Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Forever's lasting impact

I heard this book review on NPR last month and it was the kind of thing that made me sit in the car after I parked so I could hear the end.

Courtney Sullivan talks about the effect Judy Blume's Forever had on her as a teenage girl and as an adult. She says that when she first picked up Forever, she had no idea it would have such a lasting impact on her feminism and her identity.

Do you have a book that you read as a young adult that you think helped shape you into who you are today? Let us know in the comments.

photo of Forever cover, via NPR.org


  1. When I was young adult there weren't any YA books. Just children's and adult books. I read Planet of the Apes but it didn't really shape who I am today.

    The Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, Black Beauty, The Black Stallion, Great Expectations, Old Yeller, A Tale of Two Cities. Oops, sorry. I get carried away. Those books shaped me as an author. I hope someday to hear my books shaped someone. That would be lovely.

    Nice post. I'm your newest follower. :)

  2. I would say The Fountainhead was a book that "shaped me as a person" in my youth, at least in some small way. I had read many books earlier in my life that I got really into (The Secret Garden, A Wrinkle in Time...) but I was about 14 when I read The Fountainhead and I remember thinking "it was even longer than Jurassic Park!" And, it certainly was more complex.

    The reason it was significant in my life is because it was the first "complex" book I had read, by my own choosing, outside of school. Because of this, The Fountainhead felt all the more illuminating, and I identified myself with Howard Roark as a creative, independent thinker stifled by the formality of the education system (oh, so dramatic at that age.)

    At some point, I grew up a bit, read more Ayn Rand, and while I think she is a great storyteller, I am a bit more critical of her views on Objectivism and a little less hasty to blindly accept Objectivism as a moral absolute like I did when I was 14.

    Thought provoking question, Morgan!


  3. I read Roots by Alex Haley in University and it's stayed with me for a long time. I've never read Forever. I'm not sure why, I was a huge Judy Blume fan.

  4. Are You There God It's Me Margaret was my first peek at what growing up would be like. I related so much with the main character and her confision and struggles becoming a young woman. I loved that book so much.