Study Guide

The Truth About Forever Language and Communication

By Sarah Dessen

Language and Communication

This was our common ground, the secret we shared but never spoke aloud. (2.20)

If they both know what's going on, why don't they just say something? Easier said than done, Shmoopers. P.S. Is it just us, or does Macy do this a lot: assuming she knows what other people think? Where else does this crop up?

As I did every time she asked this, I wished I could answer her honestly. (3.51)

When you're stuck in a rut, every repetition makes it harder and harder to change. Here, Macy's fear of pain and grief is still stronger than her desire for healing and an open relationship with her mom.

I watched my mother's face as she heard this, the way, despite her best efforts, she reacted to the various breaches of the conduct we'd long ago agreed on concerning my father and how he was mentioned. (6.87)

Is Macy talking about actual rules here, or are these the unspoken type of rules?

It can't be that easy, I thought, to get her to talk about this. (6.111)

Different people have different comfort levels when it comes to showing affection or talking about emotions. (Duh alert.) Sometimes it's the person you're trying to talk to that makes it hard—and sometimes, it's you. In this case, is it Macy or her mom? Or both?

He already knew my secrets, the things I'd kept hidden from everyone else, so I could just be myself. (10.19)

Why did Macy really open herself up to Wes? Why only him, after all this time? Was it because he saw her as someone other than the girl whose dad died? Or just because of the game they played? Because he had lost his mom? Because she's crushing on him? Would she have opened up like this to anyone else eventually, or is it something special about Wes?

I'd wanted to reach out to her, hold her close, tell her I was worried about her, but I couldn't do that either. (11.206)

How do you think Macy's mom would have responded to this? Is her mom coping by withholding affection, too? Or is that just her personality?

He was the one person I could count on, unequivocally, to say exactly what he meant, no hedging around. (12.60)

What about Kristy? And Caroline? Is this Macy's crush talking, or is Wes the only honest one in the whole book?

"There's so much I want to say to her, but I don't know how she'll react. So I just don't." (12.221)

Macy feels like, in order to stay in control, she has to know in advance what the outcome of any given situation will be. She's even applying it to her interactions with her mom in this case.

I don't talk to anybody about what's going on in my head, because I'm afraid they might not be able to take it. (12.237)

Macy's scared of driving people away by talking to them, so instead she drives them away so she won't have to talk to them? We're not sure about the logic here.