First There Was Forever Juliana Romano

First There Was Forever - Juliana Romano
Why was it always up to her when I was her best friend and when I was just a stranger?

That's the question Lima asks herself when her best friend Hailey has changed and they are now spending more time apart than together. The two have been best friends for as long as they can remember, but right before they enter tenth grade, Hailey reveals that she lost her virginity during the summer. Suddenly Hailey is changed, and it becomes obvious when they get back to school. Hailey finds new friends, goes to parties all of a sudden, and is basically a whole new person. Lima, unsure of how to behave around this new Hailey is more confused than ever. But as they spend time apart, Lima finds a new friend in Nate, Hailey's long time crush. Despite their changed friendship, Lima knows it would break an unwritten rule to be with Nate.

First There Was Forever with its not so new premise, didn't leave much of an impression. Lima is a nice character, but a complete doormat. Naive to the extreme. While it's easy to feel for her, at the same time you wish to shake some sense into her. So your former best friend found a new friend, the two of you grew apart: it is not the end of the world. This whole setting would be upsetting to a teenager, no doubt, but to the extent that Lima barely knows who she is, not quite so believable.

But Lima's personality isn't this book's biggest flaw. Everything revolves around how Lima and Hailey were the best of best friends, inseparable. However, not once in this book is it clear why they are friends, or why they stay together. Maybe it's because when the story opens, Hailey is already changed. What few glimpses of her old personality are shown, they aren't enough to explain their friendship or how strong it is, and by this, Hailey's character never gets a complexity that this book's plot required to work. Instead, all we see is the new, boy-crazy, vain, and superficial Hailey that doesn't evoke a single emotion. Thus Lima's fretting becomes annoying to read about over and over again.

This story, girl falls for her best friend's crush, has been done many, many times before. Unlike them, First There Was Forever doesn't capture the strong friendships that young girls form in their early and mid teens, neither the moral dilemma. First There Was Forever did capture the rush of a first love, but that part as well was somewhat undeveloped what with the quick development of said relationship. But yes, it did capture the general feeling of it. Still, that isn't enough as the other parts were severely underdeveloped.