★ ★ ★
Proof of Forever by Lexa Hillyer | June 2015 | HarperCollins | Hardcover $17.99
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.
Sweet. I think this would be a lovely novel for fans of girl-group friendship / coming-of-age stories. Probably a perfect little bit of fun for some of the teens in my library’s summer reading club.
This story revolves around a group of young women, once inseparable friends, who suddenly find themselves thrust backwards in time at their summer camp together as teens. What went wrong in their lives at this pivotal point, and how can they fix their broken relationships?
This was a fairly short, easy read. The story is told in alternating points of view, giving each of the 4 girls a chance to tell their own side of the story and let their personalities shine (… or not, as the case may be). I would have LOVED this book when I was going through my Princess Diaries / Freaky Friday / Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants phase as a middle/high schooler. And I probably could have used some of the subtle-but-not-TOO-subtle friendship advice.
That said, this book was so damn predictable. Each of the girls felt like some kind of stereotype — not always in a bad way. I just mean that they’re very familiar, very well-used characters. I was really only surprised by one character’s particular development trajectory, but maybe I really shouldn’t have been. It’s just that I identified with her so heavily in the beginning that I didn’t expect her resolution to be so different from my own, haha!
The characters were actually pretty endearing. They all had their little quirks, special abilities, and flaws. I just love that.
I didn’t much care for the ending, to be honest. I don’t want to spoil anything for potential readers, but if you’ve read much contemporary YA at all over the past few years you’ll probably guess the ending anyway. Perfect teen girl gets a seriously bad phone call, withdraws from all her friends, then mysteriously reappears and insists that they all go on one last adventure together? Yeah, there’s only a handful of obvious things that those signs can point to….
I really don’t want to sound too negative about this book! I know there are going to be a LOT of people who like it and I sincerely hope it does well. Maybe I’m just too far past that phase when this book would have really meant something to me.
Anyway, HAPPY BOOK BIRTHDAY to Proof of Forever. It just came out today! Super exciting!
- Lexa Hillyer’s official website
- Paper Lantern Lit, co-founded by the author
- Author’s article at Bustle
Publication information: Hillyer, Lexa. Proof of Forever. New York: HarperCollins, 2015. EPUB.
Source: e-ARC from Edelweiss.
Disclaimer: I am not compensated, monetarily or otherwise, for reviews of books or other products.