Forever My Lady

( 44 )

Overview

Dio Rodriguez grew up on the streets and knew all too well the hard, cool feeling of the barrel of a gun tucked down the back of his jeans. But his hard exterior softened when he met Jennifer. Jennifer understands Dio like no one else and makes him want to be a better man. Suddenly a drive-by shooting lands Dio in a prison boot camp and sends Jennifer to the hospital. When Dio learns that Jennifer is pregnant, he realizes that he must find a way to turn his life around and return to his lady. But can trainee ...

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Overview

Dio Rodriguez grew up on the streets and knew all too well the hard, cool feeling of the barrel of a gun tucked down the back of his jeans. But his hard exterior softened when he met Jennifer. Jennifer understands Dio like no one else and makes him want to be a better man. Suddenly a drive-by shooting lands Dio in a prison boot camp and sends Jennifer to the hospital. When Dio learns that Jennifer is pregnant, he realizes that he must find a way to turn his life around and return to his lady. But can trainee Rodriguez get his act together among the hardcases in prison? And will Jennifer be waiting for him if and when he does?

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  • Forever My Lady
    Forever My Lady  

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Dio "Playboy" Rodríguez grows up poor with a drunk single mother in gritty Las Vegas, leading him into gang life at 13. Now 17, Dio hides a softer side beneath a fierce exterior that's known only to his middle school sweetheart, Jennifer. But when a drive-by leaves Jennifer wounded and sends Dio to prison boot camp, their soul mate relationship is put to the test. Rivera, who originally self-published this debut, traces a classic redemptive arc: perpetually scowling Dio resists the authority of drill instructor Jackson and clashes with fellow inmates, but he pours out his heart in letters to Jennifer, forms meaningful peer relationships and gains an appreciation for discipline. A genuine care for dynamic Dio allows Rivera to deliver a sincere story of transformation. (July)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
VOYA - Janis Guerrero
Forever My Lady is a wonderful book. It describes in vivid words about the main character, Dio, and the problems he goes through for his girl. Just by the prologue anyone could tell that it was going to be a gripping page-turner. It's about love and doing what's right for yourself and others.
VOYA - Kimberly Paone
After a drive-by shooting puts his longtime girlfriend, Jennifer, in the hospital with serious injuries, Dio begins to re-evaluate his situation and his life-from inside a prison boot camp. At first, Jennifer is unwilling to talk or write to him, but she softens over time and the two communicate through letters during her recovery and his sentence. What readers can see in those letters that Dio cannot is that Jennifer has begun to move on-she wants to distance herself from Dio's former life full of gangs and drugs. But to do so, she also must distance herself from Dio. With a few setbacks, Dio is making progress in the camp and has decided that things will be different when he gets out. But he has no idea how everything on the outside has already changed. This first effort from a new author shows his inexperience, but the story is compelling and honest, and teens-especially those in urban areas-will find it utterly relatable and realistic. This story is reminiscent of Kalisha Buckhannon's Upstate (St. Martin's, 2005) in many ways, although this book features Latino characters in Las Vegas instead of Buckhannon's African American characters in New York. Although Rivera's book is not as polished and it is somewhat more predictable, both books have a place on the shelves in urban libraries or libraries with large Latino populations.
From the Publisher
"Captures those fleeting but powerful moments in young love."


—Luis J. Rodriguez, author of Always Running

MOving and meaningful... Its suspenseful ending leaves us all waiting with bated breath for the romatic sequel...This is more than just an urban love story, it's a human story."


—Abiola Abrams, host of BET's The Best Shorts

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780446698818
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
  • Publication date: 7/12/2003
  • Pages: 272
  • Product dimensions: 5.25 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 0.75 (d)

Meet the Author

JEFF RIVERA lives in Miami, Florida.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 44 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(26)

4 Star

(10)

3 Star

(5)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(2)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 44 Customer Reviews
  • Posted June 3, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    Great Young Adult Story About Stepping Up and Taking Responsibility

    Dio Rodriguez is part of a Latino gang. The gang is basically his family until he meets Jennifer. But then a drive by happens and Jennifer takes six bullets that were meant for Dio. Dio goes to prison where he learns that Jennifer is pregnant. He realizes how important Jennifer is to him and decides to step up and be the person that Jennifer needs.

    I had mixed feelings going into this story. I personally don’t have any love for gangs. So when I started reading the story I was frustrated and irritated about Dio’s laments of the gang. I was also lost with the Spanish slang. Half the time I was guessing what was being said.

    Having said that, I had to take a step back and look at the story as a whole. This is a really good story about someone changing their life around for someone they loved. It was well written and kept me turning the pages to find out if Dio had it in himself to change or if he would fall back into the gang life.

    This is a really good book. I think this is one that many people will like. It’s definitely one you will want to check out.

    I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 1, 2013

    Reviewed by: Celia Rating: 4 stars Review: What's a jaina? Not

    Reviewed by: Celia
    Rating: 4 stars


    Review: What's a jaina? Not being too familiar with the Chicano slang, that was my first question right from the start of this book. And what was a ruca? Admittedly, I found myself scratching my head at these words, but, at the same time, I couldn't help but be drawn to the raw boldness of the dialogue, a dialogue drooling with a refreshing wit and fierce overtone.


    Forever My Lady is the story of Dio, a young Latino from the barrio who has always been judged by his vulgar and robust appearance, but that all changed as soon as he met Jennifer¿his lady. No one could really understand the love he had with her, especially not her parents, who were "like cold tamales that used to be piping hot." (25) It seemed that they would be together forever...until that frightful night that separated them, sending him to prison camp and her to the hospital. Suddenly, she realized that Dio was NOT the guy for her, that she could do better. And who wouldn't think that they could do better than a trouble-making thug? Still, Dio believed that she was the one and would do whatever it took to get her back.



    His letter begging her to give him another chance was the same song performed by any gangster after a BIG screw up. Any promise to "straighten up" would be useless and would leave him right in the same spot. I honestly hoped that Jennifer wouldn't fall for it. I thought that they should both forget about each other and get on with their lives. How naive is it think that someone could wait for you for 50 years? But Dio was a spicy pepper that wouldn't give, even with all that crap he put up with in the prison camp. Perhaps it was his undying love that helped him get through the camp, which was where he meets some funny odd-ball characters, all with their own story of how they got to be where they are. Even the sweet, little Jennifer has her story. This book is just a closet full of secrets.



    Rivera's powerful words fill the reader with a fierce empathy. You can't help but feel a little pride as Dio begins to succeed little by little. As time goes by, Dio begins to gain compassion and learns to see that behind a rough exterior lies a beating heart of humanity.



    A story of strength, resistance, and will power. A perfect liking to Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men with its colorful array of characters set against a backdrop of a gritty and desolated world, working like burros for a better life.

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  • Posted March 30, 2012

    I had a difficult time with this book. I absolutely loved the wr

    I had a difficult time with this book. I absolutely loved the writing, and think that Jeff is very talented in bringing the reader right into the emotional turmoil Dio and Jennifer feel toward each other. Jeff gets the reader excited to see how Dio grows into the man we know he can be and the whole time you're hoping that Jennifer see's his growth too. What I had a hard time with was more of a personal battle. Most of the time when I was reading this, I was just irritated with Dio and his whining about his gang lifestyle. I kept thinking, "Dumbass, you made that choice, now live with the consequences and grow up." It took me talking with a friend who had actually experienced the gang lifestyle to truly appreciate the intricate depth of this book. Looking past my own blindness and into the deeper levels of family dynamics the gang lifestyle offers, I better understood where Dio was coming from, and therefore I appreciate his frustrated struggles.
    I'd love to know how Dio's doing now, and if he continued to grow and progress or if he retreated back into the gang lifestyle. That, to me, is the work of a great author. Being connected to the characters enough to want to know more about them makes the book enjoyable. I'm glad I picked this book up and decided to check out something that was so out of my comfort zone. Great read that I'd recommend to anyone who is looking for a realistic glimpse into the gang lifestyle.

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  • Posted September 28, 2011

    Good Book.

    I loved the book. Shorter than I expected but I couldn't put it down. I also see what everybody meant by the ending being weird. It wasnt the ending you were expecting. I loved it though. it was a good short story.

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  • Posted August 4, 2010

    Refreshing!

    Although characters could have been better developed, it was a touching tale of growing up and growing apart. It could have had greater depth and richness.

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  • Posted April 21, 2010

    great book, great visualization. a must have

    well I have to say this was one of my favortie books. It usually takes me about 2 weeks just to read a book like this but not this time. I finished it in 2 days. its verry good. I wont tell you much but heres some. Its about a girl and a guy wh thought they had fallen in love since they met in junior high. Both of their lifes have not been easy at all and in my opion that might be one of the reasons why they felt like they had fallen in love with eachother. the guy is a gangster from las vegas he ends up in bootcamp shes ends up get shot by some guys that have to do with her past.you have to read this book in order to understand how this ends up hapening. they write eachother letters during his sentence of one year.this is just some of the book thers much more detail to it.the guys name is dio he has grown up in different neighorhoods isnt exactly the kid that can control his anger. he defenitly seems to grow up & mature through out the story. jennifer which is the girl she was a quiet girl in school,her situatoin with her parents leads her to begin working with a guy named wiggie its definitely not a decent job at that point to her its the only way to make some money.her and dio end up losing contact b/c he ends up in foster system until hes around the age of 17 when they reunite.its interesting how they end up reunting.at some point they do try to change there lifes but something happens like i said that leads to him being locked up/boot camp and her shot. in a way he blames what happened the night of them leaving las vegas in order to turn there lifes around for the situation in which they end up in @ the end of the story.they do however end up having a child together a little baby girl.but its a good ending dont want to spoil it. one thing i can say its not your typical love story ending.and thats about all i can say hope you read it.

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  • Posted November 3, 2008

    4.5 stars

    When Forever My Lady opens, Dio is preparing to interrupt the wedding of his true love Jennifer--with a gun. Then we back up a year to find out how he got to that point.<BR/><BR/>Dio is a 17-year-old gang member whose life changes when Jennifer ends up in the hospital with several gunshot wounds and Dio ends up in a prison boot camp.<BR/><BR/>Most of the story takes place at the boot camp, as Dio goes from surly and uncooperative to making friends and becoming competitive and determined to succeed. Through it all, his desire for a better life with Jennifer is his driving force.<BR/><BR/>The descriptions of his life in the boot camp are interspersed with memories and letters to and from Jennifer, and as the book progresses, you can see his growth both in the things he does and in the way he writes about them.<BR/><BR/>Boot camp was very vivid, particularly at the beginning, when it was all new to Dio. And it was very familiar. I kept thinking "and I volunteered for this?" (I went through army basic training--boot camp.)<BR/><BR/>Dio's emotions and motivations were very clear, and right there on the page. I was moved to tears at several points, particularly when as an adult--or simply a reader, seeing things from the outside--I could see what was going to happen, but knew that given his personality and emotions, there was no way to avoid the upcoming pain or heartache.<BR/><BR/>Huge kudos to Jeff Rivera for treating Dio and Jennifer's emotions with the seriousness they deserved. So often, a teenage love affair is treated like puppy love, when that time of life is when emotions tend to be most intense. Plus, given these characters' backgrounds, they were certainly not children.<BR/><BR/>My only complaint is that the ending was just a little quick and easy. Maybe it needed to be that way, to fit with the beginning, and after all, Dio did do his soul-searching earlier. But it's not a big complaint--I love the way it ended, I'd just have liked the ending to be a couple of pages longer, is all.<BR/><BR/>I'll definitely be watching for Jeff Rivera's future books.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 10, 2007

    FIRST NOVEL, FIRST HIT

    For a first novel Jeff Rivera did a pretty good job. The story started off great and it held my attention til the end. I felt so sorry for Dio, all he had to look forward to was the letters from Jennifer. Jennifer on the other hand did not seem to get the importance of the letters, or she just didn't care. Jennifer, I hope learns that if you are no longer interested in a person, you should be up front with them and not lead them on. Dio recovers at the end of the book. It was an enjoyable read.

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  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    A reviewer

    Dio Rodriguez knows the side of Las Vegas that the high rollers and tourists never see. He has grown up in a rough neighborhood far from the glitter of the neon lights of the Strip or the Downtown. At thirteen, he joined a gang because that was the only way to survive, but understands that he must always act tough.--------------- However, now seventeen, Dio hides his soft side from the world because if his peers learn of any trait they consider a weakness, they will use and abuse it to get at him. Only his girlfriend Jennifer knows the inner Dio. However, his life spins out of control when his beloved Jennifer is hospitalized following a drive by shooting and Dio is sent to prison boot camp. He worries about her and when he learns she is carrying his offspring, Dio vows to turn his life around and make a family with her although his options to leave the mean streets seem limited.---------------- Jeff Rivera provides a terrific character driven redemption tale starring an interesting protagonist who much of the audience will not initially like and anticipate his lying dead in the streets. When the audience meets Jennifer they see the inner soft side of Dio that he hides from everyone else as a protective mechanism. At the boot camp, with a goal for the future, he detests authority figures, especially his drill instructor yet at the same time gains a deep understanding of the need for self- discipline if he is to make it. Mr. Rivera provides a powerful relationship tale focusing on the concept of caring for someone else proves a strong motivator to get off the streets and make it.--------------- Harriet Klausner

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 18, 2007

    great book

    This book is great. i was first intrigued by the cover. i know they say dont judge a book by its cover but this one has a great cover and is a great novel. I couldnt put the book down. You feel like you are living the life of the main character Dio, like you are just as anxious to get the letters that Jennifer sends him. What i like most about this book is that its realistic, life is not always a fairytale and sometimes things happen for a reason.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 25, 2007

    GO OUT AND BUY THIS BOOK

    Very good book could'nt put it down.I highly recommend it......

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 4, 2007

    The Buzz is well deserved!

    If they sat Rivera's talent on top of my head I'd probably pass out from the over whelming volume and mass of God given gifts that it contains. At first I was a little skeptical, mostly because I am not an avid reader. But I read it any way. Hooked! I was immediately captivated. I was drawn into a world that I didnt know I wanted know, and when I got there I didnt want to leave. This is not a book for Latin Americans, this book is for everyone. Forever My Lady doesnt care what color your skin is , nor your background as it engages you, making us care for a cast of characters that in real life we might villify. This is not just a good read but an eye opening experience into brown skin, making us realize that we are all not so different on the inside. It's a must read! The Buzz is well deserved!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 31, 2007

    A Must Read!

    Intriguing, compelling, and compassionate. Forever My Lady portrays an honest look into the life of an urban street kid overcoming the devastations of life, prison, and love.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 27, 2007

    A reviewer

    I was very excited and wanted to read this book ever since the author Jeff Rivera visited my school to offer a presentation about his writing career. I have been waiting for this book and I was more than pleased once I was able to read it. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone ages 13 and up. Suspenseful and something human, qualities not many pieces of writing have been able to obtain. Well done.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 11, 2007

    best book ever

    i love this book!esta bien chingon foreals. once you pick it up you cant put it down plus gives me pride that latino writers are gettin out there y todo.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 3, 2006

    GET THE BOOK ITS VERY GOOD!!!

    Forever My Lady is an interesting book. It can be relating too many. Its a very good book. Buy It!!! Read It. You'll love it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 29, 2006

    Forever My Lady

    What a read! Very exciting, on the edge suspense, mixed with raw emotional pull that carries you throughout the book. Characters are captivating. The story line is great! A well written, entertaining read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 24, 2006

    Excellent Visualization A MUST READ!!!!

    This book is AWESOME. I read the entire book in one sitting. I could NOT put it down. As I was reading the book it was like the author was sitting across from me, telling me a story. And with my eyes closed I could picture the characters and actually hear and visualize them in my head and how/what they would say and react. It was GREAT!!!! BETTER than John Grisham, Dean Koontz, and Michael Crichton these are all my favorite authors, and Jeff Rivera is BETTER, because for me it more about writing style and Jeff has a style that is more visual and emotional, and I prefer that. I am looking forward to reading more books from him. He has what it take to be a world class author. No that¿s not right HE IS A WORLD CLASS AUTHOR. Not all books should be a movie, but this one should be. I can¿t wait for Jeff to come out with more books. I also hope he puts up a meet the writer page so we can read and maybe hear more about how he develop these characters. I highly recommend this book!!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 18, 2006

    ASSOME

    OMG This is one of my favorite books...when I started reading I couldnt put it down, such a great book. Even if you dont like reading this book will change that because it makes you feel like your there watching everything happen..GREAT BOOK..I reccomend it to everyone

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 9, 2006

    GREAT BOOK

    I love this book its one of my favorite books of all time it feels like your there watching everything happen you actually feel the emotions they speak of. its really a GREAT BOOK.

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 44 Customer Reviews

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