The Next Forever by Lisa Burstein
New Adult Contemporary*e-book, 97 pages
Release Date: January 2013 (published by Entangled Ever After)
One night in college can change everything…
Away at college, Amy just wants one night alone without her high school sweetheart, Joe. So when he invites her to go to the library, she heads off on her own instead. How she ended up at a house party with the mysterious bad-boy Trevor is another story…
Joe so isn’t going to the library. He needs space from Amy, too, so he’s decided to rush a fraternity, to get back the swagger he had in high school. But it doesn’t take long for the brothers to invite him to the real rush here the beer is flowing and one particular girl has set her eyes on Joe.
Over the course of one wild night, both Amy and Joe will have to decide if their futures belong with two new people, or whether the next forever will have their first loves in it.
About the author:
Lisa Burstein is a tea seller by day and a writer by night. She received her MFA in Fiction from the Inland Northwest Center for Writers at Eastern Washington University and is glad to finally have it be worth more than the paper it was printed on. She lives in Portland, Oregon with her very patient husband, a neurotic dog and two cats. Pretty Amy is her first novel. She never went to her senior prom.
Oh, what do we do when faced with temptation? High school sweethearts Amy and Joe, now freshman at the same college, are facing what every couple goes through: the insecurity, the doubt, the fear of facing ourselves and deciding if our significant other is the right one or if they've made the right choice of partner. Amy has a past traumatic event which brought old friend, literally the boy across the street, Joe, back into her life. Damaged, untrusting, Joe helped Amy heal and they fell in love.
Now they're in college, spending their free time together, until one question and then one lie threatens to disrupt or ultimately destroy their future together. Author Lisa Burstein doesn't mince her words--she dives right in, grabbing the right words to express those emotions and feelings we experience when we're young and experiencing the joy of first love.
Lisa Burstein touched me through her characters in The Next Forever. The way Amy wonders if that 'bad girl' from her past, still lurking somewhere inside her, is strong enough to resurface was so realistic. Is leather jacket wearing hottie Trevor worth risking losing Joe? As for Joe, from a single mother household, is he good enough for the girl with soft skin who makes him feel alive? Or is a frat party blond looking for the security a pre-law student promises the future for him?
The see-saw sway of emotions made so much sense as these teens grappled with their past and present situations as they figure out the direction their future will take. I liked how Joe and Amy came across as vulnerable and yet quietly fierce during their mental battles. Having both characters narrate in alternating pov's kept the story moving even if it takes place over the length of a day. My one problem with the story is it is the second book in a series and I didn't 'get' some of the references from Pretty Amy since I didn't read it.
Gripping, honest, and realistic, The Next Forever is a test of the fidelity and perseverance of love. Relationships are work, worry, and so damn worthwhile. Highly recommended.
Rating: 3.5 liked it
Cover comment: Could easily see this couple as Amy and Joe. I can pinpoint the moment in the story from this cover pic it is that spot-on.
Book source: I received a copy from the publisher in return for my honest review during a blog tour.