Forever ME by Thomas Amo
Release Date: October 11, 2012
Publisher: GothicTwist Publishing
“Forever Me is considered YA and NA. Suggested reading age is 14+”
“Hannah Richards isn’t your typical 16 year-old at Wichita Falls High. Fashions, trends, cosmetics and style are unimportant to her. An avid reader, guitar player, classic movie and television buff, Hannah marches to the beat of her own drum. Visible only to her Father the town Sheriff, and her two best friends. Hannah lives a simple, un-pampered life as an “Eastie.”
After coming to the aide of Taylor Monroe, a popular member of the ultra snobby “Stilettos” at school, Hannah’s life beings spiraling out of control. As she starts spending more time with Taylor, her best friends abandon her, after a series of misunderstandings, causing Hannah to re-invent herself.
Hannah quickly gets caught up in a life much different than the one she knows, where status, glamour, makeup, appearance and acceptance become her masters. And what of the dark secret that haunts the streets of Wichita Falls?
Can Hannah survive the lies, deceit, jealousy and rage that are now waiting for her behind every corner? Will she succumb to the pressures of popularity? Or will she be crushed under the heels of the “Stilettos”?
~High school is hard enough just being yourself, let alone being someone you’re not~”
This ended up being a pretty long review, sorry!
I’ll admit, I was a bit skeptical about reading this given that it was about a teenage girl but was written from a male. There’s first loves, family drama, friend drama, teenage angst and frustration, and trying to figure oneself out. Would Mr. Amo really be able to accurately portray what being a 16 year old girl was like? The answer is YES. He did a fantastic job, I might add. I was so pleasantly surprised and could relate with Hannah on so many levels. I can remember saying “OMG. SO TRUE.” multiple times as I reminisced about my high school days. Thomas Amo really did his research.
Forever ME is about Hannah Richards, the daughter of the Wichita Falls sheriff, and her transformation from the plain jane to the girl she’s secretly always wanted to become. What starts off as a normal day-to-day story, Hannah finds herself breaking up a fight between one of the Stilettos (the 5 most popular–and richest–girls in school) and an Eastie (those who do not live in the posh country club neighborhood). Unknowingly, this one event changes the course of Hannah’s life. Her best friends become jealous, she becomes best friends with one of the Stilettos (one who she NEVER would have imagined being friends with), she starts talking to a gorgeous guy (a Clubber-gasp!), and she slowly finds her self taking down the Stilettos and becoming the new “it” girl. Unfortunately, what do you end up losing in the process? Hannah starts to find out the hard way. Amid all this typical high school drama, a teenage girl murderer is on the loose and nobody knows who his next target will be. Wichita Falls is starting to fall apart, in more ways than one, and Hannah ends up being right in the middle of everything. As it says in the summary: “high school is hard enough just being yourself.”
I really enjoyed reading this book! As the story went along, I found it harder and harder to put it down. The last 100 pages or so, yeah good luck being able to stop!–or being able to go to sleep afterward. I loved reading about Hannah’s transformation. I can remember wanting to branch out and do something different when I was her age. The things she thought and felt, were extremely realistic and I’m sure I’m not the only one who can relate to it! I think every high school girl should read this book. Aside from the murder part, everything in the novel describes EXACTLY what goes on in the halls of a high school. The populars vs. the non-populars, boys, friend drama, the pressures of being in a relationship, everything. The issues brought up are super important and relevant, and the lessons Hannah and her friends learned from them are spot on. I’m so glad there is an author out there who is not afraid to bring these issues to light and allow his characters to work through them, the same way that real high school teenagers would. No matter how much your parents tell you, you have to go through these things first hand and learn to deal with them yourself. I think this is what makes me love Hannah and Taylor so much. They are very real, make mistakes, learn from them, and end up righting them.
Now on to the actual writing, itself. Sometimes I did find the dialogue and language to be a bit too mature for 16 year olds. Some of the wording didn’t seem like something I would think of when I was that age. I was smart for my age but I didn’t use bigger words that you would find in a thesaurus. I spoke like how all of my friends spoke and how characters on my favorite tv shows talked. It wasn’t like this the whole time in the novel, though! There were only just a couple of times when I thought “would my 16 year old self really call a fight a scuffle?” The text lingo the characters used was spot on. The way some of the immature boys, like Kyle specifically, talked were spot on. Hannah’s sassy, witty, and sarcastic comebacks seriously had me rolling. They were great! Yet another reason why I connected with her. I’m the same way! The author captured this so well. Kudos to you, Mr. Amo! Also, the ability to throw in such a huge twist in the story kept my attention and had me guessing the whole time. I felt chills and could feel my blood running cold, everything. I was never once expecting this story to end up being a murder mystery on top of everything else going on. I thought this added so much to the story. It’s like you are getting a two for one deal! The ending of the novel was beautifully written and moved me to tears–a lot of them.
And now to my final paragraph: why you should read FOREVER ME. At the end, Thomas Amo writes a little “Word From The Author” about why he wrote this novel. To sum it up: there is a group in Texas called “Redefining Beautiful” which aims to bring awareness to all girls that makeup and clothes do not make a person beautiful, it’s simply being themselves. This novel is all about reinventing yourself and then realizing that you don’t need money, to have only the best of everything, and to be popular. It’s all about accepting yourself the way you are. As I said already, I think every girl should read this! Another good reason: murder mystery! It’ll keep you on your toes! You’ll seriously find yourself questioning everyone, and I do mean everyone. You definitely won’t be expecting who actually did it! This book has everything you all love about a YA novel: friendships, drama, love, suspense, and witty writing. You’ll like it, I promise!
I received an ebook copy of FOREVER ME from the author in exchange for an honest review.
Overall Rating: 4 stars (out of 5)