Disclosure: I received this book to review. Opinions shared are mine; post may contain affiliate links.
It’s like reading a script from the old Beverly Hills 90210. Forever Julia whips us back and forth between the should-we-shouldn’t-we give IT up. The book was a fairly accurate synopsis of what many teens go through. I’m one of those people who believes in waiting until marriage, so my heart broke when I read about teens making such a deeply emotional decision at a young age.
Julia dealt with several major life situations in a short period of time. Losing her father, adjusting to a new living situation with her mom, learning to balance school and social life, and figuring out how to navigate romance all caused her to struggle. It was frustrating to see Julia make the wrong choices over and over (and over) again. Her friends tried to reach out to her, but Julia only pushed them away. She was quite selfish at times, and rather dense for someone who seemed to be pretty intelligent. Still, I thought she was a pretty accurate version of what a typical teenager goes through during a decision making process. Without knowing who to trust and who to keep on her side, Julia made inevitable mistakes. It was difficult to watch! Fifteen years old is still a baby in my eyes, with so many years of happiness ahead. I wish I could go back to my fifteen-year-old self and say, “These things will NOT matter in twenty years. Shake it off.” When you’re fifteen? It ALL matters.
I appreciated the fact that Forever Julia didn’t contain vivid, graphic sex scenes. I hesitate to recommend this to a younger group of teens, simply because of the theme, but it’s definitely a discussion worth having with young adults. My biggest concern was for Julia’s boyfriend Jeremy. Readers get the inside look at his seemingly charmed life, and it’s scary! I’d give this book a 4 out of 5 stars. I especially liked that the back of the book contained helpful advice and numbers for teens who need help getting out of an abusive relationship.
Title: Forever Julia
Publication date: May 1, 2015
Publisher: Great Plains Publications
Author: Jodi Carmichael
Six months ago, Julia’s life was perfect. Then her dad died. Now she lives with her grieving mother and sick grandmother in a puny apartment above their bookstore. After a dark bout of depression, Julia is fragile, and mourns both her father and her old life. But she has one thing to be happy about: Jeremy, the most popular boy at school, has chosen her. Jeremy’s love for Julia is passionate, even obsessive. As she grows closer to Jeremy, Julia pushes her disapproving friends and family away. But Jeremy only becomes more controlling and Julia has to decide what lines cannot be crossed.
JODI CARMICHAEL lives in Winnipeg where she can often be found dancing in the living room with her two wildly imaginative daughters, her patient and supportive husband, and a scruffy Border Terrier named Zoe. Jodi’s previous book for young readers, Spaghetti Is NOT A Finger Food, won numerous awards and has been a multi-week Bestseller.
Visit Jodi Carmichael at www.jodicarmichael.com.