Book review: Forever Interrupted by Taylor Reid Jenkins

Title: Forever Interrupted
Author: Taylor Reid Jenkins
Daniela’s rating: 2 stars

Daniela’s review

I really wanted to like this book. I truly believed it was going to break me… Turns out, it didn’t. Not even a little.

Forever Interrupted starts with a sneak peek of Ben and Elsie’s life as a married couple. They’re young, newlyweds, and they couldn’t be happier. They’re madly in love. They have each other. But, what happens when you lose your other half? What happens when your life changes so drastically, all of the sudden? Do you lose yourself, too? Do you move on? Do you just stay where you are? Not going backwards, but not going forward, either? This becomes Elsie’s life after losing Ben, her husband, her soulmate, her life.

When I first read the blurb I thought the book was exactly my kind of book. I was really in the mood for a ugly cry, and it had EVERYTHING to be one. The love, the tragedy, the possibility of new opportunities. But it wasn’t. Not for me at least. I know I’m one of the few people who’ve rated this book this low. I get why people tend to like this book, because it’s supposed to be this promise of forever, and it’s supposed to have this fast, and intense, and short love story. But I also don’t get it. I’ll explain.

So, we have two characters that at first seem to be the happiest people in the world. They share a bond so deep, so intense, no one could keep them apart. No one, except life. The book goes back and forth, between the past and the present, so we get short glimpses of how Elsie’s life was since she’d met Ben. We see how they meet, how quickly they fall in love, and how fast everything seems to move for them. All of this, while still facing the fact that this is no longer real, that it no longer exists. Some people might think that they’re love story moved too fast, and maybe it did, but this wasn’t really a problem for me. It happens, I don’t think it’s common, but it does happen, sometimes. So, even though I knew it from the blurb, it still socked me when everything went to hell. I felt so bad for Elsie; her happiness was short lived and it didn’t seem fair. It wasn’t fair.

So now we grieve, we get angry, we accept, and we move on. Or something like that (I know I missed some steps, but you get the meaning).

The time changes, gives you the chance to get to know two different stories of the same people. It gives you some insight and gives you the opportunity to fall in love with the couple. And they’re cute, in their own way. Ben is this really happy guy, one that values life and moments a lot. Everything has a meaning and a purpose for him. Elsie is more of a thinker. She analyzes everything and puts a lot of thought into life, but when she’s with Ben, she lets herself go. She’s free with him and she can laugh and she can dream. They fell in love almost instantly, and everything about them seemed to be spontaneous. They did things their own way, gave themselves the opportunity to be together, be crazy about it, and be rational about it, too. And you know what? I liked that about them, but it was crushed every time the present came back.

The way it was described, Elsie was just so angry all the time, her grieving process got stuck on pain and anger, and it didn’t seem to be a way out of it. It didn’t seem she actually wanted to get out of that pit. This is why it was so hard for me to get pulled in. I understand people feel these losses very differently, and I understand for some it might be easier and for some other it might be harder to move on. I truly understand that this is not a process that’s supposed to follow certain rules. But, in this case, me being inside of Elsie’s head, understanding where her decisions came from, how she felt about everything and everyone around her… I just couldn’t relate. It was hard for me to feel bad for her, when all I could think of was how mad she made me. It was impossible for me to feel sad.

I kept hoping, and hoping there would be something to look forward at the end. I kept hoping there would be something that would be as life changing as the start was, but in a positive way. I couldn’t find it, though. The way it looked, everything and everyone kept bringing the characters down, there was almost nothing that could bring them back up, that encouraged them to move forward.

It’s hard to like a story when you can’t relate to the main character, or at least with the rest of the characters. I, personally, didn’t see any growing on Elsie’s behalf. I don’t think she had anyone who would truly support and encourage her to live (and no, I don’t think Ben’s mom was doing that, nor was she the right person to do it. I don’t believe Ana was doing it either), and you know what? I didn’t really feel she wanted to move on, not right away, not in a few months, not ever.

I’m truly sorry I didn’t like this, but well… you can’t like them all.


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