Series: The Ever Trilogy #1
Published by Jasinda Wilder on December 16, 2013
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
These letters are often all that get me through week to week. Even if it’s just random stuff, nothing important, they’re important to me. Gramps is great, and I love working on the ranch.
I feel disconnected, like I’m no one, like I don’t belong anywhere. Like I’m just here until something else happens. I don’t even know what I want with my future. But your letters, they make me feel connected to something, to someone. I had a crush on you, when we first met. I thought you were beautiful. So beautiful. It was hard to think of anything else. Then camp ended and we never got together, and now all I have of you is these letters.
I just told you I have a crush on you. HAD. Had a crush. Not sure what is anymore. A letter-crush? A literary love? That’s stupid. Sorry. I just have this rule with myself that I never throw away what I write and I always send it, so hopefully this doesn’t weird you out too much. I had a dream about you too. Same kind of thing. Us, in the darkness, together.
And it was like you said, a memory turned into a dream, but a memory of something that’s never happened, but in the dream it felt so real, and it was more, I don’t even know, more RIGHT than anything I’ve ever felt, in life or in dreams. I wonder what it means that we both had the same dream about each other. Maybe nothing, maybe everything. You tell me.
We’re pen pals. Maybe that’s all we’ll ever be. I don’t know. If we met IRL (in real life, in case you’re not familiar with the term) what would happen? And just FYI, the term you used, a literary love? It was beautiful. So beautiful. That term means something, between us now. We are literary loves. Lovers? I do love you, in some strange way. Knowing about you, in these letters, knowing your hurt and your joys, it means something so important to me, that I just can’t describe. I need your art, and your letters, and your literary love.
If we never have anything else between us, I need this. I do. Maybe this letter will only complicate things, but like you I have a rule that I never erase or throw away what I’ve written and I always send it, no matter what I write in the letter.
Your literary love,
You ever have a dish made with all the ingredients you like and some bites taste okay, but really you just don’t like it? And you’re not 100% sure why, because by all rights you should? But something’s wrong – they just don’t go together for you or one ingredient is ruining the rest? Well that’s how I felt about Forever & Always. It even had elements that reminded me of one of my favorite books this year – The Wright Brother by Marie Hall. But instead of blowing me away, Forever & Always left me feeling kinda meh.
I love epistolary novels – have ever since I read Dracula four or five years ago. Having events unfold in a letter gives things a very different effect and I like that. But a lot of these letters didn’t do much for me – and I think it was because the letters never really TOLD the story. With maybe one or two exceptions, I had already SEEN what Ever or Caden (the main characters) were writing about. So the letters just became a place for emotions – emotions I had already seen and felt more powerfully when watching the scenes unfold. So the letters didn’t help the story, but became like a weak echo of the story. I think the letters could have done a great job telling bits of the story, but because of what I’d already read they just did little to nothing for me.
I also love stories that span over several years, as characters grow and discover friendship and love (like The Wright Brother). And it worked – for the most part – in Forever & Always. My problem was that you had the first half of the book with this sweet, young friendship that’s growing and definitely laced with romance – and then there’s this shift at about – I don’t know, 75%? – and I felt like I was reading awkward erotica. It was all of a sudden this shift, from awkwardness about things like kissing, to discovering sex for the first time, to page after page of descriptive sex, dirty talk, and very little plot. I wanted to hit the fast forward button – and did start skimming – I like erotica, but that wasn’t the book I was reading and I wanted the story back. I think Jacinda Wilder tried to keep the story there, because Ever and Caden talk during sex constantly about how much they love each other and stuff. But it didn’t work for me at all, instead it made things awkward for me.
And I love to have my heart torn out. A book full of tragedy and pain? Yes please! I’ll eat that up. (I’m a bit of a masochist I guess). Forever & Always has tragedy all over the place. And at first it really got to me. But as the story progressed it started to get stale – because it was so the same and so predictable. Tragedy isn’t quite as tragic when you knew it was coming 50 pages or so ago. And that was the story as a whole, unfortunately. After I figured out the rhythm, I knew what was coming from pretty much every angle. And it was either tragic or eye-roll worthy.
I even saw the sort of cliff-hanger, (supposed to be) supper emotional ending coming. I rolled my eyes and was knew that I wouldn’t read te next one to find out what happens. I’m pretty sure I already know, based on the pattern. There’s a sneak peak at the end of Forever & Always, but I really don’t care. As harsh as I sound, I didn’t hate Forever & Always. It was made up of lots of elements I like – even love – so in lots of ways it was okay. But putting them together just didn’t thrill me like I thought it would. Oh well, at least now I know that I’m done with this series.