Tuesday, December 15, 2015
Posted by Simay Yildiz
Author: Taylor Jenkins Reid
Publisher: Washington Square Press
Source: Received from Turkish publisher for review
Have you ever heard of supernovas? They shine brighter than anything else in the sky and then fade out really quickly, a short burst of extraordinary energy. I like to think you and Ben were like that . . . in that short time, you had more passion than some people have in a lifetime.
Elsie Porter is an average twentysomething and yet what happens to her is anything but ordinary. On a rainy New Year's Day, she heads out to pick up a pizza for one. She isn't expecting to see anyone else in the shop, much less the adorable and charming Ben Ross. Their chemistry is instant and electric. Ben cannot even wait twenty-four hours before asking to see her again. Within weeks, the two are head over heels in love. By May, they've eloped.
Only nine days later, Ben is out riding his bike when he is hit by a truck and killed on impact. Elsie hears the sirens outside her apartment, but by the time she gets downstairs, he has already been whisked off to the emergency room. At the hospital, she must face Susan, the mother-in-law she has never met and who doesn't even know Elsie exists.
Interweaving Elsie and Ben's charmed romance with Elsie and Susan's healing process, Forever, Interrupted will remind you that there's more than one way to find a happy ending.
I do, of course, can name 'chick-lit' books that I've enjoyed in the past, but this isn't a genre that I go searching for. And the ones that I did enjoy are usually the fun, entertaining, kinda silly ones and not serious, full of emotional rollercoasters ones like Forever, Interrupted. I had received this book from its Turkish publisher, and after reading the back, I admit that I was intrigued. The fact that the main character Elsie loses the love of her life, Ben, just after 9 months into marrying him caught my interest (THIS IS NOT A SPOILER, BTW, you find out right in the beginning). In college, I lost my fiance to a car accident and how I coped with it (and I still do, honestly) is a big blur in my life. The worst part of it was feeling alone, like it only happened to me and not anyone else, that they wouldn't, didn't understand. This is the main reason why I was very curious about Elsie's story.
Elsie goes out to pick up her pizza order one night and serendipitously meets Ben, who will be her husband in a few months. First, they don't really know where it's going; they just start to hang out and flirt, and then we see very clearly that they fall head-over-heels in love. I'm the kind of person who doesn't believe in love-at-first-sight; I believe in LUST-at-first-sight. However, I do believe that 6 months is enough of a time for you to want to be with someone all the time, especially when you get together as often as Elsie and Ben do and get to know one another. Both Ben and Elsie are likable characters. Especially Elsie will be adored by all of us bookworms because she works in a library. On the other hand, among Ben's "guilty pleasures" are young adult books, so as you can see, Reid is rather successful in knowing her audience and creating relatable characters.
In Forever, Interrupted, we go back and forth between life with Ben and life without Ben. In Elsie's situation, it is indeed very hard to continue living your life and we watch her try and go through all that. As expected, she takes her anger and sorrow out on her best friend Ana at times, and she is very lucky that Ana understands and refuses to leave her alone. Things get a lot more complicated when Ben's mother decides to show up. Ben hadn't had a chance to tell her about Elsie, let alone telling her they got married. And to make things worse, since it was so new when Ben passed away, Elsie doesn't even have a copy of their marriage license to prove that she's indeed his wife.
Like many of its genre, Forever, Interrupted ends on a happy note as well. It's not the kind of "jumping among flowers singing showtunes" happy note, but it is as good as it can get, really.