by Judy Blume is one of the most challenged books ever written for teenagers. Originally published in 1975, Forever . . . has remained popular with teenagers and unpopular with critics. The complex issues facing the teenage characters, Katherine and Michael, are the same issues that are facing many teenagers today. Because the book has been so popular to teenage readers, I will examine whether it should be considered a work of "good" realistic fiction. I will use the criteria from David Russell's list: What Makes Good Realistic Fiction? (218). I have chosen two points to examine in my paper: (a) Judy Blume's honest and accurate portrayal of the problems faced by the teenage characters in the novel and (b) the believable and honest portrayal of the characters.
Summary of Forever . . . .
Forever . . . is a typical teenage love story. Katherine and Michael meet at the New Year's Eve party of a mutual friend. They immediately like each other and begin dating. There are a series of episodes of Katherine and Michael going out on dates and making out, with Michael always wanting to go a little further and Kath always stating that she is not yet ready. Katherine and Michael go skiing together for the weekend. While they are away, Michael and Kath tell each other that they love each other for the first time. After returning from the trip, Kath insists that she will love Michael forever and that they will be together forever. Katherine's family is worried about her relationship with Michael; they worry that she is becoming too attached or that she will do something she will regret. Soon after returning from the trip, Michael and Katherine have sex for the first time. After Kath's grandmother tells her about Planned Parenthood and the different birth control methods, she goes to the clinic and acquires birth control pills. The two teenagers worry about their impending separation as they go their separate ways for college and summer jobs.