The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen - The characters in Just Listen, my first re-read as part of the Sarah Dessen challenge, remind me so much of the characters in The Truth About Forever that I immediately wanted to pick it up after finishing Just Listen. I found I remembered the main characters' names, Macey and Wes, and I remembered that Wes was a sculptor, but after that I was out. I couldn't wait to dive in and get reacquainted. It was a fun ride. Macey, a straight laced perfectionist after her father died, joins Wish catering company and is introduced to the chaos that makes life worth living. She also meets Wes, a swoon worthy bad boy with a tender streak a mile wide, and they begin an extended game of Truth, which causes Macey to open up to someone in a way she hasn't since she watched her dad die. I absolutely love the progression of their relationship; their first interaction defines "meet-cute," and they continue to fall for each other at a natural, realistic pace. However, the standout character in The Truth About Forever, for me, is Macey's new best friend and catering partner, Kristy. Kristy is unlike any character Dessen has ever written in terms of style and heart. She is funny, memorable, and very insightful, coining my favorite novel catchphrase, "SW-OON." But this wouldn't be a Dessen novel if there wasn't some family drama. Dessen artfully draws Macey's mother at a time when the stress of her husband's death has consumed her, but she's too tightly wound to just let go. This tension has bled over into her relationship with Macey and threatens to strangle it. The only thing that keeps The Truth About Forever from being the perfect novel for me is the conclusion. There is an integral plot point resolved but in a "blink and you'll miss it" kind of way. Given its implications, it should have been fleshed out more fully.
Best matched with mothers and daughters or any good girl that wished to land the neighborhood hottie.