Proof of Forever by Lexa Hillyer
(Website, Twitter, Goodreads)Published by HarperCollins on June 2nd 2015
Genres: Adolescence, Friendship, General, Juvenile Nonfiction, Social Issues, Time Travel, Young Adult
From debut author and poet Lexa Hillyer comes the lyrical story of four seventeen-year-old friends who receive an unlikely chance to relive the perfect summer . . . and the devastating secret that could unravel it all. Elegant and evocative, Proof of Forever is one of those first novels that hooks you from the beginning and builds toward a stunning—and unexpected—end, calling to mind Gayle Forman and Ann Brashares.Joy, Tali, Luce, and Zoe were once best friends. Now they barely speak. That is, until the fateful flash of a photo-booth camera transports them back in time, to the summer they were fifteen—the summer everything changed. Photos fade. Friendships dissolve. Summers end. But this one will change the girls forever . . . again.Wendy Wunder calls Proof of Forever "The Sisterhood of the (Time) Traveling Pants for a new generation!"
If you’re looking for a story of the crazy ups and downs of friendship look no further. I read the summary of this book and instantly felt like this would be the perfect summer read.
Tali, Luce, Zoe and Joy have been friends since their first days at Camp Okahatchee and when the last day arrived, they swore they would remain friends forever. But as it often happens, people slip away and time apart creates rifts and waves and the four girls end up anything but best friends.
Two years later, on the cusp of their high school graduations, they are all heading back to Camp Okahatchee for the reunion of a lifetime… one that will change their lives forever.
The story is told from four different points of view, which is in itself a feat. But honestly, it’s done really well. Each of the girls has a unique voice and Hillyer did an amazing job showing the character growth throughout.
The catalyst here is a photo booth that transports the girls back to their final year at Camp Okahatchee and in order to get back to the present time they ultimately think they have to recreate their last summer together. The premise itself was incredibly unique and I think what I loved best was the evolution of the friendships here. Don’t get me wrong, there’s some sweet romance here, and I definitely liked that, but I love that the focus here was on the girls figuring out their paths back to each other.
Of course you know from the get-go that something is wrong with one of them…. I mean it’s not really spelled out, but it’s also not hidden all that well, so I kind of had an idea of what was coming down the road, but I think knowing that the other girls weren’t aware of the real issue while I was reading, really puts in perspective that mentality that we sort of feel invincible when we’re that age, we never would expect what happens to happen.
This all leads to some bittersweet moments… not only for their friendships, but for the romances as well.
If you’re looking for a wonderfully and uniquely written coming of age story, one about second chances and friendship definitely give this one a try!
Thank you to the publisher for the advanced copy in exchange for my honest thoughts.
We had the chance to ask the girls a couple questions and wanted to share their answers here with you!
What were you expecting Reunion night to be like?
Tali: Steamy (Me + Blake making out. Preferably in front of everyone.)
Luce: The usual: rides, activities, fireworks, cotton candy. I <3 tradition.
Zoe: A nice distraction.
Joy: Poignant but full of closure.
What were your first thoughts when you saw the other girls at reunion night?
Tali: Huh, some things never change.
Luce: It’s nice to see everyone, but I don’t like ripples in the plan.
Zoe: Wow, I’ve really missed these girls. This is going to be fun.
Joy: Yes. Finally.
What’s the thing you missed most when you all drifted apart over the last couple years?
Tali: Being able to just be silly and ridiculous together.
Luce: The rhythm of our friendship—everything used to seem like it just fit and it was easy.
Zoe: Having a sense of direction. Without them I am sort of a floater.
Joy: Feeling whole and connected to something bigger.
What were you thinking when you realized that you had gone back to the past?
Tali: Nooooo!!!! My BOOBs!!!! Are GONE!!!! You can’t be serious. No one should have to relive the torture of being awkward twice.
Luce: Just say calm. There’s always a logical explanation, and a logical solution… I think.
Zoe: WTF?! But also… how cool!!!
Joy: I hope this is real and not a dream. Either way, I hope it never ends.
How do you explain what happened and what was the biggest change for you?
Tali: A Before and After Make-Over Special. I had no idea how insecure and desperate for approval I really was before. That’s not attractive.
Luce: A Veil Lifting. My nicely-planned-out life was revealed to be plastic. I’m definitely scared of what comes next, but I also feel lighter and freer than I have in a long time. I honestly thought if I did everything right, I’d never have to worry, but now I know there’s no study guide for growing up.
Zoe: A Miracle of Science and a Major Slap in the Face. And I’m pretty sure it would have taken nothing less to break me down. I miss how oblivious I used to be, but I’m also insatiably curious about what’s going to happen next for me. I didn’t know how stuck I was before.
Joy: I have no idea what happened, but I’ve realized you can’t explain life. All you can do is live it.
Thank you to HarperCollins for providing our giveaway! One winner will win a pack of much anticipated upcoming ARCs! Make sure you get your entries in!
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