Title: The Next Forever (Pretty Amy #1.5) [Goodreads][Amazon]
Author: Lisa Burstein
Publisher: Entangled Ever After
Release Date: January 13, 2013
In My Opinion: Worth a try!
One Line: A quick read about the tough transition from high school to college and discovering yourself.
About the Book: 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.
I definitely didn’t know that this was a companion novella to Pretty Amy, but I’ll admit that you don’t really need to read Pretty Amy to understand what’s going on here. The Next Forever solely focuses on Amy and Joe’s relationship as the transition through the first semester of college. It’s here that they decide what roles they want to fulfill and whether or not they should stay together. Their relationship is pretty much put to the test as they do things outside their comfort zone on this one night and this is one of those self-discovery stories I’m finding Lisa loves to write, and of which, she writes well.
As told in dual POVs, you get to see what Joe and Amy really think of each other, their insecurities and worries, and also, a real sense of their love for each other. These are basically two characters who grew up together and haven’t really known another love besides each other. I think college is the perfect place to kind of test your relationship and it’s understandable that they would want to because people are barely starting to figure out who they are at this stage. I love that about Lisa’s writing. She’s takes what is real in life and writes that in such a raw and gritty way, anyone can easily relate to any of characters.
Here, Amy is tempted by a resident “cool guy”, Trevor, while Joe is off deciding if he wants to rush a certain fraternity, where he meets a welcoming girl, Emily. They both end up at different parties, and their paths do cross, eventually, in a pretty crazy way. The emotions are certainly flying, Amy and Joe are definitely tempted by others, and it’s whether they decide to give into the temptations or return to each other that provides the real drama of the story. The secondary characters don’t come into play as much in this story, and you’re in Amy and Joe’s head a lot, which is great especially if you haven’t read Pretty Amy, because you get to know these characters.
I was on the fence with these two, relationship-wise. On the one hand, their love is pure and so sweet, I was really rooting for them to stay together. Yet, on the other hand, they’re still so young and inexperienced, at that stage, it’s hard for a lot of people to tell what love really is. I believe that’s the message Lisa was trying to convey, and she does it flawlessly in this short and easy read. I really enjoyed it overall, and if you like real stories and Lisa’s raw writing skills, you’ll definitely want to give this a read.