Forever...

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Overview

The award-winning story of the end of innocence follows the idyllic first romance between Katherine and Michael to its bitter conclusion in a summer separation. By the author of Summer Sisters. Reissue.

"No preaching (Blume never does) but the message is clear; no hedging (Blume never does) but a candid account by Kathy gives intimate details of a first sexual relationship. The characters and dialogue are equally natural and vigorous, the language uncensored, the depiction of family relationships ...

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Overview

The award-winning story of the end of innocence follows the idyllic first romance between Katherine and Michael to its bitter conclusion in a summer separation. By the author of Summer Sisters. Reissue.

"No preaching (Blume never does) but the message is clear; no hedging (Blume never does) but a candid account by Kathy gives intimate details of a first sexual relationship. The characters and dialogue are equally natural and vigorous, the language uncensored, the depiction of family relationships outstanding."--Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books. ALA Best of the Best Books for Young Adults.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Heidi Hauser Green
More than thirty years ago, Judy Blume's sensational teen romance debuted to much controversy. A candid account of young love that provides details about everything from a young couple's first meeting through sexual curiosity, exploration, and activity, this book is as relevant for teens today as it was to teens in the seventies. From the moment Katherine and Michael meet at a friend's party, the sparks fly. Although they attend different schools, the pair get together every chance they can, and their relationship deepens. Before long, things are getting serious: they are thinking about sex, talking about sex, and planning for sex. It feels like they will be together forever. Then, summer comes, and family plans pull them apart. They write each other often and plan to reunite as soon as they can, but life—and love—can be unexpected. While employed as a camp counselor, Katherine meets Theo. She is surprised by the attraction she feels for him. What do such feelings say about love? Commitment? Forever? Michael? Modern readers may giggle at the lack of cell phones and other modern accoutrements, but they are sure to be drawn into this time-tested tale of first love.
From the Publisher
"A convincing account of first love."
The New York Times Book Review
Children's Literature - Julia Beiker
This story has become ageless. In this riveting plot, young Katherine and Michael struggle with their morals and sexuality as they evolve from friendship to potential lovers. As they seal their relationship as forever, something changes that makes it clear for one of them that nothing last forever. This character-driven plot pull readers into the emotional rollercoaster called teen romance, where everything changes at the drop of a hat. No one can deny that Judy Blume captures all the essence and drama of what happens when hormones explode. This book shows the reader how it feels to be on both side of an ending relationship, so each one can root for the character they can relate to at the time. The timeless story will hopefully live forever. Be aware this book deals with mature content. Reviewer: Julia Beiker; Ages 15 up.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780671695309
  • Publisher: Pocket Books
  • Publication date: 8/28/1989
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: Reissue
  • Pages: 224
  • Age range: 12 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 4.25 (w) x 6.75 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Judy Blume, one of America’s most popular authors, is the recipient of the 2004 National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters. She is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of beloved books for young people, including Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret, and novels for adult readers, including Wifey, Smart Women, and Summer Sisters. Her work has been translated into thirty-two languages.Visit Judy at JudyBlume.com or follow her on Twitter at @JudyBlume.

Biography

Before Judy Blume, there may have been a handful of books that spoke to issues teens could identify with; but very few were getting down to nitty-gritty stuff like menstruation, masturbation, parents divorcing, being half-Jewish, or deciding to have sex. Now, these were some issues that adolescents could dig into, and Blume’s ability to address them realistically and responsibly has made her one of the most popular – and most banned – authors for young adults.

Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret, published in 1970, was Blume’s third book and the one that established her fan base. Drawing on some of the same things she faced as a sixth grader growing up in Elizabeth, New Jersey, Blume created a sympathetic, first-person portrait of a girl whose family moves to the suburbs as she struggles with puberty and religion. In subsequent classics such as Then Again, Maybe I Won’t, Deenie, Blubber, and Tiger Eyes, Blume wrote about the pain of being different, falling in love, and figuring out one's identity. Usually written in a confessional/diary style, Blume’s books feel like letters from friends who just happen to be going through a very interesting version of the same tortures suffered by their audience.

Blume has also accumulated a great following among the 12-and-under set with her Fudge series, centering on the lives of preteen Peter Hatcher and his hilariously troublesome younger brother, Farley (a.k.a. Fudge). Blume’s books in this category are particularly adept at portraying the travails of siblings, making both sides sympathetic. Her 2002 entry, Double Fudge, takes a somewhat surreal turn, providing the Hatchers with a doppelganger of Fudge when they meet some distant relatives on a trip.

Blume has also had success writing for adults, again applying her ability to turn some of her own sensations into compelling stories. Wifey in 1978 was the raunchy chronicle of a bored suburban housewife’s infidelities, both real and imagined. She followed this up five years later with Smart Women, a novel about friendship between two divorced women living in Colorado; and 1998’s Summer Sisters, also about two female friends.

Blume has said she continually struggles with her writing, often sure that each book will be the last, that she’ll never get another idea. She keeps proving herself wrong with more than 20 books to her credit; hopefully she will continue to do so.

Good To Know

Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing was inspired by an article given to Blume by her babysitter about a toddler who swallowed a small pet turtle. She wrote a picture book introducing Fudge (based on her own then-toddler son), the turtle, and older brother Peter; but it was rejected. A few years later, E. P. Dutton editor Ann Durell suggested that Blume turn the story into a longer book about the Hatcher family. Blume did, and the Fudge legacy was born.

Blume is not an author without conflict about her station in life. She says on her web site that, as part of her "fantasy about having a regular job," she has a morning routine that involves getting fully dressed and starting at 9 a.m. She has also getting out of writing altogether."After I had written more than ten books I thought seriously about quitting," she writes. "I felt I couldn't take the loneliness anymore. I thought I would rather be anything but a writer. But I've finally come to appreciate the freedom of writing. I accept the fact that it's hard and solitary work."

Blume's book about divorce, It's Not the End of the World, proved ultimately to be closer to her own experience than she originally imagined. Her own marriage was in trouble at the time, but she couldn't quite face it. "In the hope that it would get better I dedicated this book to my husband," she writes in an essay. "But a few years later, we, too, divorced. It was hard on all of us, more painful than I could have imagined, but somehow we muddled through and it wasn't the end of any of our worlds, though on some days it might have felt like it."

Her most autobiographical book is Starring Sally J. Friedman as Herself, says Blume. "Sally is the kind of kid I was at ten," Blume says on her web site.

Blume keeps setting Fudge aside, readers keep bringing him back. The sequel Superfudge was written after tons of fans wrote in asking for more of Farley Hatcher; again more begging led to Fudge-a-Mania ten years later. Blume planned never to write about Fudge again, but grandson Elliott was a persistent pesterer (just like Fudge), and got his way with 2002's Double Fudge.

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    1. Hometown:
      New York's Upper East Side, Key West, and Martha's Vineyard
    1. Date of Birth:
      February 12, 1938
    2. Place of Birth:
      Elizabeth, New Jersey
    1. Education:
      B.S. in education, New York University, 1961
    2. Website:

Read an Excerpt

Forever


  • Sybil Davison has a genius I.Q. and has been laid by at least six different guys. She told me herself, the last time she was visiting her cousin, Erica, who is my good friend. Erica says this is because of Sybil’s fat problem and her need to feel loved—the getting laid part, that is. The genius I.Q. is just luck or genes or something. I’m not sure that either explanation is 100 percent right but generally Erica is very good at analyzing people.

I don’t know Sybil that well since she lives in Summit and we live in Westfield. Erica and I decided to go to her New Year’s party at the last minute for two reasons—one, because that’s when she invited us, and, two, we had nothing better to do.

It turned out to be a fondue party. There were maybe twenty of us sitting on the floor around a low table in Sybil’s family room. On the table were a couple of big pots of steaming liquid Swiss cheese and baskets of bread chunks. Each of us had a long two-pronged fork, to spear the bread, then dip it into the cheese. It tasted pretty good. I had gotten about two bites when this guy said, “You’ve got some on your chin.”

He was on Erica’s other side, sort of leaning across her. “You want me to wipe it off?” He held out his napkin.

I couldn’t tell if he was putting me on or what. So I told him, “I can wipe my own chin,” and I tried to swallow the bread that was still in my mouth.

“I’m Michael Wagner,” he said.

“So?” I answered, as Erica shot me a look.

She introduced herself to Michael, then tapped me on the head and said, “This idiot is my friend, Katherine. Don’t mind her . . . she’s a little strange.”

“I noticed,” Michael said. He wore glasses, had a lot of reddish-blond hair and a small mole on his left cheek. For some crazy reason I thought about touching it.

I looked away and went back to spearing chunks of bread. The guy on my other side said, “My name’s Fred. I live next door to Sybil. I’m a freshman at Dartmouth.” Unfortunately he was also a creep.

After a while I tuned him out but he didn’t know and kept blabbing away. I was more interested in what Michael was saying to Erica. I wondered where he went to school and hoped it was some place close, like Rutgers. Erica told him that we’re from Westfield, that we’re seniors, and that we’re spending the night at Sybil’s. Then Michael introduced her to somebody named Elizabeth and I turned around in time to see him put his arm around this pale dark-haired girl sitting next to him. I pretended to be interested in Fred the Creep after all.

At midnight Sybil flashed the lights on and off and Fred wished me a Happy New Year, then tried to stuff his tongue in my mouth. I kept my lips shut tight; while he was kissing me I was watching Michael kiss Elizabeth. He was much taller than I first thought and thin, but not skinny.

After the party we helped Sybil and her parents clean up and somewhere around 3:00 a.m. we trudged upstairs to bed. Sybil conked out as soon as her head hit the pillow but Erica and I had trouble getting to sleep, maybe because we were on the floor in sleeping bags, or maybe because Sybil was snoring so loud.

Erica whispered, “Michael’s a nice guy . . . don’t you think so?”

“He’s much too tall for you,” I told her. “You’d only come up to his belly button.”

“He might enjoy that.”

“Oh, Erica!”

She propped herself up on an elbow and said, “You like him, don’t you?”

“Don’t be silly . . . we barely met.” I rolled over, facing the wall.

“Yeah . . . but I can tell anyway.”

“Go to sleep!”

“He asked me for your last name and your phone number.”

I turned around. “He did?”

“Uh huh . . . but I guess you don’t care about that.” She buried herself inside her sleeping bag.

I gave her a half-hearted kick. Then we both laughed and fell asleep.

Erica and I have been friends since ninth grade. We’re a good pair because she is outspoken and uninhibited and I’m not. She says she has to be that way to compensate for her size. She’s just four-feet-ten—so when I said that she would come up to Michael’s belly button I wasn’t kidding. Everyone in her family is tiny. That’s how her great-grandfather got their last name. He came to this country from Russia, not speaking a word of English. So when he stepped off the boat and the man in charge asked him his name, he didn’t understand. Instead of just calling him Cohen or Goldberg, the way the immigration officers did with so many Jewish refugees, this man sized him up and wrote down Mr. Small. Erica swears if she ever marries she will choose someone huge so that if they decide to have children the kids will at least have a chance to grow to normal size.

Not that being little has hurt anyone in her family. Her mother is Juliette Small, the film critic. You can read her reviews in three national magazines. Because of her Erica is positive she’s going to get into Radcliffe, even though her grades aren’t that hot. I have a 92 average so I almost died when I saw my college board scores. They were below average. Erica scored much higher than I did. She doesn’t fall apart over really important things and I’m always afraid I might. That’s another difference between us.

The phone rang at noon the next day and woke me. Sybil jumped up and ran to answer it. When she came back she said, “That was Michael Wagner. He’s coming over to get his records.” She yawned and flopped back on her bed. Erica was still out cold.

I asked Sybil, “Does he go with that girl, Elizabeth?”

“Not that I know of . . . why, are you interested?”

“No . . . just curious.”

“. . . because I could drop a hint if you want me to . . .”

“No . . . don’t.”

“I’ve known him since kindergarten.”

“He’s in your class?”

“My homeroom.”

“Oh . . . I thought he was older.”

“He’s a senior . . . same as us.”

“Oh . . .” He seemed older. “Well . . . as long as I’m awake I might as well get dressed,” I said, heading for the bathroom.

Sybil and I were in the kitchen when the bell rang. I was picking raisins out of a breakfast bun, piling them in the corner of my plate. Sybil leaned against the refrigerator, spooning strawberry yoghurt out of the carton.

She answered the front door and showed Michael into the kitchen. “You remember Katherine, don’t you?” she asked him.

“Sure . . . hi . . .” Michael said.

“Oh . . . hi,” I said back.

“Your records are still downstairs,” Sybil told him. “I’ll get them for you.”

“That’s okay,” Michael said. “I’ll get them myself.”

A few seconds later he called, “Who’s K.D.?”

“Me,” I answered. “Some of those albums are mine.” I went downstairs and started going through the pile. “Are yours marked?”

“No.”

I was making a stack of K.D.s when he said, “Look . . .” and grabbed my wrist. “I came over here because I wanted to see you again.”

“Oh, well . . .” I saw my reflection in his glasses.

“Is that all you can say?”

“What am I supposed to say?”

“Do I have to write the script?”

“Okay . . . I’m glad you came over.”

He smiled. “That’s better. How about a ride? My car’s out front.”

“My father’s coming to pick me up at 3:00. I have to be back by then.”

“That’s okay.” He was still holding my wrist.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 755 )
Rating Distribution

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(439)

4 Star

(161)

3 Star

(79)

2 Star

(31)

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(45)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 755 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 10, 2004

    good yet bad

    this book uses many discriptive words...it's like teen porn??..very descriptive..i overall liked it.yet i was very disturbed ...anyone under 15 should NOT read this book....

    37 out of 56 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 28, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    loved this book!!!!!

    this book is defiantly one of the best books i have ever read! i passed it round to my friends and about 20 of us read it in about 4 weeks. did not like the ending very much so my friends and i wrote out own endings in the book. this book is not for people under the age of 13. my mother wanted to read it after me so i just told her i lost it at school because she probably would of taken it away. a great read. a little much for a Judy Blume novel but still loved it and especially Ralph!!lol

    28 out of 33 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 6, 2008

    Gross!!!!!!!

    This book was disgusting. I would not recamend it for someone in middle school because it was way toooo detailed. If you have read the book you would understand what I was talking about. For example - they go wayyyyyy to indepth about sex and it is tooo mature for a young adult. :]

    24 out of 40 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    VERY DEEP

    I THINK THAT TIS BOOK IS GOOD FOR TEENS 14 AND OLDER BECAUSE THEY CAN SEE WHAT SOME GIRLS GO THROUGH IN RELATIONSHIPS AND JUST LIFE IN GENERAL AND AFTER I READ THIS BOOK ALOT OF PEOPKE AT MY SCHOOL WANTED TO READ IT AND THE BOOK WENT THROUGH HALF OF THE 8TH GRAD AND 9TH GRADE AT MY SCHOOL.BUT OTHER THAN THAT I THINK THAT TEENS SHOULD READ THIS BOOK BECAUSE IT CAN SOMEHOW RELATE TO WHAT MIGHT HAVE GONE ON IN THEIR LIFE OR TEACH THEM TO MAKE THE CORRECT DECISIONS OR EVERN THINK ABOUT WHAT CHOICE TO MAKE BEFOR MAKING THE WRONG DECISIONS AND TO ME THIS BOOK TOUGHT ME THAT I SHOULD REALISE WHEN A GUY IS PUTTING PREASURE ON ME TO DO SOMTHING THAT IM NOT READY TO DO AND TO TAKE LIFE AS IT GOES BUT TO ALSO KNOW WHO I AM AND TO NEVER LET A GUY FORCE ME INTO SOMTHING I DONT WANNA DO AND THATS WHY I GIVE THIS BOOK A FIVE STAR

    20 out of 24 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 29, 2009

    it was a great book but alil disappointing

    i bought this book yesterday and man i could not put it down. Its a great book and i was really thought it was interesting. I really hated that ending. IT LEFT ME HANGING i wanted to know what happened after Theo called. i wouldnt recommend this book to people who dont want to be left hanging.

    20 out of 24 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 9, 2006

    A reviewer

    i read this book, about a month ago. my mom had to give me permission to read it, because its so graphic. dont get me wrong i love guys and the and all the romantic things they do for girls. but this book just went too far. even though im only fourteen, i still do not believe in premarital sex. this book was way too graphic for my taste,i used to love judy blumes books. but this one made me feel dirty after i read it. i know what your thinking. a teenage girl that isnt turned on by a book full of sex. thats right, and im proud of it.

    20 out of 35 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 12, 2009

    awesome book!!!

    This is one of my favorite books of all time. I'm not one to read a book more then once but this book is an easy read and i can read this book over and over again and never get bored. i wouldnt however reccomend for anyone under 14 there are some racy parts but it is an excellent book i really enjoyed it!!

    13 out of 18 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 11, 2008

    woww.

    probably the worst book ive read in a longgg time. they meet for 5 minutes and they are suddenly holding hands and hes asking to kiss her? really now? unrealistic. and then they go into extreme detail surronding their sex life...too weird. ralph?? ill tell you one thing...i would never recommend this book to anyone.

    12 out of 36 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 30, 2008

    AMAZING

    Yes, the book was pretty sexual; and I wouldn't recommended it for younger people. But, it did share a life like situation between two people. This book was amazing, and it is very much so worth the time to read it.

    11 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 23, 2010

    It was one of the best stories I've read! (:

    My friend let me borrow the book and I began to read it that night. The first three pages got me interested in the book too. I shut my laptop after chapter one and it took me two days to read the whole book. It's an amazing story with a great story line. I recommend this book to anyone!

    7 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 30, 2008

    I Also Recommend:

    NOT FOR YOUNG TEENS--HIGH SCHOOL, PERHAPS

    At first I wasn't liking the story that much but the story got better as it went along but I wish that the story felt more real. I mean it was good but I never believed that Michael loved Katherine like he said he did. He only wanted to have her, that was obvious. The other stories and characters are much more interesting than Michael and Katherine also. Their stories had my mouth drop to the floor so that definetly kept me reading. And it saved the book from being boring. The ending was predictable. Sorry Judy, ok book, but not her best. For my taste, I am searching for more depth, more soul and passion from the writer and characters. Like from Sarah Dessen, Kristen Tracy, K S Michaels...

    7 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 6, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    um...........love it...kinda

    i think its a goood book.i just dont know if it's good for pplz under 13 or more well some parts are a little over detailed .~_~( too detailed for my mom)she asked for a little summary of what i was reading and so told her.she freaked out so maybe peope older than 13(thats my age).

    6 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 1, 2012

    This book was descriptive but I think it needs to be. Judy Blume

    This book was descriptive but I think it needs to be. Judy Blume took a chance to inform her readers what teens go through. I read this as a teen and even though the wording may seem "gross" or "teen porn" to some it couldn't be farther from the truth. It is a great read about how teens view romance and how sex should wait because you very rarely find your 'forever' as a teen.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 6, 2008

    This book is average.

    It was addicting I must admit. However, it was felt like it was physical. I didn't feel any emotional connection. The ending is very quick. It was very disappointing.

    5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 17, 2011

    I don't recommend unless you are 17 or 18 years of age

    I am beside my self. A Judy Blume book like this. I let my 12 yr old order this book with out looking at the reviews and description of the book. Judy Blume, you'd think it would be just fine for her. We were driving in the car & she started telling me about the 1st chapter. Right then & there I took the book away. No wonder why we have 12 & 13 yr old kids having sex. This book tells them how, explains how to do it, the works. I have read it and will not let her read that or any other Judy Blume book until she hits the age when she is mature enough to under stand about her life and what happens when you add sex to it.
    Please don't let your child under 17 read this book, it will ruin them.

    4 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 26, 2008

    i couldnt believe it

    this is truely one of the best books EVER written. i wish dearly that there was a part two to it but sadly there's isnt.

    4 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 31, 2008

    GREAT book

    This book is a must-have! It's one of the best books I've read! If only it had a part two! You'll never want to put this book down.

    4 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 19, 2012

    Amazing book!!!!!!

    I would say I was a little young to read this book. But even for a person thats young its still a great book!! I am not a big reader and my mom bought me this book and I didnt talk once till I finished this book cover to cover. I would totally recomend this book!!!!!!!!!

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 8, 2012

    way to nasty.....pretty much sucked!!

    way to nasty.....pretty much sucked!!

    3 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 27, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Forever by Judy Blume

    When i first read this book i knew that I was going to get in to it. I really liked it and I hope that everyone else likes it also. The whole story just made me feel as if they had a perfect relationship and i want a relationship like Katherine and Micheal. As i was reading the book Katherine kind of reminded me of myself. When i was done with the book i was like a hopeless romantic...i am a romantic but even so after the book. I wanted to date every gut i though tcould give that type of realtionship. Now there is a guy that I like at school named Keith and i think of him all the time and when I think of him I think of Forever. lol :) The book was soo good i let one of my friends borrow it and also my stepdad is going to read it when i get it back...This book was excellent. Better than Story of A Girl.

    3 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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