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By Samantha Johnson, 2012-2013 AmeriCorps member serving on the National Grid team with Blackstone Elementary School

In The Truth About Forever, by Sarah Dessen, 16-year-old Macy is a rising high school senior who always plays it safe. While her boyfriend is away at Brain Camp, she doesn’t look forward to the upcoming summer—especially after the untimely death of her father, her boring job at the library and needing to study for SATs. After she finds an exciting new summer job with thrilling new people to spend her time with, Macy discovers that her summer will not end as dull and gloomy as it began. Through coming to terms with an unresolved family history and her lackluster relationship, Macy takes a leap of faith into spontaneity. She begins to live her life to the fullest with new friends, new connections and reforms relationships with her family.

This story is alluring for its realistic feeling and characters worth caring about. Sarah Dessen is wonderful at touching her audience with heartfelt stories that, I believe, most young adults can relate to. Between cramming for SATs, coping with family, friends and relationship drama, Macy is a typical high school student. The story takes a few unexpected twists that keep the reader engaged.

Writing is “a skill that can be taught and always improved,” said Blackstone Elementary’s Writer’s Express Specialist Megan Comb. I believe reading can be viewed the same way. Reading is not a skill we are born with, but it is a skill we build upon for the rest of our lives. I believe the best way to improve this skill is to not only read consistently, but read about what interests us most.

I first read this book when I was 15 years old; I enjoyed it so much that it inspired me want to become a professional writer! I’ve read it twice and it was amazing both times. In fact, I’m looking forward to reading it again soon. While Macy and I don’t have the exact same life, I found myself relating to her emotions and feeling very connected to her character.

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