These letters are often all that get me through week to week. Even if it’s just random stuff, nothing important, they’re important to me. Gramps is great, and I love working on the ranch. But…I’m lonely. I feel disconnected, like I’m no one, like I don’t belong anywhere. Like I’m just here until something else happens. I don’t even know what I want with my future. But your letters, they make me feel connected to something, to someone. I had a crush on you, when we first met. I thought you were beautiful. So beautiful. It was hard to think of anything else. Then camp ended and we never got together, and now all I have of you is these letters. S**t. I just told you I have a crush on you. HAD. Had a crush. Not sure what is anymore. A letter-crush? A literary love? That’s stupid. Sorry. I just have this rule with myself that I never throw away what I write and I always send it, so hopefully this doesn’t weird you out too much. I had a dream about you too. Same kind of thing. Us, in the darkness, together. Just us. And it was like you said, a memory turned into a dream, but a memory of something that’s never happened, but in the dream it felt so real, and it was more, I don’t even know, more RIGHT than anything I’ve ever felt, in life or in dreams. I wonder what it means that we both had the same dream about each other. Maybe nothing, maybe everything. You tell me.
~ ~ ~ ~
We’re pen pals. Maybe that’s all we’ll ever be. I don’t know. If we met IRL (in real life, in case you’re not familiar with the term) what would happen? And just FYI, the term you used, a literary love? It was beautiful. So beautiful. That term means something, between us now. We are literary loves. Lovers? I do love you, in some strange way. Knowing about you, in these letters, knowing your hurt and your joys, it means something so important to me, that I just can’t describe. I need your art, and your letters, and your literary love. If we never have anything else between us, I need this. I do. Maybe this letter will only complicate things, but like you I have a rule that I never erase or throw away what I’ve written and I always send it, no matter what I write in the letter.
Your literary love,
Forever & Always Review
Is anything forever? Can love last a lifetime? Once you find it, you want to hold onto it, cherish it, protect it…but is it that simple?
Ever Eliot is stuggling. Having lost her mom and feeling as if her dad went along with her, she pours her emotions into her art. She heads off to a three-week summer program at Interlochen, where she would immerse herself in her passion.
Being only 14 when they first meet, they quickly realize that they have formed a bond, a friendship. They share a kiss. That one kiss leads to their decision to always be there for each other and to keep in touch through letters. Pen pals. Old fashioned, yes, but so, so meaningful.
“I just told you I have a crush on you. HAD. Had a crush. Not sure what it is anymore. A letter-crush? A literary love? That’s stupid.” ~Cade
“The term you used, a literary love? It was beautiful. So beautiful. That term means something, between us now. We are literary loves. Lovers? I do love you, in some strange way.” ~Ever
This is where the beauty of their relationship continues. They write letters, awkward at first, but over time, they begin to share their thoughts, private feelings, fears and an incredible bond is formed. They communicate through words, paintings, and drawings. This is what keeps them grounded, this is what keeps them sane. They dream of each other. Dreams so similar that felt so real to them.
“I had a dream of you. It was…weird. Intense. We were…together. Is that weird to you. I don’t know what it means, if it means anything, but it was…it was like…god, how do I put it? It was remembering something that had already happened. Does that make sense?” ~Ever
They fit. They make sense. They are bound together through their literary love.
“I had a dream about you, too. Same kind of thing. Us, in the darkness, together. Just us. And it was like you said, am memory turned into a dream, but a memory of something that’s never happened, but in the dream it felt so real, and it was more, I don’t even know, more RIGHT than anything I’ve ever felt, in life or dreams. I wonder what it means that we both had the same dream about each other. Maybe nothing, maybe everything. You tell me.” ~Cade
They reunite and it is magical. They are meant to be. Fate. Kistmet. It was beautiful. Intense. The pull they have towards one another as if one was lost without the other.
‘’I don’t have any need to breathe. You are my breath.” ~Cade
There is sadness, more tragedy, love lost, love found. Jasinda pours her heart and soul into this story and you fall in love with these characters. You will laugh, cry, and just feel your heart swell over the beauty in their love. I loved this story. Incredible.
After Forever Review
I don’t know who I am anymore. I’m a castaway. Lost. Drowning. I love you. That’s the only true thing I know, and it’s all I have to hold on to. I love you. I’ll love you forever. Until the day I die, and I’ll love you in whatever world comes after this one. I love you so much, Ever. I miss you. Dear Jesus, I miss you. Come back to me.
For forever, and after forever,
After Forever Review
This is not your usual romance. It’s not light and fluffy. It pushes your buttons/limits. Takes you out of the box. Makes you think. Makes you angry. Sad. It has you question all you thought was right and wrong.
Who’s to say what you would do. Until you walk in someone else’s shoes and are faced with soul crushing grief and emptiness, no one and I mean no one can tell me that they’d know how they’d react or what they would do. Until you lose someone, until you face the pain and the agony of letting go of someone you love more than yourself, there is no possible way to understand or determine what choices you would make. Hell, even if you did suffer a loss, every loss is different. So I truly believe that there is no way to say what you would do.
Every one in life has to make choices. You get up, go to work, maybe you stay home to raise your family. You choose what you want to eat, who you spend your time with, You decide where you’ll go and what you’ll do with your life . YOU decide. What if one day that choice is not available any longer? Everything you thought you ever wanted is taken away from you.
In After Forever, the story starts where Always and Forever left off. Caden is shocked to learn that Ever was pregnant and lost the baby from the accident that leaves her in a coma. He is broken. Lost. Shattered. There are no words to describe the pain I felt while reading all of Caden’s deepest thoughts and emotions as we watch him go through yet another soul shattering loss.
“I couldn’t stop myself from crying as I stared at Ever’s broken body. My Ever. Barely breathing, so still. I willed her to move, to wake up. She had to wake up. She had to. She would wake up. Right? …Baby. Please… Wake up. Please. Wake up. I need you. Please.”
My heart was broken. I sobbed while reading. Uncontrollably. The agony. The pain. The loss. It was too much. Too devastating. But I couldn’t stop reading. I had to know. I needed to know if he would survive. If Ever would survive. If Eden would survive. These characters embedded their way in my heart and I had to know what would happen to them.
Eden. Eden is devastated. She’s lost her other half. “Her sister, her best friend, her twin, half of her…gone.” She is faced with the fact that Ever may never wake up. She is so, so scared, so alone. Playing cello to escape, “pull her under its spell” and helped her erase all her sorrow and thoughts. Eden is such a complex character, filled with self-doubt. Never good enough, never beautiful enough, never thin enough, always believe Ever is better. Never having been in a meaningful relationship, she is used to being dumped and facing the walk of shame.
“I couldn’t function without Ever. I just didn’t know how. She was me, half of me. The thought of waking up and not being able to call her, talk to her, visit her, flip through her paintings while we talked, while she painted, it made me want to crawl into bed and never come out.”
Caden continues to write to Ever. He needs to express his thoughts, his fears, his love. The thought of a life without Ever is unfathomable.
“But I can’t bear to act like you’re never coming back. I have to hope that you will. Because you will, right? You’ll wake up. You’ll come back to me. You love me, and you’re just…lost. Somewhere out there, trying to come back. Like Odysseus fighting to get back to Penelope.
I don’t know how to live without you, but I have to try. Don’t I?”
Cade and Eden have no one but each other to lean on during this horrific time. They are desperate for companionship, for some sort of release for the pain they’re unable to carry. But boundaries are crossed and feelings swirl together and they head down this dangerous path, needing, wanting, escaping—in each other. “Needing nothing but anything that wasn’t misery and loneliness and agony of missing something forever lost.” So that’s what they do. They get lost in each other, escape in each other.
“We need each other. We’re the only thing we have in life. We’re orphans in a huge, scary world. We’re alone. We’re lost in the darkness together—we have to hold on to each other. I can’t face life completely alone, Cade. …No one can go through life completely alone, and this, what we’re going through, there are no rules for it. There’s no map or guidebook, or anyone to tell us what’s right or wrong, or how to act or anything. There’s just you and me and this thing between us.”
I didn’t know what to feel while I was reading. All I knew is that I was gutted for them. My emotions were all over the place. There are no words to describe how torn I felt. Jasinda made me question everything I believe in. All my morals, values, beliefs. All out the window because I hurt. My head hurt, my heart hurt, my soul hurt. The pain I felt for these characters was unbearable.
All the while, they wait. It’s grueling. Wondering, praying, hoping, begging—with fear all along in the backdrop. How will they face this? If she wakes up? When she wakes up? Will forgiveness come? Will they have the chance?
Do not let your fear of escaping out of your usual realm of novels deter you from reading this book. Jasinda pushes you, tests you, wears down your emotions and will have you trying to catch your breath. I am amazed by her brilliance and blown away by her ability to take your thinking to a whole new level. What an amazing second novel in an amazing series. Loved it!!!
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