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Coming Soon:
~Review: The Killing Woods
~Review: The Waiting Sky
~Review: A Certain Slant of Light
~Review: Timepiece
~Review: Infinityglass

Monday, February 8, 2010

Review: Forever Changes

Forever Changes by Brendan Halpin
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Pub. Date: September 2nd, 2008
Pages: 192
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

Characters: B
Writing: B-
Plot: B+
Ending: B
Enjoyment/Likability: B
Recommendable: B+
Cover: A+

Overall: B


Kaylyn said...

This sounds like a really good book! I'm going to pick it up sometime. Awesome review![:

Sandy said...

You know, that's true. There AREN'T a lot of MCs that like math...maybe it's because authors are more into words than numbers so they unconsciously write that dislike into their characters. I think the only character I've come across that talks about math is Skye from... oh, what's the book called... URGH I can't remember. I know I will as soon as I submit this comment. ;P OH. I remembered another book: Nothing but the Truth (and a few white lies). The main character talks about math...

You should read that. I think you'd like it. :) Okay, I'm going to end this LONG comment. <3

Anonymous said...

I'm going to have to add this to my wishlist. It sounds like a very sweet book. I don't blame ya for being drawn to the book because you have the same name as the main character. I think we may all do something similar to that sometimes.

Unknown said...

This book sounds really amazing. I will definitely add it to my wishlist.

Anonymous said...

Hmm I've never read a book before about someone with CF. This sounds really interesting! And the cover looks great.

Nancye said...

This sounds like a great book! I really want to read this one! If this book were made into a movie my husband would call it a chick flick, which is my kind of a movie!! Thanks for a great review.

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

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Georgia, United States
Hello all! My name is Briana, I'm 20, and I live in the beautiful state of Georgia. I love reading and photography.

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