The true colour of forever by Carrie Firestone

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Hodder Children's Books, 2017. ISBN 9781444929676
(Age: 14yrs+) This book ensnared me! Not by its cover, which is very impressive, and not by the blurb on the back, which is rather lame, but from the opening passage found in the prologue: "A few minutes before the incident, I noticed a tuft of dune grass stuck to a discarded strawberry crate... I was twelve hours into downsizing my life and just beginning to become more aware of my surroundings." For me, this laid the foundation for the entire story. This is a book about looking directly in front of you and seeing the obvious things you can do which will cause a flow effect that improves the wellbeing of others.
Embedded into the story is the importance of solid friendships which are developed over a lifetime, yet finding that these friendships ebb and flow as we all grow up to find our place in society. Sadie is a year younger than her friends and struggling to reconcile herself to her new loner status when the end of their school career looms closer. The depth of these friendships is demonstrated by the wonderfully creative care packages Sadie makes for her friends. They demonstrate key moments she had shared with each person, embodying the impact of each unique friendship perfectly.
The careful blending of the secondary characters adds fine details to the life and events that continue in the background of Sadie's story, old friends, new friends, family and passing strangers. We meet Izzy, struggling with addiction, Gordie, trying to affirm his sexuality, and Sadie's two unique grandmothers.
Carrie Firestone not only skilfully approaches the topic of teen friendship but topics of assault, cyberbullying, peer pressure, discrimination, self-esteem and stress by creating a realistic voice in Sadie's character. Many teens will feel comfortable reading The true colour of forever and considering all of these topics in relation to their own life.
After reading this book try Saints and misfits by S. K. Ali and The lake effect by Erin McCahan.
Sharon Smith