Skip to main content

Spotlight Review: Always, Forever, Maybe


Always, Forever, Maybe by Anica Mrose Rissi (June 5)
Overview: Bee had dated a few boys, but they were always just blips on the timeline of her life, fun moments, unimportant to the grand scheme of things. That is, until Aiden. After the two meet at the candy store where she works, Bee falls into a deep infatuation with Aiden, quickly admitting she loves him, and he says he feels the same way. But the closer the pair gets, the more isolated Bee becomes from her best friend that's always having to beg for her attention and her parents who forbid the romance. This leaves Bee in a dangerous place when she starts to notice disturbing traits lurking behind Aiden's caring facade. Unsure who to turn to and desperate to make the relationship work, Bee nearly gives everything up to the dangerous cycle of abuse. Overall: 4.5

Characters: 5 I enjoyed all of the characters. Bee makes for a great narrator because of her unique view of the world. She helps the reader understand the mindset of someone who stays in an abusive situation and paints the other characters accordingly. Seeing Aiden through her first person, biased account makes the readers, too, both love and hate him. It's very interesting to see a character who was raised in a supportive family environment and well trained about the workings of a healthy relationship fight between what she knows and what she's experiencing to rationalize her situation, and I think Rissi nails her inner turmoil.
I also love Jo, Bee's best friend. I think the inclusion of a best friend as close to Bee as an appendage really adds to the narrative because Jo's able to spot the signs of abuse well before anyone else to try to help Bee out of the situation. It balances the narrative in a way that many books that cover this topic fail to. I think Jo provides the constant, important reminder that "This is never okay!" that should be present in all books dealing with any kind of abuse, especially when the protagonists are so good at rationalizing these things in their mind.

Plot: 5 I could not put this book down. I read in a weekend, mostly because I promised myself one more chapter one too many times! The tense nature of the story and constant action leaves you hungry for more. Before you know it, you've reached the end.

Writing: 4.5 Rissi offers a great style and voice, jumping us right into Bee's world. She masterfully navigates the difficult subject matter and leaves us with a beautiful book. My only other comment here, though I'm not even saying it's entirely negative, is that I felt like I was watching a really, really good movie the entire time I was reading. Some books, you live as the character when your in the pages, and here I felt like I was watching through a thick pain of glass, but, in a way, I almost feel like this kept the action up and moving, allowing me to empathize while also viewing this separate world.

Links of Interest:
Laura Creedle Author Interview: Article Here
Things I'm Seeing Without You: Review Here
Love Letters of Abelard and Lily: Review Here
The Celebrities We Need: Article Here

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Spotlight Review: All Out Of Pretty

All Out Of Pretty by Ingrid Palmer (April 3)
Overview: Palmer tells the story of Andrea "Bones" and her mother as they deal with the terrifying world of drug dealing and domestic abuse. Andrea is the child Ayla, her mother, never wanted. Until her Gram's death, she'd barely spent any time with Ayla. But after Andrea finds Gram lying dead on the kitchen floor, she's sucked into Ayla's world bouncing from town to town as Ayla squanders the little money they have left. Andrea tries to use school and her status as an honors student as a bright spot in her life, though even that is threatened by their turbulent, migrant lives. Until they settle in with Judd who's worse than any scary motel. While Ayla is too drug dependent to work to break the cycle of abuse Judd inflicts on them, Andrea must formulate a plan for their escape before it's too late. Can she get them out of danger while hiding their life from prying onlookers. Overall: 5 

Characters: 5 I though…

Upcoming Spotlight Reviews

Hello, everyone! I haven't done one of these update posts about the month ahead or what's going on with the blog in a while, so I thought I'd take a minute today to share a bit about what's coming up. There are so many amazing things, but, first, I wanted to thank all of you for helping grow the blog. It means so much to me that I am reaching my largest audience yet. Remember to click the subscribe button on the main page to get email updates about new posts and to follow on Instagram (@readingwritingandme), Twitter (@readwriteandme), and Facebook which I'll link below!
One of the major things I'm focusing on going forward is giving you guys three amazing posts per week. Sundays will always be for Weekly Reviews and Recommendations while Wednesdays and Fridays will feature different reviews and articles. With Teen Book Con coming up, I'll be running a special series of reviews for all the books whose wonderful authors I get to meet!
And, of course, there a…

New Release: America Panda

America Panda by Gloria Chao (306 pages)
Overview: Mei is starting MIT a year early, skipping senior year, pushed forward by her parents who always demanded she push herself past extremes. They've also dictated that she's at MIT to become a doctor and that she will marry Eugene. Mei doesn't know how to cope with her parents rigid views and traditions that come from their Chinese culture. She doesn't feel like she can belong anywhere due to the conflicting expectations, and she knows she must sort out her feelings if she ever wants to be happy. Overall: 4.5

Characters: 5 I loved Mei. I related to her so much. We both need glasses (and don't wear them often), have a thing with avoiding germs, and are graduating early (something I never thought I'd see in a book). Watching Mei struggle between what she wants to do and what her parents want her to do. It's amazing to see how the college experience and the people around her help her sort out her feelings and carry…