Author : Chris Whitaker
Title : The Forevers
Pages : 340
Publisher : Hot Key Books / Bonnier Zaffre UK
Publication date : July 8, 2021
| ABOUT THE BOOK |
They knew the end was coming. They saw it ten years back, when it was far enough away in space and time and meaning.
The changes were gradual, and then sudden.
For Mae and her friends, it means navigating a life where action and consequence are no longer related. Where the popular are both trophies and targets. And where petty grudges turn deadlier with each passing day. So, did Abi Manton jump off the cliff or was she pushed? Her death is just the beginning of the end.
With teachers losing control of their students and themselves, and the end rushing toward all of them, it leaves everyone facing the answer to one, simple question…
What would you do if you could get away with anything?
| MY THOUGHTS |
You know how sometimes you have a favourite author, and then they suddenly do a 180 on you and write a book in a genre you don’t actually read? What’s a girl to do? I was obviously always going to buy ‘The Forevers‘ because I quite like having complete collections of favourite authors, even if I wasn’t going to read it. Yes, that is a valid reason for purchasing books. But in this case I decided, hell, it’s Chris Whitaker and I will read whatever he writes. Who cares that I can’t even remember anymore what being a YA is like. I think there were dinosaurs 🤔.
Luckily for me, ‘The Forevers‘ has all the elements that make me adore Whitaker’s books so much. The delicious small town atmosphere, a healthy dose of intrigue and the most incredible characters. I dare say nobody out there currently does the whole teenage angst and outsider thing quite the way he does.
Ten years ago, scientists predicted an asteroid was on its way to Earth with devastating consequences. Throughout the years, various attempts were made to divert it from its path but to no avail. Selena, for that is its name, is coming. Time is up. There is only one month left. What would you do?
Mae and her friends are a bunch of seventeen year olds, who should be partying it up, who should be looking to the future and planning the rest of their lives. Instead, they’re looking up into the skies, knowing there is nothing to plan for ever again. Still they go to school, still there is this odd normalcy about their lives that doesn’t seem to have any place here. Even though the end is nigh, they do still struggle with topics any one of us can relate to. Religion, family, money, self-acceptance and just wanting to belong while that tiny sliver of hope slowly but surely fades away to nothing. And in the middle of that, Abi Manton turns up dead. Did she jump off a cliff? Or was she pushed?
This is not an easy read. It is often quite uncomfortable. More than that, it definitely has the potential to depress the shit out of you. It probably would have, had it not been for the absolute marvel that is Felix. The comic relief, most of the time utterly unwillingly, is just one of those characters you will always be absolutely grateful for. Yet, Felix has problems like everyone else. And they do not only revolve around the fact that he doesn’t want to die a virgin.
Mae, what to say about her? Sarcasm and dark humour hide a multitude of hurts. But boy, is she strong! The way she takes care of her sister and her grandmother, who isn’t quite all there. Some might say what Mae does is wrong, even if she does it so her family can survive. All I know is that once again these characters are as memorable as Duchess and Manny. And if you don’t know who they are, I promise you you are missing out on extraordinary novels!
I couldn’t help but wonder why any of it mattered since everyone and everything would be gone in a month’s time. That’s the thing, isn’t it? What would you do, if you knew you had only one month left? What would you do, if you realised your actions would not have any consequences anymore? If you could get away with anything, what would you do? I must admit that ‘The Forevers‘ turned out to be far more thought-provoking than I bargained for. Events like these bring out the best and the worst in people and things are no different in Mae’s home town.
This wonderfully eccentric cast of weirdos and creeps, and this doom scenario had me glued to the pages. All of it is woven together with that beautiful writing I love so much from Chris Whitaker. He’s an incredible talent and it’s obviously official : I *will* read whatever he writes. ‘The Forevers‘ had a far bigger impact on me than I bargained for and just like with Whitaker’s other books, I can’t stop thinking about it. Or Mae, and Felix, and Stella. I can’t wait to see what’s next from this author but I do know, I’ll be at the front of the line waiting to be sprinkled by the Whitaker magic once again. ❤️
20 Books of Summer : 15/20