Forever Changes by Brendan Halpin
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Pub. Date: September 2nd, 2008
Age Level: 14+
5:30 a.m., Brianna Pelletier gets ready for her daily pounding. As she lies on the couch, her dad beats her chest, then her back, coaxing the mucus out of her lungs. The pounding doesn’t take care of everything. Brianna’s held out for a long time, but a body with cystic fibrosis doesn’t last forever. It doesn’t matter that Brianna has a brilliant mathematical mind or that she’s a shoo-in for MIT. Or even that her two best friends are beautiful, popular, and loyal. In the grand scheme of things, none of that stuff matters at all. The standard life, lasting maybe seventy-five years, is no more than a speck in the sum total of the universe. At eighteen, and doubting she’ll make nineteen, Brianna is practically a nonentity. Of course she’s done the math. But in her senior year of high school, Brianna learns of another kind of math, in which an infinitely small, near-zero quantity can have profound effects on an entire system. If these tiny quantities didn’t exist, things wouldn’t make the same sense.
Funny, tear-jerking, and memorable, the author’s second novel for teens introduces readers to an extraordinary girl who learns that the meaning of forever can change, and that life – and death – is filled with infinite possibilities.
The best word I can find to describe Forever Changes is bittersweet. It was both sad and funny and was also very thought-provoking, making me put things in perspective. Which, might I add, is something I've really been needing to do lately. XD
One thing I loved about Forever Changes was how all the characters seemed to play equally important roles in Brianna's life, from her friends to her dad to her math teacher. It was almost like there were no minor characters and I really liked this about the book. The relationship between Brianna and her math teacher Mr. Eccles was an original and interesting aspect as well. Brianna's friends all carried their own unique and funny personalities, especially Adam, whom I loved. Someone who really stood out to me though was Brianna's dad who, despite his tough guy exterior, was a real sweetie who loved his daughter more than anything. And of course, I really liked Brianna's character, and not just cause we share a name. tehehehe. She was so smart and likable,(Hmm, maybe we have more than just a name in common. :P) plus her love of math made her really stand out against other YA characters.
It took me a little bit to get into this book but once I did, I really enjoyed it. There are plenty of books out there about teens suffering from illnesses like cancer, so it was refreshing to read about a girl with Cystic Fibrosis. Mom and I know a woman who has CF, she is one of the lucky and rare cases as she is in her fifties now. Also, the mathematical aspect to this story, though math is not my favorite subject, was intriguing and really made this story unique. I only wish Forever Changes could have been longer.
The writing was really good and I can say Forever Changes is one of those few books where I'm actually GLAD it was written in third person. To say why would spoil the book a bit which is also why I'm not going to tell you why I liked the ending, which I did. So there, HA! You'll just have to read the book won't you. I know, I'm such a meany. :P
So I confess, what really drew me to this book was the fact that the MC and I have the same name. How shameful, right? Yeah I know. Well anyway, though I figured I'd at least like this book, I didn't really have any major expectations for it. In the end, I really liked it as it was not only original but also a great combination of engaging, funny, serious, thoughtful, and sad. Since the main character, Brianna, is 18-19yrs old in this book, I can easily see both teens and adults enjoying this lovely, touching novel. I'll definitely be re-reading it and I highly recommend it. :D
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Monday, February 8, 2010
Forever Changes by Brendan Halpin
Posted by ~The Book Pixie at 2/08/2010 09:30:00 PM