Forever for a Year

Book review by
Lucinda Dyer, Common Sense Media
Forever for a Year Book Poster Image
Freshman first-love tale has some insight, lots of sex.

Parents say

age 17+
Based on 2 reviews

Kids say

age 15+
Based on 5 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

Offers an insightful look at first love and what at times reads like an explicit step-by-step guide to first sexual experiences.

Positive Messages

Actions have consequences. Unprotected sex causes pregnancy. Infidelity causes problems in marriage and relationships.

Positive Role Models & Representations

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.


A very brief fistfight.


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.


Profanity ("f--k," "a--hole," "bitch," "s--t," "crap," "Goddamn") used casually but infrequently.  


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.

What 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 labelBut the book does show readers that sex will have consequences and that first love -- no matter how passionate -- may not be forever.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byMom2885 March 18, 2019


Sexually explicit. Not just saying that they had a sexual encounter, but details on body parts and activity. Any "message" in the story is lost. Even... Continue reading
Adult Written byKjbartolotta September 9, 2015

Too much S-E-X!

I guess other kids were doing things like this when they were 14, I sure wasn't. Written in a jarring stream-of-conscious style, 'Forever For a Year... Continue reading
Teen, 15 years old Written byElishagracee May 6, 2018


I personally didn’t hate the book. I thought there was a lot of sex which made it awkward to read, but I did enjoy how it switched from both characters point of... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byrubythompson April 15, 2018

Way too mature for characters that are supposed to be freshmen

This book gets very graphic, and can sometimes be hard to read.

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?

Book details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love romance

Themes & Topics

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