The Forevers is the story of the final 30 days before an asteroid hits Earth and ends the world. It follows high schooler Mae on how she spends those remaining days, how the countdown is affecting everyone, and explores the friendship of those who were part of ‘the Forevers’. Written like that, it sounds like a very intriguing book, promising explorations of human nature and morals. Fortunately, it does explore those and done quite well too. However, I can’t say the same for the rest of the book.
The execution of the story is messy and with a tendency to be incoherent as well. There were many moments when I was confused with who was speaking and who was the subject of Mae’s focus due to the lack of needed dialogue tags and context. For instance, Mae and Stella’s conversation near the beginning where the topic switches from bunkers to Abi, stars, a dance then back to Abi and then suddenly, it’s time for Stella to go to bed. It felt like two people having a bunch of very different conversations with each other. Then, there’s that part where Mae robbed that guy’s house and kissed him. I had thought she already knew who she was robbing but it turns out that he was still a stranger then!
The narrative is also not formatted in a clear enough manner. It was so confusing trying to figure out if Mae was thinking about stuff or she was actually describing something. At some points, I got so frustrated, I had to put the book down and wonder if it’s just me or the book.
Moreover, the book feels too try hard at times and quite lazy during the other. Many lines were choppy and clinical, and if it weren’t for the bits that were well written, I’d definitely had DNF this book instead of powering through like I had. The characters and atmosphere felt very detached/clinical to me too. Although I could understand why they did what they did at times, I couldn’t feel for them. The characters are too shallow—much like puppets going through motions so the story would move. There aren’t enough emotions going around, especially considering how it ends.
All in all, this book is a mess. It was one of my most anticipated ARCs so I’m really disappointed that I didn’t love it as much as I thought I would. Hopefully, the final published edition would be a better read than this ARC.
Thank you so much Pansing for sending me an ARC of this in exchange for an honest review! The Forevers by Chris Whitaker will be available at all good bookstores.