Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Book Nerd Lent Challenge: Flo Reads the Book That's Been In Her TBR Pile the Longest

Jacque came up with this challenge. We all have those books that we put on our TBR pile, and somehow they just keep getting pushed back. It makes you wonder...what book started your TBR pile? What's at the very bottom? If you have a Goodreads account, finding the answer can be as easy as pulling up your "To Read" pile and looking at the first item. In my case, I needed a new audiobook for my morning & nightly commutes, so I grabbed the bottom 3 on CD.

That's how I got to The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen. Ever since I started book blogging, and probably even before, I had heard about her stories. She has a lot of books and they are all in the contemporary YA chick lit vein. Perfect! I love it. She has been likened to Elizabeth Scott, whose books I have read a couple of and really enjoyed. Whenever I would find one of Sarah Dessen's books on sale, I would grab it. Thus, I currently own 3 to 4 of her titles, and I have never read one of them. So, of the books I had, I checked out which one seemed to be the most popular, and The Truth About Forever won.

Unfortunately, I found that I did not like this book, and I had to abandon it after almost 130 pages. I was trying to hang on...but I just couldn't. In the 130 pages I read...not much has happened! The story has just barely started. I found descriptions that could be a page, or at most two, dragged on and on and on for no reason. For example, there is a part of the book where Macy, the protagonist, is discussing her Dad's love of those infomercial gadgets that you can order from Home Shopping Network late at night. This could have been stated, then an example or two shared, and we would have gotten the point. But she talked about it for waaaaay longer than she needed to. I didn't feel that we needed detail and explanation of pretty much every single item that her Dad had bought. There were other parts of the story where the same thing happened -- a scene was waaaay longer than it needed to be. I get that cute dialogue really helps you to know the characters in a "show don't tell" kind of way. But the story also needs to move forward and a conversation about nothing really that goes on and on and on feels unnecessary to me.

The other thing that I did not enjoy were the extensive flashbacks. I understand that we need context and background. But if you want to talk about the past so much, set the story in the past. There were so many flashbacks in this book that, as I said before, the story itself was crawling forward. It felt like it didn't go anywhere between the extra long random dialogue, the scenes of unnecessary over description, and the flashbacks interrupting the story all the time. I mentioned I stopped around page 130? Enough of the actual story had happened that it felt like it should be page 27. In all the write ups and descriptions, I kept reading about this great love interest named Wes. I'm sure he's swoon-worthy and all that --but really?! If he is a main character, why haven't he and Macy had ANY real interactions and I'm supposedly 34% through with the book?!

I will say, I bet if I had stuck with it through to the end, it would probably be really neat to see the transition in Macy. Also, the characters do capture your heart: Bert, with the Bertmobile; Delia with "DearGodPleaseI'mBeggingYou"; crazy, bubbly Kristy. I did enjoy all the scenes when Macy was hanging out with the Wish crew.

I am not sure if I will try another Sarah Dessen book. I should, since I own 3 more. But I was talking with a friend on Twitter and she shared a similar reaction to another one of her books. I'm not sure what to do here.

Any Sarah Dessen fans out there? Can you, I don't know, leave me a comment? Any one else? Thoughts?


  1. I love Sarah Dessen, but this is not my favorite of her books. I highly suggest Just Listen or This Lullaby; you will not be disappointed if you read either or both of these.

  2. I haven't read anything by Dessen that I can think of- but I have heard rave reviews about her books everywhere. Based on what Devan wrote I might give Just Listen a try. Thanks for sharing!