Monday, July 6, 2015

Book Review and Giveaway: Forever for a Year by B.T. Gottfred

Pages: 432
Genre: YA Realistic Fiction
Pub. Date: July 7, 2015
Source: Publisher for review
My Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Goodreads says, "When Carolina and Trevor meet on their first day of school, something draws them to each other.  They gradually share first kisses, first touches, first sexual experiences.  When they’re together, nothing else matters. But one of them will make a choice, and the other a mistake, that will break what they thought was unbreakable. Both will wish that they could fall in love again for the first time . . . but first love, by definition, can’t happen twice. Told in Carolina and Trevor's alternating voices, this is an up-close-and-personal story of two teenagers falling in love for the first time, and discovering it might not last forever. "
It's freshman year for Carolina, formerly just Carrie, and she wants to start fresh alongside Peggy, her best friend. With the help of Peggy's older sister, Katherine, who just so happens to be the most popular girl in school, they can break out of their nerdy status and become "it" girls as well.  That is if Carolina is willing to take orders from Katherine, resident mean girl and all around bad person.  In walks new kid, Trevor, who is not only good looking, but actually shows some attention to Carolina.  After some near misses and sabotage from Katherine, Trevor and Carolina finally hit it off and realize that they both like each other.  Trevor, a former football star, is trying to find his place here in his new school. His cousin goes to school here, but isn't exactly helping him find his way, in fact, he makes things more challenging.  So when Trevor hits it off with Carolina, things get much easier for him.  Except when they don't.  Their first love becomes the all-consuming unhealthy type that we often see in high school.  Between dealing with their family problems at home, first sexual encounters, and the ups and down of high school, it proves to be a lot for these two kids. B.T. Gottfred's debut, Forever for a Year, is an absorbing portrayal of first love. 

Carolina's life could go one way or the other in Forever for a Year. I was hoping that she would stay away from Katherine and Peggy, who seems to be Katherine's mindless minion. I wanted her to forge her own path, but as a freshman that is so hard. She is still trying to be "cool" and figure out where she belongs. Plus, she is dealing with her parents separation, which only adds more fuel to the fire.  Guys have never really paid attention to Carolina, so when Trevor starts to give her some genuine attention, things move quickly from there. 

Trevor is also dealing with some issues at home that are tough. He is supposed to be starting fresh at this new school and put his issues from last year behind him.  Instead of picking up where he left off with football, he realizes that he missed try-outs and should join cross country instead. This ends up transforming Trevor, especially as he challenges and pushes himself further.

So, Trevor and Carolina are only fourteen years old in Forever for a Year, but their relationship seemed to be much older, think seventeen/eighteen years old. I must be getting old, because I feel like fourteen year olds are just too young to be dating this seriously. It was a hardcore case of first love and it quickly became all-consuming.  This sort of makes me cringe, because at times it was an unhealthy relationship.  I mean they were talking marriage at one point?! Also, Carolina and Trevor were making some bad decisions regarding sex and it just proves how immature they truly are. However, I do applaud Gottfred for portraying an honest glimpse into first love and sex.  It was all very real. 

The point of view alternates from Carolina to Trevor, which was helpful to get both perspectives on various events in Forever for a Year.   At times, their inner monologues, insecurities, and constant obsessing ended up being too much, but then I remembered what freshmen in high school are like.  One word: Egocentric.

Gottfred's writing is really good.  There were some one-liners and quotes that I really enjoyed. For example, Carolina's dad gives her some advice: "In high school, everyone is figuring out who they're supposed to be.  You just be who you want to be instead of who you're supposed to be and you'll know something no one else knows."  I love this! 

So, if you are looking for an entertaining poolside read this summer that will make you appreciate the ups and downs of first love and how it shapes you for the rest of your life, then check out Forever for a Year



Thanks to Macmillan, I am hosting a great giveaway today for a SUMMER LOVE prize pack. One US winner will receive a copy of Forever for a Year plus a beach tote and sunglasses. Forever for a Year will hit book stores tomorrow, so this is perfect timing! The giveaway is open to US readers only and the deadline is July 16th.  Please refer to my giveaway rules. Good luck!

To learn more about the author, check out B.T. Gottfred’s Tumblr and follow the author on TwitterFacebook, and Instagram.  


4 comments:

  1. Not sure I'd enjoy this book but the premise kind of reminds me of an updated version of Forever by Judy Blume (although I think Katherine and Michael were not freshmen...it's been years since I read it so I could be wrong). It is good that the author portrays what first love can be like in an accurate way.

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  2. It sounds like a great summer teen love story, Christina! I'm glad you enjoyed this debut! Thanks for sharing this giveaway!

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  3. Oh wow. That giveaway looks awesome! Too bad it's only open for US entrants. Anyway, they do sound serious for a couple of 14 year olds. I like the concept though.

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  4. Yeah, that's way too serious for 14 year olds! It's not just you.

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