationship is about as meaningful as the plot of this book and breaks up with him because she knows she can't have a forever relationship with him. Why - because there are other men in the world possible of relating to her emotionally and he wants commitment. Do 18 year old girls really blow off their first love for no reason? Blume was supposedly surprised that Forever was banned from many school libraries. Personally I think that what parents and educators should be concerned about are not her titillating scenes but rather her cavalier attitude towards relationships and the sex that does along with them. Perhaps parents are merely concerned that their daughters will consider choosing a boyfriend to be no more important than following safe sex practices as Blume seems to think. Things like commitment, marriage, and even forward planning have no place in Blume's world. We are left wondering what kind of adult Kath will grown up to be - but I think we know; don't we Judy.
| Jul 27, 2011 |
Just one big love story, if you can't tell by the title. But, it was an okay story. It could have been better. It could have been less rushed. It also seemed a little old. It seemed like the characters were nothing like teenagers now. If that makes any sense. Overall, it was interesting enough for me to finish.
| Jul 3, 2011 |
I always felt that Judy Blume is one of those authors I missed out on. I never read her as a teen and didn't even find out about her until I was an adult. Well, I guess it's better late than never.
The story starts off with Katherine and Michael meeting at a New Years Eve's party. The two are seniors in high school. Michael has a date to the party, but Katherine catches his attention and he winds up getting in contact with her the next day. The two begin to date. Michael has slept with one girl already, where Katherine is a virgin. The couple want to have sex, but Katherine is hesitant.
When they do finally sleep together, the two are in love and think they will be together forever. Katherine's parents are concerned because she begins to try to change her college plans in order to be situated closer to Michael. He is the only thing that matters to her. They make her go to a summer camp and work for a few weeks during the summer after senior year, hoping it will get Katherine's mind off Michael for a while.
Meanwhile Katherine's fellow classmate becomes pregnant. No shocker there, see the first line quoted above. Katherine's best friend Erica, is in a relationship as well, and has issues of her own to deal with.
It's funny because now that I read this as an adult and mother of a teenage son, I was almost weary of what Katherine and Michael would do.
After I caught myself being judgemental to Katherine's behavior, I stopped myself. I focused more on Katherine and Michael's storyline and tried to remember what it was like being that age when hormones are running rampant.
There's a few things going on in the story with Katherine's best friend, her sister and her classmate as well. You get to see different issues these teenagers are dealing with.
Although this is technically classified as young adult romance, I'm old-fashioned and I think due to the graphic sexual scenes, this one is for ages 17 and up.
Judy Blume's writing is frank and open as the characters in this story discuss and have sex. I do think she does a good job at writing teenaged characters.
read my full review here
| Jun 1, 2011 |
I read this at around 13 I think, maybe a little younger when I was devouring Judy Blumes books and I have just bought a copy for my teenage daughter. As a teenager I thought it was a sensitively handled and honest look at teen sex and relationships and it spoke to me. The message I got from it as a teen was that there are parts of yourself that are precious and that sharing them with others will not necessarily end happy ever after, that sex is not way to enusre that it will be forever, that sex is about love and commitment and while I could ignore the hsyterical chances of falling pregnant or being horribly disfigured as a consequence of having sex (which is usually the case in novels on this subject) there will always be an emotional cost.It has retained a special place in my heart though all this time.Reading it again I can see how to me it reads a little flat, dated and in these times quite naive however I still believe it will have something to say to my daughter. It is honest about a teen sexual relationship without the author feeling it necessary to punish the couple (usually pregnancy, miscarriage, early death, horrific injury etc) in some way. Michael is a stereotypical teen and thats not actually a bad thing - I knew a lot of guys just like Michael to whom sex and sport are all they care about it and really this is Katherines story and I think for the reader a generic "Michael" allows them to transfer their own partner into that role.I would recommend this book to teens and their parents.
| May 9, 2011 |
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