Thursday, October 2, 2008

Book Review: Forever by Judy Blume

5 stars

Okay, this is a little different. I just finished Forever by Judy Blume. I was in the process of adding it to my Shelfari shelf when I read the following review and wrote an off-the-cuff reply:

I can't say this was a particularly good read. Adult material but written in such an amateur way. That "He came...I came" was getting a bit annoying after a while. Not a very satisfying end as well. Though I didnt particularly like Katharine's character I somehow did expect the relationship to last...not forever maybe, but until the end of the book so I could close it in satisfaction.”
Sachina M wrote this review Friday, January 25 2008. Was this review helpful?

“Sachina, I think you overlook the historical context here. And while Blume explore[s] sexual behavior here openly, this is hardly adult material. What you're arguing is amateur is an authentic voice of youth. I was a teen when this was written. I read it then and I've just finished it as an adult. The book rings true for those of my generation some thirty years later. Maybe this doesn't resonate because it doesn't resemble your youth or your generation's outlook about sex and first love.”

For a legion of readers of my generation and I suspect many more to follow, there is more here than not. Plenty of readers relate. At 17, "He came" is about as articulate as I would have described it, and all the fumbling and a limp Ralph is as real as it gets. And I was absolutely sure we'd marry and who didn't feel guilty when you felt hot for another guy?

I was a huge Judy Blume fan and the author was popular not only because she wrote about controversial topics that interested kids and young adults but her body of work remains a standard because of her ability to translate how we feel. Even when your own life doesn't resemble the circumstances of the characters', you can relate to the emotions of the characters. You don't sustain a career and amass the body of work she has if you're a poor writer. Not liking a work or a writer alone is not evidence of the writer's skill but a reader's preference.

*I read this book for a reading challenge I'm participating in.


1,000 Faces of MotherHenna said...

Oh I love love love Judy Blume. Forever was banned in our high school when I was a teenager, and so we found one copy at a bookstore downtown. We passed it one to another that entire school year. It was dog-earred, marked up, we'd write questions and comments to each other in it. It was the center of our secred society. After all, we had all come up on Blume's voice -- Are you there God? It's me, Margaret -- Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing -- Blubber -- Sally J. Freedman - and more. So when we transitioned to young adulthood, we continued to trust her voice. I'm *forever* grateful that Blume had these conversations with us, because frankly, there were no adults in our everyday lives willing to be this vulnerable and real with us!
Thanks, Susan, for posting this!!!

Rethabile said...

I'll get round to the meme yet.
Have a good weekend...

rohit said...

An enjoyable read Forever . . . by Judy Blume . loved the way you wrote it. I find your review very genuine and original, this book is going in by "to read" list.