Friday, May 25, 2018

Review: Forever Is The Worst Long Time

Forever is the Worst Long Time
Camille Pagan
Published February 7, 2017
When struggling novelist James Hernandez meets poet Louisa “Lou” Bell, he’s sure he’s just found the love of his life. There’s just one problem: she’s engaged to his oldest friend, Rob. So James toasts their union and swallows his desire.

As the years pass, James’s dreams always seem just out of reach—he can’t finish that novel, can’t mend his relationship with his father, can’t fully commit to a romantic relationship. He just can’t move on. But after betrayal fractures Lou’s once-solid marriage, she turns to James for comfort.

When Lou and James act on their long-standing mutual attraction, the consequences are more heartbreaking—and miraculous—than either of them could have ever anticipated. Then life throws James one more curveball, and he, Rob, and Lou are forced to come to terms with the unexpected ways in which love and loss are intertwined. - from Goodreads
When James meets his best friend Rob's fiancée Lou for the first time, he knows two things - Lou is completely wrong for Rob, and James is in love with her.  But he ignores those feelings, and only sees Lou occasionally over the next several years.  When Rob and Lou eventually split up, James sees the chance he always wanted - but the consequences are nothing he could have ever foreseen.

I have to admit, it took me a little while to get into this book.  I didn't particularly like James, the main character.  He is kind of pretentious, yet he doesn't have a lot to show for it.  He's not a very good teacher; his plans for a novel stall again and again; and he can't commit to his girlfriend because Lou is always in the back of his mind.  I didn't like that he was holding onto this idealized image of Lou in his head, to the detriment of everything else in his life.  Sometimes it seemed like he was happy when Rob called and complained of problems in his marriage.  And I never really understood what he saw in Lou - she didn't feel like a fully developed character to me.

However, as the book went on, I started to come around on James, particularly after he and Lou spend one night together.  I thought maybe now James could either move on, or be with her, or something, but the story ended up taking a turn I didn't expect and I just felt for him.  I wanted him to finally find happiness, but things aren't that simple.

The book is told from James' POV as he is telling the story to someone else, and when I found out who he was writing the story for and why, my heart just broke.  The story is told over many years, and I definitely liked the later years better than the beginning.  I think I tend to read female-centric stories, so the fact that the MC is a male in this one was a change for me, but I enjoyed it.  I liked the writing and the way the author had the MC telling the story was successful.

4 stars

20 comments:

  1. Hmmm...well, you certainly made me curious. I hadn't heard about this book, but now I want to know who James is writing the story for and why. Good job! LOL

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  2. I'm always intrigued by characters that are so unlikable in the beginning but manage to grow on us over time. Like Kay above, I'm dying to know who James is writing the story for. Great review!

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    1. Thank you, Suzanne! James ended up being a really great character.

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  3. I loved this book, sad and beautiful at the same time.

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  4. I think I may own this one. So bad that I don't know. I will have to remember it may take a bit to get into. Great review!

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  5. I'm glad you mentioned the slow start, because if I struggle to get into a book (or dislike the main character) I tend to DNF it and move on. I'm glad this one ended up being enjoyable! <3

    L @ Do You Dog-ear?

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    1. I also tend to DNF rather quickly, but I knew my sister had loved this one, so I persisted, and ended up really loving it.

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  6. I went right to Goodreads and added this book to my tbr list. It looks so good, and I'd never even heard of it.

    Great review!

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  7. The cover for this book is beautiful! It sounds like an interesting, if sad, story.

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    1. It was definitely both of those things!

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  8. Interesting. I'm reading Woman Last Seen in Her Thirties by Camille Pagan right now. It's my first of her books, but I'm so glad to see that her earlier book worked for you. Have a great week.

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    1. Thanks, Susie! I'll have to check that one out, too.

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  9. Oh wow! This definitely sounds intense! Great review!

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  10. This cover drew me in immediately. It's not really a book that I would generally read but you've made it sound compelling. I like that James sounds utterly human and it sounds like there's a bit of a twist/reveal at the end that would make this one worth it. Lovely review!

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    1. Thanks, Di! Yes, the cover is what made me pick it up initially, and I ended up really enjoying it!

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I'm so glad you stopped by, and I would love to hear your thoughts! Comments are always greatly appreciated!