Study Guide

The Truth About Forever

By Sarah Dessen

The Truth About Forever Introduction

Ah, summer romance. Spending hours under a starry sky, sharing secrets with a guy so hot that everyone's jealous. Best. Summer. Ever.


Well… maybe not. Things aren't quite that easy for Macy, unfortunately. Sure, she's hanging with a hottie, but he's already taken—and so is she. (Uh-oh.) And she's working two jobs this summer, one of which she can't stand. Oh yeah—and her dad died kind of recently, too. So, life isn't actually all sunshine and lollipops at the moment.

But you know what? No one's got a perfect, easy life; there are always unexpected complications, tragic back stories, or sad realities. And Sarah Dessen makes that super clear in her 2004 novel, The Truth About Forever. Don't break out the tissues quite yet, though. Dessen weaved this sob-worthy story together with the squeal-worthy, and it worked so well that it won The Truth About Forever the honor of being an ALA/YALSA Teen Top Ten book.

In fact, when it comes to young adult lit, Sarah Dessen takes the cake: not just one, but five of her books have been awarded distinctions, and she also happens to be a New York Times bestselling author. And you know that Mandy Moore movie, How To Deal? Yep—that's based on her books.

Life may not be easy, but in The Truth About Forever, Sarah Dessen shows us that, in spite of all the pain, the moments of joy are still totally worth it.

What is The Truth About Forever About and Why Should I Care?

It's teen magazine quiz time, y'all.

Q: Which of the following describes your ideal boyfriend?
A. A super-protective, ultra-restrained gentleman who's so attracted to you he can barely stand it.
B. A loyal, adoring, impulsive friend who fights to get you as his girlfriend.
C. A childhood friend who has always been there for you and your family. He shares most of your interests, but has a callous streak.
D. A real ally whose true feelings you're often not sure of, but who sticks by you through thick and thin, and whose actions let you know he cares.
E. A seriously smart, vegan perfectionist who does volunteer work and visits his grandma regularly, but doesn't act very affectionate towards you.
F. A crazy hot artist who has a history with the police, and loves to talk with you for hours.

If you chose A, congrats. You're Team Edward. If B, congrats again—Team Jacob. If you're more of a C kinda gal, it's Team Gale; and if your ideal is D, then, you guessed it, you're on Team Peeta.

What if you chose E? Why, then, you're Team Jason, of course.

And if you have your heart set on F, it's obvious—you're on Team Wes.

Okay, okay. So Jason and Wes haven't quite achieved Twilight or Hunger Games status… yet. But their (simultaneous) relationships with Macy still force you to take sides and start rooting for one or the other.

Why do we care so much about which guy a character ends up with? Well, the person you choose to love says a lot about who you are. And we all identify with Bella or Katniss or Macy—so it's only natural to want the girl to pick the guy we'd choose.

So who's it going to be? Jason or Wes?

Get out the fabric paints and the T-shirts—let the screaming begin.

The Truth About Forever Resources


Totally Official Sarah Dessen Author Website
Everything you ever wanted to know about Sarah Dessen and her books. Check out the blog—you won't regret it.

Sarah Dessen's Truth about The Truth About Forever
Want to get inside Dessen's head and see what she was thinking when she wrote this book? Look no further.

Author Bio
This ain't your regular ol' bio. It's almost like one of her novels.

Dessen's Facebook Account
You can be friends....

Dessen's Twitter Account
You can follow her…

Dessen's Pinterest Board…
You can stalk her in every way possible.

Movie or TV Productions

How to Deal
So it's not about The Truth About Forever, but we have to give our author props for making it big in Hollywood.

Articles and Interviews

Get to Know Her
Sarah Dessen sure knows how to give an interview.

Spilling her Guts
This lady doesn't hold back one bit.

Want to Be Like Sarah?
Ever thought of trying to follow in Dessen's footsteps and becoming a writer yourself? Here are some tips on how to do it.

Dessen for the Ears
In case you want all the dish on our author's audiobooks.


In the Flesh
Turns out she's just as eloquent in person as she is on paper.

National Book Festival Talk
It's 45 minutes long, but they'll pass in no time.

Fan Interview
Dessen is willing to talk to anyone about her books. What a cool lady.


The Truth About Forever Mixtape
We dare you to go back and reread each section mentioned with this music in the background. Perfection.


Black and White
Is she younger than you expected?

Glamor Shot
Smile for the camera!

Book Cover
He loves me, he loves me not. Is that what this cover is going for?

Author in the Spotlight
What's with the beads?

Heart in Hand
Remind you of anything?