by Judy Blume
I LOVE this book. It’s possibly one of my favourite novels of all time. Judy Blume is a GENIUS.
The novel depicts the relationship between Katherine and Michael, two high school seniors who are in a serious and passionate relationship. Now, this is serious and passionate in the seventies, so it’s a bit different from what we know today. The themes are the same, though.
This is Katherine’s first real serious relationship, and although Michael has not been a monk, he’s dealing with some feelings he’s not familiar with either. The two teenagers fall in love and experience a scary new world together–including Katherine’s First Time.
Yes, this novel deals with sex. The big, scary word that’s only three letters. Michael is experienced, and Katherine wishes she were. They Do It several times in the book, and it becomes less of a Big Looming Thing in the distance, and more of a regular occurrence for the pair.
That’s all I can tell you without ruining the book for you. Read it. It’s amazing.
I bought this book the first time I ever considered sex. It’s a poignant story about a teen girl making an important decision that will affect her life forever. She makes an appointment at Planned Parenthood after her (slightly anticlimactic) first time with Michael, without her parents knowing, and gets birth control. Her twelve-year-old sister explains that “‘Hate’ and ‘war’ are bad words, but ‘f***’ isn’t” (Blume 39). Of course, in modern society it is, but that’s not the point. Katherine is very adamant that she needs to be “mentally ready” (Blume 46).
Seventeen year old girls today and seventeen year old girls back when they first met Katherine in 1975 are different, but in many ways the same. Some girls today don’t care, and make it a contest: “Who can lose their virginity first,” much like Katherine’s friend Erica in the novel. However, some are cautious, like Katherine, and want to make sure that they will be in love forever.
And sometimes, it doesn’t last. Just like Katherine, who loses a sense of what she originally felt for Michael after her grandfather dies of a stroke. And when they break up, it’s brutal, and harsh, because they gave up so much of themselves to each other, both physically and emotionally.
And, like Katherine’s mother tells her, “[…] you can’t go back to holding hands” (Blume 76).
This is a book EVERY teen girl who’s EVER thought about having sex should read, because it deals with the emotional ramifications, but doesn’t cross over int the cliché of dealing with the physical ones (besides the inevitable). However, I did squirm a little, so make sure you or your teen is ready.
Blume, Judy. Forever… New York: Simon Pulse, 2007. Print.