Published by HarperCollins/HarperTeen on June 5, 2018
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
When Betts meets Aiden at the candy store where she works, their connection is like a sugar rush to the heart. Betts already knows the two of them are infinite. Inevitable. Destined to become an us.
Betts has only ever kept one secret from her best friend, Jo, but suddenly there’s a long list of things she won’t tell her, things Jo wouldn’t understand. Because Jo doesn’t see how good Aiden is for Betts. She finds him needy. Possessive. Controlling.
She’s wrong. With a love like this, nothing else matters.
Heads up: If you can’t handle, or don’t want to read stories with physical, emotional and verbal abuse, don’t pick up this book, because it explores all those things. Also, this book is mature, not just because of the abuse, but also because of the sexual content.
Always Forever Maybe wasn’t an easy book to read, because of its dark nature. I’ve never been in a dangerous relationship like Betts, and I’ve also never personally known anyone who has, but I could tell that the author was depicting one perfectly. I understand that those types of unhealthy relationships can escalate quickly, and that the victim doesn’t even realize something’s wrong until something really bad happens, and even then, most times the victim is still blaming themselves.
Before starting Always Forever Maybe, I knew that Betts was going to be a victim, but even so, I couldn’t stop disliking her. I felt sad and scared for her constantly, but I also felt irritated because she kept making bad, careless decisions. She locks eyes with a cute guy, and before she even knows anything about him, she’s hopping on his motorcycle, taking off to an unknown destination. Betts thought she was being spontaneous, and that by being in a relationship with an older guy, made her an empowered young woman. No Betts. No!! You were being reckless and ignorant. It got even worse when she started lying to her parents and best friend. It felt like deep down Betts knew something was wrong with the whole situation, but she couldn’t see past her puppy-love and new feeling of “empowerment”.
I was nervous the moment Aiden was introduced, because we knew that his relationship with Betts was eventually going to take a turn for the worst. Aiden was a ticking time bomb, and it was only a matter of time before he would explode and show his true colors. It was a scary and thrilling wait for all hell to break loose.
Always Forever Maybe was a short, fast read, which was great, because I remained enraptured the entire time. Plus, the speed fit the plot perfectly, because Betts was quickly spiraling into a dangerous relationship with a guy she thought she loved and knew completely, and the fast pace made it feel even more authentic.
This book was sometimes hard to read, because in reality there are a lot of people in the world who have, are, or will eventually enter a dangerous, and even deadly relationship like Bettes did, and this book forces you to think about it.
About the author
Writer, storyteller, editrix. Author of the Anna, Banana chapter-book series, the picture book The Teacher’s Pet, the forthcoming YA novel Always Forever Maybe, and more. Fan of dogs and ice cream.
Anica Mrose Rissi grew up on an island off the coast of Maine, where she read a lot of books and loved a lot of pets. She now tells and collects stories, makes up songs on her violin, and eats a lot of cheese with her friends in Princeton, New Jersey. As a former book editor turned full-time writer and storyteller, Anica has spoken with kids and adults across the country about all pieces of the writing process. Her essays have been published by The Writer magazine and the New York Times. She tweets about bookish things and her dog, Arugula, at @anicarissi, which is also her handle on Instagram. Find out more at http://anicarissi.com.
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