Forever for a Year
By Lucinda Dyer,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Freshman first-love tale has some insight, lots of sex.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Offers an insightful look at first love and what at times reads like an explicit step-by-step guide to first sexual experiences.
Actions have consequences. Unprotected sex causes pregnancy. Infidelity causes problems in marriage and relationships.
Positive Role Models
Both Carolina and Trevor resist peer pressure to drink and party. Trevor is determined to date Carolina despite her being labeled an unattractive nerd by his friends (she gets A's and plays soccer). Carolina stands firm and refuses to go along as her best friend from junior high school morphs into a party girl. Trevor takes up a new sport (cross-country) and sticks with it despite the physical and emotional challenges he faces. But, when it comes to sex, Carolina and Trevor often exhibit reckless behavior.
Violence & Scariness
A very brief fistfight.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Trevor and Carolina think about sex, talk about sex, experiment with touching and "hand jobs" (which Trevor deems not sex) and oral sex, and finally have intercourse several times without a condom. The sex is extremely graphic and often written like a step-by-step guide. Both Trevor and Carolina watch porn online to learn more about sexual techniques. Trevor asks his mother for advice on giving Carolina an orgasm and later catches his mother sexting with a man other than his father. There's a pregnancy scare.
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Profanity ("f--k," "a--hole," "bitch," "s--t," "crap," "Goddamn") used casually but infrequently.
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Products & Purchases
Trevor and Carolina watch Game of Thrones and Finding Nemo.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Trevor's mother attempted suicide by overdosing on pills. At their first high school party, beer, vodka, and tequila are offered, and there's drinking on the party bus on the way to prom. A freshman girl smokes pot in the school bathroom. Carolina tries a beer.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that B. T. Gottfred's Forever for a Year is about two high school freshmen experiencing the emotional roller coaster of first love and a first sexual relationship. Told from both Carolina and Trevor's points of view, the brief alternating chapters read like stream-of-consciousness diary entries. There's enough graphic sex (including oral sex and intercourse) to warrant a "sexually explicit" warning label. But the book does show readers that sex will have consequences and that first love -- no matter how passionate -- may not be forever.
Where to Read
Based on 2 parent reviews
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Too much S-E-X!
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What's the Story?
For both Carrie and Trevor, freshman year is a new beginning: Carrie is reinventing herself as Carolina, and Trevor has just moved to town and is entering a new school. They meet on the first day and, despite pressure from friends who are against the relationship, fall in love and soon begin to explore and then act on their sexual feelings for each other. The relationship portrayed in FOREVER FOR A YEAR is filled with the usual teenage "loves me, loves me not" angst, and both teens are coping as best they can with parents whose marriages are often on shaky ground, as they weather almost every storm that seems destined to pull them apart.
Is It Any Good?
This book has a split personality: One side shows a sweet, realistic look at first love, and the other offers up enough sex to verge on soft porn. On the positive side, the voices of Trevor and Carolina are distinctive as they chronicle their relationship in alternating chapters that offer insight into how differently boys and girls act and react to love and sex. And both Carolina and Trevor are likable and relatable as they stumble, fall, and find their way through freshman year. Ultimately, it's a story that could have offered a window into how teens explore a first serious relationship but has been hijacked by too much sex.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about the realities of teens having sex. What are the emotional consequences of having a sexual relationship?
How realistic do you think Carolina and Trevor's relationship is for high school freshmen?
Several characters cheat in their relationships, both innocently and not at all innocently. Would you forgive someone who cheated on you?
- Author: B.T. Gottfred
- Genre: Coming of Age
- Topics: Friendship, High School
- Book type: Fiction
- Publisher: Henry Holt & Company, Inc.
- Publication date: July 31, 2015
- Number of pages: 427
- Available on: Nook, Hardback, iBooks, Kindle
- Last updated: August 2, 2021
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
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Where to Read
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