There's a first for everything . When you build up something in your mind -- really imagine it, wish for it -- sometimes, when it actually happens, it doesn't live up to your expectations. True love is nothing like that. Especially not for Katherine and Michael, who can't get enough of each... read more
Katherine, in the middle of her senior year in high school, finds herself strongly attracted to Michael, a boy she meets at a New Year's party. As their relationship unfolds, the issue of sex comes up early on, more as an emotional and health issue than as a moral one. Both of them are aware... read more (warning: may contain spoilers)
Katherine, in the middle of her senior year in high school, finds herself strongly attracted to Michael, a boy she meets at a New Year's party. As their relationship unfolds, the issue of sex comes up early on, more as an emotional and health issue than as a moral one. Both of them are aware that physical intimacy is both common and complicated. Michael has been sexually active, while Katherine hasn't. Their relationship progresses slowly as they go on dates and trips together; they are accompanied on various meetings by her friend, Erica, a realist, who has known Katherine since 9th grade and believes that sex is a physical act and not a romantic act. They are also joined by Michael's friend, Artie, who, with Erica's help, explores and acknowledges some uncertainty about his own sexuality. Artie is a depressed teenager who feels life is over after high school. He shows his depression when he attempts to hang himself from his shower curtain rod but fails.
When Katherine and Michael do, by mutual consent, have sex on Michael's sister's bedroom floor, they are sure it seals a love that will be "forever." Michael buys Katherine a necklace for her birthday that says both of their names on it and also says "Forever". However, separated for the summer by work that takes them to two different states, Katherine finds herself aware of the limitations of the relationship and ultimately attracted to a tennis instructor, Theo, who is older and more experienced in life. She takes responsibility for breaking the news to Michael when he comes on a surprise visit, the summer she knew was over, and Katherine recognizes the loss as a stage in movement towards more complex, probably more satisfying relationships in the future. The book ends with Katherine's mother giving her a message that Theo called her.
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