Forever by Judy Blume.
I’m not sure how I missed Judy Blume books growing up, but I did. In fact Judy Blume didn’t come on my radar until a couple of years ago, I know she’s a well-loved and greatly respected author, but I’m ashamed to say I hadn’t read any of her work. That is until this book was selected by my Book Club ‘The Bookish Broads’ I asked the ladies to nominate books that they read at school and this one was picked. For those who aren’t aware it follows the story of Katherine and Michael, two teenagers who meet at a party and start dating. Whilst Michael has had sex in the past, Katherine hasn’t and this book deals with the first time in a really open and honest way.
Apologies if this is TMI (too much information) but I was a late bloomer in the sex department and I didn’t actually lose my virginity until I was 21. So I think had I read this when I was 13/14 it would have terrified me and I probably would have kept the book hidden from my mum. When Michael first starts asking Katherine to go further with him, I felt my mind suddenly jump back to all the things guys said to me when they wanted more than just kissing and hand holding and I said I wasn’t ready.
‘You’re not mad, are you?’
‘Yeah…but this is really tough…’
‘I know it…’
‘Give me a minute by myself; okay?’ he asked.
The really interesting thing about this book is the juxtaposition, at the beginning it seems like Michael is only interested in Katherine for sex, but by the end of the novel Katherine’s feelings for Michael subside and Michael seems to genuinely care for her. Judy Blume does a great job of introducing and airing the parental concerns and gives a great insight to a Family Planning Clinic. The moments of intimacy were realistic, sex can be messy and Judy Blume allowed for this, which is great as it prevents both boys and girls getting an idealistic view of sex. This was really easy novel to read and I think it’s a novel I’d allow my children to read.
Star Rating out of 5: 3.5
‘He led my hand to his penis. “Katherine….I’d like you to meet Ralph….Ralph, this is Katherine. She’s a very good friend of mine.”
I’m not going to lie, I laughed at Ralph…
Happy reading, Georgina.