June 18, 2012

REVIEW: For Always by Danielle Sibarium

Title: For Always
Author: Danielle Sibarium
Publisher: KFR Communications
Published: October 27, 2011
Format: Paperback, 280 pages
You never really get over your first love. Such is the case for fourteen-year-old Stephanie Barrano, self-proclaimed misfit and death magnet. A freshman in high school, Stephanie is befriended by Jordan Brewer, a hot, in-demand senior, who pulls her from the outer circle of obscurity into the realm of acceptance. Jordan quickly works his way into Stephanie’s heart. He’s her everything. And the only person she trusts with the truth about her father’s death. But he won’t act on the strong feelings he has for her. Stephanie vows to wait for him, knowing in time she’ll win his heart.

Two months before her eighteenth birthday, Jordan serves as an impromptu prom date. After sharing a magical evening, Jordan leaves Stephanie with the promise of a future together. Then tragedy strikes. Jordan not only shuts Stephanie out, he also blames her for what happened. Feeling broken and beaten, will she try one last time to get through to Jordan or will she lose him forever?
My Review:
I wasn’t expecting to be pulled into Stephanie’s life so easily and I certainly wasn’t expecting to be affected by everything that happened to her. Most of all, I wasn’t expecting to be moved by Stephanie and Jordan’s story. Not only did Danielle Sibarium impress me, but she captivated me with her beautiful writing. She wrote Stephanie’s story with so much depth and passion, I felt it deep down inside me through her writing alone. Each page and each part of For Always stayed with me and kept me riveted to the very end. 

I loved diving into Stephanie’s life from the very start. Every moment with her was interesting and entertaining. I loved getting to know her. I was able to relate and connect to her instantly. I understood why she thought she was cursed, even though I knew she wasn’t. I was sad that she distanced herself from other people and I could see how quiet, insecure and self conscious she was. However, I could see an inner strength coming from Steph, along with her compassion and selflessness. Even when other students treated Stephanie badly, she only showed kindness. Stephanie was an honorable and admirable person. Stephanie just wasn’t a character in the book, but she felt like a close friend I have known all my life.

I loved Jordan. He was funny, kind and such a gentleman. He respected Stephanie way more than her other boyfriends did. He was a true friend and confidante. When Stephanie got closer to Jordan throughout the story, I can see how Stephanie changed. He helped bring down the walls that Stephanie always had up and he brought overall happiness into her life. Jordan helped Stephanie to be more confident. He always encouraged Steph, helped her and was always there for her whenever she needed him. I understood his hesitation and his resistance to go further into a relationship with Steph, even when she didn’t. Jordan seemed well put together, but I could tell that he was broken. What made Jordan more real was his vulnerability, the demons he tried hard to bury and the fact that he was afraid. I saw a side of him that wasn’t there before and I really did ache for him in his worst moments. 

Steph and Jordan’s relationship felt so real to me. I have to admit that I was so frustrated because it was so obvious how much they loved each other. It was obvious that they needed each other and that they belonged together, but it seemed like everything was always in the way. I felt so involved with Steph and Jordan’s relationship I couldn’t help but root for them in the end.

Overall, Danielle Sibarium really brought the perfect mix of heartache, loss, tragedy, friendship and passionate romance into the book. She also added excellent plot twists to really make the book exciting, causing a great deal of tension for my two favorite characters. I smiled and laughed plenty of times and I even cried. I thought For Always was well written and thoroughly thought out. The pacing was perfect for the development of Stephanie and Jordan’s relationship. She put Steph and Jordan’s love into words, but the pages of the story brought their love to life.

My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
*Thanks to Danielle for sending me a copy to review :)

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1 comment:

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