FICTION

I Always Think It’s Forever: A Love Story Set in Paris as Told by an Unreliable but Earnest Narrator

S. & S. Audio. Jan. 2023. $9.99. ISBN 9781797154008.
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Although this might sit on adult-section shelves, plenty of teens will find resonance here: no one age group quite loves and loses with the purity and intensity of adolescents. Sure, designer/illustrator/writer Goodman (Sharpie Art Workshop) is a couple decades older, and he has the means for international relocations, but the depth of his heartwarming-to-heartrending love story is youthfully familiar. Combining prose with his signature marker art (in print), Goodman journals his way through prioritizing his mental health, landing in Paris, learning French, and “eating all the baguettes.” Meeting, loving, and losing Aimée fuels him to also turn inward and learn to tell his own story of a difficult childhood, abusive relationships, nurturing himself as well as others, and, despite unspeakable hurt, staying open to “that big bold, corny, urgent, ridiculous, inconvenient Carrie Bradshaw kinda love.” To embody such soul-flaying vulnerability, only Goodman himself could have narrated—which he does with sincerity and calm.
VERDICT Offer both print and audio to heartbroken teens for commiserating sympathy and aspirational buoyancy.

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