The Truth About Forever
by Sarah Dessen
Macy does an awesome job of giving us the low-down on what the people in her life are like. Example? Check it out:
My dad […] was knowledgeable, trustworthy. […] [Y]ou wanted him to be your best friend. (2.19)
Of course, direct characterization is one of the few ways she candescribe her dad, since he's not around anymore to give us snippets of dialogue or action. But others in the book get the same treatment: "Jason had […] a reputation as the Boy Who Knew Everything. […] He had all the answers" (2.24). With these other characters, getting the scoop this way helps us understand their actions later on in the story.
Think your family doesn't influence who you are? Think again. Each character in The Truth About Forever is totally molded by their family, and you can see their true personalities in a heartbeat by watching how they interact with relatives.
Take Wes, for example. His mom's lost battle with cancer changed him completely:
Now he's totally different, how he's so protective of Bert and focused on his welding and the pieces he makes. (5.107)
He works for his aunt, takes care of his little brother, babysits his little cousin—sounds like a pretty good guy to us. And then of course, there's Macy's mom. We learn a lot about her by watching her boss Macy around, without giving her a chance to speak up. Luckily, in her case, it's only temporary; once she starts the healing process, she'll also do some major chillaxing.
Thoughts and Opinions
Here's the biggie: how do we get to know Macy? Well, duh—mostly through the thoughts she shares with us throughout the story. We know her back story and how it affected her even better than her own family:
I wished I'd walked into my mother's open arms the few times she'd tried to pull me close, […] letting my sad heart find solace there. But I hadn't. I wanted to be a help to her, not a burden, so I held back. And after a while, she stopped offering. She thought I was beyond that, when in fact I needed it now more than ever. (3.52)
And that's why we can root for her to make the changes she needs to in order to heal: because we know her through and through.