If you want to read the official synopsis, click here to visit Goodreads as I can’t be bothered to copy and paste it all out here as it would take half a page.
This is the first book I’ve read from author, Jasinder Wilder and the first book I’ve read in 2014 thanks to my good friend, fellow book blogger and book twin Emma who sent me this for Christmas. The synopsis for Forever & Always really sucked me in and that’s why I chose it as my first read of the year. Basically, two teenagers meet at camp and whilst there’s a mutual attraction and definitely a connection, nothing really happens between them but they decide to become pen pals. They’re brutally honest through their letters, journaling everything that happens to them and seeking solace in each other when tragedy strikes not once, not twice but multiple times. In some ways, the story is predictable but I’m okay with that because I WANTED them to be together. It was the journey that was important.
Forever & Always was an entertaining read although it started as a Young Adult book and ended as a New Adult book which is definitely something new. I enjoyed Cade and Ever’s journey, how they grew up over the years, and how that was reflected in their letters to each other (talking about first kisses, first love, first everything). It reminded me a little of a relationship I had with a guy when I was a teenager and we wrote each other all the time, being brutally honest with each other. Sadly, there was no attraction on my end and he was a bit older so it was only just friendship for me but we’re still friends today, years later.
Anyway, I digress. I loved the fact that Ever was a twin and I enjoyed reading about the relationship with her sister and how different they were, each striving for their own identity. The blossoming relationship between Cade and Ever was beautiful to watch at times, especially when they communicated using their shared passion – art. I’d even go far as to say that at times, Forever & Always had a touch of The Notebook about it which is just one of the best romantic movies ever, so there’s that.
Now for the things that irked me. Personally, I just don’t think that a fifteen year old would use the word “vapid” let alone know what it means and yes this is a generalised sweeping statement (and there will always be exceptions) but still. I also didn’t like the way Ever felt the need to explain the hashtag phenomenon to Caden. I believe this was more for the benefit of the readers perhaps but for me, it didn’t work as it’s common knowledge and I'm sure he would have already known about it. #inmyopinion.
Whilst the book was a cute read, and it was a little longer than it could have been perhaps, it was the ending that really disappointed me. I won’t go into details for fear of spoiling it for those who want to read the book but I’m not even joking when I tell you that I wrote the ending in my head before it happened and then watched everything play out exactly as I had foreseen. Also, beware that this book ends on a cliffhanger that’s supposed to shock but like I said, unfortunately it didn't work on me.
There were also some grammatical errors in the book (which sadly, is becoming more commonplace nowadays) and I really wish I could ignore them but there are professional copy editors out there being paid to do my dream job and I’m the one picking up the errors? Some of them were so blatant that I’d be surprised if it went through copy edits at all before being printed which is a shame.
Ultimately though, I do think Forever & Always is worth reading, especially if you’re a fan of the author but I wish it had been a standalone as opposed to being part of a trilogy as I’m in no hurry to read the rest of the series.
Forever & Always was published on 15th December, 2013 and the sequel After Forever was also published on the same day with the third book coming in February. To find out more about Jasinder Wilder and her books, please click here to visit her website.