What do you do when the love of your life… isn’t any more? Forever, The controversial, teen novel from Judy Blume, first published in 1975, answers that question with a simple and unflinching response – you move on.
This is a book about two 17-year-olds named Kath and Michael who meet, like each other, hook up, think they are in love and have sex. Kath then (very maturely) goes on the pill, their romance continues, they grow apart, and eventually fall prey to their misguided conceptions of what love is, forcing them to deal with what their relationship is once faced with reality. It’s shallow, yes, because teens are usually pretty shallow. It’s sexual, again, because teens are pretty sexual. It’s also over rather quickly…like the majority of teenage relationships. But that is the beauty of the novel, why it was so relevant in the 70’s and why it continues to be relevant now… It is realistic.
Blume expertly crafts the reality that the world doesn’t end if your relationship with your first love does. She pin points that sex can be dangerous but also natural, and while you may love someone then, your whole life wont stop because you were wrong. There is no elaborate punishment of pregnancy or Kath being shipped off to live with her Aunt in France. It is a breath of fresh air, a book about real problems, and one of the most celebrated young adult novels for the past 40 years!
If you haven’t already, pick up a copy of Judy Blume’s Forever. If you’re going through something similar now, or have in the past, feel connected and understand just how good it is to have loved and lost… and most importantly, survived.