READALONG: The Forevers by Chris Whitaker

“What would you do if you knew the world was going to be destroyed by a huge asteroid in one month?”

The Forevers by Chris Whitaker follows Mae and her friends who know that the end is coming. They saw it ten years back, when it was far enough away in space and time and meaning. The changes were gradual, and then sudden. Now, they must navigate a life where action and consequence are no longer related. Where the popular are both trophies and targets. And where petty grudges turn deadlier with each passing day. With teachers losing control of their students and themselves, and the end rushing toward all of them, it leaves everyone facing the answer to one, simple question: What would you do if you could get away with anything?

Rating:

Thank you to Tandem Collective, Hot Key Books, and Chris Whitaker for inviting me to join in the readalong for this book and for a free copy in exchange for an honest review.

A young adult novel set in a pre-apocalyptic world, The Forevers is a fun but insightful story that its recommended audience is sure to engross, but also an enjoyable one for everybody else.

There’s a slight sense of A Good Girl’s Guide To Murder here with the young adult genre and a subplot of a suspicious death, as Mae tries to figure out what happened to her friend. But more than that, the story focuses on the different ways that these teenagers are dealing with their impending doom. Some want to finally ask that girl out, some want to take advantage of the lack of consequences, some want to do spend as much time with their loved ones as possible, while others hide away from the world or find the pressure of what’s happening too much to handle.

Whitaker explores a brilliant balance of the fun things we would do if we only had 30 days left to live with the naughtier things we might be tempted to do, but also of the over-bearing weight of such an imminent end would have. The topic of depression in young adults is always an important one, and Whitaker uses the end-of-the-world setting to do so in an insightful way.

I did find the narrative a little jumpy at times, quickly skipping from one scene to another so there were times that the story didn’t flow very well for me. I’ve not read anything by Whitaker before so I don’t know if this his writing style or it’s a little fragmented on purpose, but that was genuinely the only thing that stopped me from rating this higher.

What made me love this book despite some slight flaws I had with the narrative is the central characters and their ‘Forevers’ club: a group of teenagers who often go unseen at school, who are outcasts for their differences or made to feel like they don’t matter because they don’t conform to the standards. I would totally be a Forever, so I really enjoyed getting to experience being a part of their group.

And it’s not all doom and gloom as the days tick down. Felix, especially, made me laugh out loud on many occasions, and the end of the world always brings people together in some way or another so there’s a lot of highs and lows to engage with.

I’m far from young-adult age now, but there’s a lot to enjoy about this book for older readers and it’s certainly an inspiring one for its recommended age group, too. With a touch of comedy, a pinch of romance, a bit of murder mystery, and a couple of darker storylines alongside some more lighthearted and warming ones, there’s sure to be an aspect of it that stands out for you.

Details:

The Forevers by Chris Whitaker
Release Date: 8th July 2020
Print Length: 352 pages
Genre: Young Adult
Publisher: Hot Key Books

Synopsis:

What would you do if you knew the world was going to be destroyed by a huge asteroid in one month? The mesmerising YA debut from the winner of the CWA Gold Dagger Award for Best Crime Novel 2021 and the New York Times bestselling author of We Begin at the End.

They knew the end was coming. They saw it ten years back, when it was far enough away in space and time and meaning.

The changes were gradual, and then sudden.

For Mae and her friends, it means navigating a life where action and consequence are no longer related. Where the popular are both trophies and targets. And where petty grudges turn deadlier with each passing day. So, did Abi Manton jump off the cliff or was she pushed? Her death is just the beginning of the end.

With teachers losing control of their students and themselves, and the end rushing toward all of them, it leaves everyone facing the answer to one, simple question…

What would you do if you could get away with anything?

About The Author:

Chris Whitaker is the award-winning author of Tall Oaks, All the Wicked Girls and We Begin at the End. All three books were published to widespread critical acclaim, with Tall Oaks going on to win the CWA John Creasey New Blood Dagger Award.

An instant New York Times bestseller and the #1 Indie Next Pick, We Begin at the End was also a Waterstones Thriller of the Month, a Barnes & Noble Book Club Pick and a Good Morning America Buzz Pick. It is shortlisted for both the Gold and the Steel Dagger Awards, and for the Theakston’s Crime Novel of the Year.

When not writing, Chris works at his local library, where he gets to surround himself with books Chris lives in the UK with his wife and three children.

Follow him on Twitter @WhittyAuthor

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