Sunday, July 28, 2013

Book Review: Forever, Interrupted (Taylor Jenkins Reid)

After reading Taylor Jenkins Reid's worthy debut novel, Forever, Interrupted, I was left with a message that I know in my heart but sometimes have a hard time remembering.  The only moment we're ever guaranteed is the one we're living in right now; the past is over and the future is not here yet.  You never know when your life will come to an end, and Reid reminds us to always live life to the fullest and with lots of love.

She does so by killing off one of the main characters on page 5 (I'm not giving anything away; it's on the back of the book.).  Ben and Elsie are madly-in-love newlyweds, having just been married a few days and knowing each other for only a few months.  Elsie gets a craving for, of all things, Fruity Pebbles, and Ben offers to ride to the store on his bike to get her some.  He is hit by a truck and killed instantly, leaving Elsie completely lost in her grief.  At the hospital, she meets Ben's mother, which is awkward in its own right since Ben never told her he was seeing anyone, let alone married.  Even though Elsie's heart is completely broken, she is made to feel as if knowing Ben for just a few months does not give her the right to grieve as a normal widow would.  Can she ever pick up the pieces of her unraveled life, and can she ever have a relationship with her mother-in-law who never knew Elsie existed?

I was completely drawn in by Ben and Elsie's relationship, even though I found some of it to be over-the-top.  They had a few arguments here and there, but they almost seemed too perfect to be true.  It's not too often where one of the main characters dies at the very beginning, but Reid effectively shocks us, and only
then tells the story of their relationship, all the while making us dread what we knew was going to happen to one of them.  Taylor Jenkins Reid has a bright future as a novelist, and I look forward to reading more from her.