On my blog today, I’m sharing my thoughts on the YA debut by Chris Whitaker, The Forevers.
They knew the end was coming. They saw it ten years back, when it was far enough away in space and time and meaning.
The changes were gradual, and then sudden.
For Mae and her friends, it means navigating a life where action and consequence are no longer related. Where the popular are both trophies and targets. And where petty grudges turn deadlier with each passing day. So, did Abi Manton jump off the cliff or was she pushed? Her death is just the beginning of the end.
With teachers losing control of their students and themselves, and the end rushing toward all of them, it leaves everyone facing the answer to one, simple question…
What would you do if you could get away with anything?
I’ve had Chris Whitaker’s debut YA novel, The Forevers sitting on my TBR pile for a while now, and I’m so glad that I finally got round to it. I’m a huge fan of Chris’s writing, and although I don’t read much YA, I was intrigued by the synopsis. The rich, diverse cast of characters were so engaging and what I thought Chris did really well is that he made me care for them, right from the first few pages. We can guess what is going to happen to them at the end of the novel, but I wanted to follow their journeys and see how they would progress.
Imagine that you know that you only have a few weeks left to live. The world is on red alert. Ten years ago NASA spots an asteroid on course for our planet, which they name Selena. In Chris’s book, The Forevers, Selena is just a month away from striking our home, which will have catastrophic consequences for life on Earth. What would you do if you knew this information? Would you go out of your way to achieve all you ever wanted to achieve, in such a small space of time? Or would you simply let go of everything and go wild for your last remaining days?
For the teenagers in this story, they have to face the prospect of their own mortality very young in life. When we’re young, many of us think that we’re invincible and that’ll we’ll live forever, I know I certainly did when I was younger. Even though, they all know their fate, there still seems to be an element of normality. They are still going to school. People are still going about their normal daily lives. But as the day of judgement draws closer, emotions run high. Then the body of a young girl is found. It isn’t clear if she deliberately chose to end her life, or if someone else was behind her death. This is what drives the tension in this book. What is going on in this small tight knit community?
Mae was a very engaging character. She is effectively in charge at home, taking care of her sister and grandmother. She has suffered more than her peers in her short life, having lost her parents at a very young age. You can see how this has made her into the character that she is now.
Chris is brilliant at bringing a small town to life. He has done this in all three of his previous books. He is brilliant at pulling you into his settings.
For me, what was the most powerful part of this book was looking at what drives these young people in their final days. You can see that even though they know they are doomed, that there is still a glimmer of hope. I really enjoyed The Forevers, it is such an engaging read and I flew through it.
Publisher: Hot Key Books
Publication date: 8th July 2021
Print length: 315 pages
The Forevers is available to buy: