Today’s Throwback Thursday guest is the lovely Catriona from Fabulous Book Fiend
I read Forever at a very impressionable age-the summer between primary school and secondary school. I had loved some of Judy Blume’s other novels so I knew I was ready to move onto this one. I love the way you are introduced to the main characters almost right away. We know who Kathryn is and what she is all about and she meets Michael in the first few pages of a novel. I love a book like this, with not much build up at all.
When I read this book I really liked Kathryn because she seemed really real and to know what she wanted, something which I found admirable at the age I was, something which I aspired to be. I thought Michael sounded dreamy and to me a glasses wearer, the fact that Kathryn was so smitten with him gave me hope that someone would fancy me and my glasses one day. I really loved Kathryn’s parents, they seemed so laid back and I liked that they didn’t mind her staying away with her boyfriend. At the time I thought she seemed really young to be doing that but I know that at that age, I was ready to go off to uni and live by myself, so with hindsight this wasn’t such a big thing.
Then there’s the sex. This was the most amazing bit for me. That this author would talk directly to me about the sex between these two characters and talk about it with such detail and reality-wow! I liked the fact that Kathryn made Michael wait until she was ready and that she was scared about the kind of things that I would be scared about, about bleeding and about being naked in front of someone else. I think dealing with the actually messy reality of sex is still something that authors shy away from so I totally applaud Judy Blume for dealing with it in this way. Ralph, on the other hand, RALPH? Even in my innocent eyes, I honestly wasn’t sure about Michael naming his penis that, I’d heard that this was so ring that guys did, read about it in magazines, but not such a normal name…. It’s like that scene in How To Loose a Guy in 10 days where she names his penis for him it’s just wrong. However it’s definitely a memorable moment from the book for a lot of other people that have read it and something which can be shared among readers. Ralph?!
Overall I think that this was a great book for teens to read when it was released and even when I was growing up. I’m not sure it translates as well now, but I think that an impressionable teenage girl would still be able to take the kinds of things from it that I took from it, and enjoy it as something from that era, from that time as well as identifying with the insecurities that all young women face surrounding growing up and sex. This remains one of my favourite books of all time and left an impression on me which has now lasted over 18 years!
Thank you to Catriona for sharing, I too loved Judy Blume growing up and can easily relate
Next week on Throwback Thursday, Victoria Stone.
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