Monday, April 3, 2023

Book Review: I Love You, Always, Forever

By Sara Steven

Life is full of highs and lows, but it’s who helps us through that counts.

Stumbling across her teenage diaries in her childhood home, Charlie is instantly transported to the 1990s.

She relives all the emotions and feelings as memories come flooding back, from first kiss to first love and everything in between.

Back in the present and Charlie discovers that even in the darkest of times, light and laughter can ALWAYS be found.

A heartfelt journey through life, from teenage angst to the trials and tribulations of adulthood. Family, friendship and romance weave throughout but who will love you, always, forever? (Synopsis courtesy of Amazon)

A girl with a heart like my own! I still have all of my diaries and journals from my own teen years in the 90s, and like Charlie, I like to read mine from time to time, instantly bringing me back to a much simpler time, even though I felt like it was anything but back then. Charlie experiences the same thing. We see Charlie fall into that one relationship that really left an imprint on her, the pureness of it helping to balance out the present, with illness and loss, and the trials and tribulations that can happen as we change and evolve. 

The story is told in two ways: the past, where she remembers how things had begun with Christian, and then, the here and now, where there is a lot she has to deal with and feels she has to fix. My favorite are the flashbacks. I could really see and feel a young Charlie, navigating the newness of a budding romance with Christian, down to the intimate moments that showcased her inexperience and youthfulness. It prompted me to recall those sorts of moments that I’d experienced myself, the times where I felt like I was on the precipice of going from childhood to adulthood. The flashbacks from Charlie were relayed well to the reader.

The adult Charlie was realistic, too, with responsibilities and yearning for the girl she used to be. I got the impression that she’s the one who has to hold it all together for her family, which is a lot of weight to carry. When a crisis happens, like one particular moment involving her mother, she talks about how she’s well aware that her mom won’t be able to retain the information she’s being given, so it’s up to her to remember it, and all the while with no emotion. She has to be the strong one. It’s no wonder the diaries are so important to her. 

Equal parts serious and lighthearted, I Love You, Always, Forever was an interesting trip down memory lane, bringing me back to the days of Nirvana t-shirts, scrunchies, and goth. It was an entertaining read!

Thanks to Rachel's Random Resources for the book in exchange for an honest review.

Purchase Links:
Amazon US * Amazon UK

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