Published June 2nd 2015 by HarperTeen
YA > Contemporary
eARC for Review
BLURB FROM GOODREADS:
Before: It was the perfect summer of first kisses, skinny-dipping, and bonfires by the lake. Joy, Tali, Luce, and Zoe knew their final summer at Camp Okahatchee would come to an end, but they swore they’d stay friends.
After: Now, two years later, their bond has faded along with those memories.
Then: That is, until the fateful flash of a photo booth camera transports the four of them back in time, to the summer they were fifteen—the summer everything changed.
Now: The girls must recreate the past in order to return to the present. As they live through their second-chance summer, the mystery behind their lost friendship unravels, and a dark secret threatens to tear the girls apart all over again.
Always: Summers end. But this one will change them forever.
Proof Of Forever, on first glance, is Disney material. From the cover to the theme to the entire idea of being thrown back into time courtesy of a Photo Booth. Very idyllic. And that is the frame of mind I went with into this book. And I’m pleased to report, that this book was nothing like the cheese fest or the fluffy cotton candy I expected. It was honest and real and even though it wasn’t perfect, it’s going to be a book I’m going to remember for a long while.
This book is about time travel but it’s not your typical Sci-Fi. This book is also technically about four girls and their (mis)adventures, but it’s about so many more characters. Basically, Proof Of Forever is not your typical Contemporary so DO NOT judge it that way. The book follows four girls, Tali, Luce, Zoe and Joy. They used to be best friends and they’d sworn to remain best friends after their last summer at Camp Okahatchee. But as these things usually go, life got in the way, and they drifted apart, almost becoming strangers to each other. But two years later, when Joy suggests they all meet up at the reunion night of Camp OK, they grudgingly agree, only to be thrown back into time to two years ago, when they were fifteen; their last summer at the camp. There they realise that they have to do everything the way they’d done it before, so as not to alter their futures. But while their bodies might be fifteen years old, each of them have changed and grown. The book is all about how they deal with their growth and reconcile themselves with the people that they’ve grown into (or will grow into) and their attempts to go back to their time again.
The book was rather predictable where it came to plot—I was sure right away about certain things that would happen and I turned to to be right. This is the precise reason I found myself having a so-so opinion where it came to the story itself. Talking about each character is a little easier, because the end result was predictable (to me, at least), the way they went about their days at the camp weren’t. They were not all perfect human beings, and they did a lot of things that I didn’t quite agree with, but I suppose it did enhance the whole learning curve that the girls experienced.
I’ll also admit–the book is rather slow. It’s written as third person POV, in four different POVs, and while I’d like to say that each girl had a different, unique voice, that isn’t completely true. After a certain point, the characters started to blend into one for me, which sucks, and I had to physically make notes trying to remember who is who. It might be just me, but yeah. That happened.
Again, if you do choose to read the book, don’t do it for the story itself, meaning the time-travelling part. I found myself enjoying the symbolism behind each character and what they learnt and how they learnt it, and I think you might too. The writing too was not quite my type, but it was perfect for the mood of the book,and that was amazing. It doesn’t grab you, but it definitely lures you into continuing to read the book. All in all, as far as “coming-of-age” YA goes, Proof of Forever may be something you might want to try if you’re looking for a bitter sweet ending and a couple of cute summer romances!