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April 20, 2013

Review of For Always by Danielle Sibarium

For-Always

You never really get over your first love. Such is the case for fourteen-year-old Stephanie Barrano, self-proclaimed misfit and death magnet. A freshman in high school, Stephanie is befriended by Jordan Brewer, a hot, in-demand senior, who pulls her from the outer circle of obscurity into the realm of acceptance. Jordan quickly works his way into Stephanie’s heart. He’s her everything. And the only person she trusts with the truth about her father’s death. But he won’t act on the strong feelings he has for her. Stephanie vows to wait for him, knowing in time she’ll win his heart.

Two months before her eighteenth birthday, Jordan serves as an impromptu prom date. After sharing a magical evening, Jordan leaves Stephanie with the promise of a future together. Then tragedy strikes. Jordan not only shuts Stephanie out, he also blames her for what happened. Feeling broken and beaten, will she try one last time to get through to Jordan or will she lose him forever?

add to goodreadsFor Always by Danielle Sibarium
Publication Date:  October 27, 2011

Available for Purchase:
amazon | B&N | TBD | indiebound

I couldn’t find a trailer, so here’s a song!
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** This title was provided to us by the Author for an honest review.
We were in no way paid for our opinions **

Gabby NewWhen I first saw the title of author Danielle Sibarium’s, For Always I had a feeling I would be reading something teen fiction meets young love. I was spot on. I have to admit that I don’t read much teen fiction and am not all that used to reading it, however it was quite the adventure to get out of my comfort zone and delve into the life of main character Stephanie Barrano.

For Always starts off with a fourteen year old (death trap named) Stephanie who has just entered high school. Awkward and the shadow of her popular best friend Maria, Stephanie didn’t expect that calling one of Maria’s crushes would result in him remembering her existence. Jordan Brewer is an eighteen year old senior and one of the most desirable boys in school. When Stephanie begins to fall for Jordan he becomes the only thing she cares about and it doesn’t take long for Jordan to start to feel the same way. Just when things between them start to get serious Jordan leaves Stephanie, but she decides to wait for him, sure that one day her and Jordan will finally be together the way she wants them both to be.

 Four years later, Stephanie is almost eighteen and loses her prom date when she accidentally calls him by Jordan’s name. Jordan appears out of the blue, returning for Stephanie. However things aren’t as picture perfect as Stephanie imagined them to be. Jordan has a girlfriend and he doesn’t seem to have the same strong feelings he used to for Stephanie. When he becomes her prom date Stephanie is sure she’s won him back and she does, finally managing to obtain the special spot in her heart she’s been dreaming of.

Then the unthinkable happens: As Jordan breaks up with his girlfriend he gets into a car accident and she dies. Jordan immediately thinks that it’s his own fault, blaming himself… and his love for Stephanie for killing her. Jordan ignores Stephanie, trying to get her away from him to honor his girlfriend’s memory, but the romance between the two of them isn’t yielding. Stephanie won’t give up on him and she’s sure that he feels the same way about her. She won’t lose him, not again.

What I was really caught on when I started the novel was the age similarity between me and Stephanie. I like realism and I have to say that most of fourteen year old Stephanie was genuine. I could relate to her in some ways and in others I couldn’t. I got her need to fit in and the way she viewed herself however I personally didn’t agree with her and Jordan’s relationship because of the age difference. There’s a four year age difference. I really didn’t like the idea of a fourteen year old girl and an eighteen year old guy going out together all romantic-like. Sure I think that some of the guys at my high school who are seniors are hot, but I doubt that we’d have anything in common because of the gap between our ages (after all, Stephanie just got out of middle school…).

Stephanie was a character that I both loved and was irked by at the same time. I found it interesting that she was a walking death-magnet for the people closest to her. It sounded like a paranormal aspect when I first started reading, but eventually turned out to just be something that happened around Stephanie. Do I want a concrete explanation about her “curse” besides poetic murmurings meant to comfort her? Oh yeah. Do I hope this concrete explanation is cool? Totally.

My only real issue with Stephanie were her choices, they had me feeling she was absolutely spiralling out of control. I understand that she’s in love with Jordan and that she doesn’t want to let him go but honestly, some of the things that she decides to do and comes to conclusions with had me fuming. Not only does she fall for some of the creepiest dudes (excluding Jordan) but when Jordan tries to push her away and hurts her by trying to protect himself she decides to go gallivanting and try to get revenge on him in some of the most insane ways. It was not crashing the mode.

Sibarium did a good job of creating a romance in which readers try to cheer on the protagonist to end up with her Prince Charming. I did like the relationship between Jordan and Stephanie and I did want them to end up together. Maybe it was the backstory or the fact that he accidentally got his girlfriend killed so he could be with her, there was something about Jordan and Stephanie that I adored. For Always is a novel that I would recommend to readers that are fans of teen fiction and teen romance. Readers who are looking for a novel about true love and high school romances will definitely fall for this title. 

About the Author:

Danielle Sibarium grew up as an only child of divorced parents in Brooklyn, New York. Her imagination was developed at an early age. Surrounded by stuffed animals and imaginary friends, she transported herself into a fantasy world full of magic and wonder. Books were the gateway between her play world and reality. On any given summer afternoon she became Snow White sweeping and cooking for the dwarfs, or Cinderella waiting for the prince.

Danielle always loved dialogue and in elementary school began writing plays and short stories. This is when she began to understand she could not only bring her fantastical world to life for herself, but she could enchant others as well. And so she wrote. She wrote and wrote and wrote.

Sadly the first piece she ever sent out for publication of any sort was a letter to the editor of The Home News Tribune. It was a piece thanking the first responders for their bravery and selflessness on Sept 11th. It was chosen as letter of the week.

In 2007 Danielle collaborated with Charlotte Doreen Small to write songs for her CD More. Danielle wrote the lyrics for Take My Hand, and Goodbye, while Charlotte contributed the melody.

 In October 2011 Danielle’s debut novel For Always was released. She Has since released Heart Waves and the second book in the Heart Waves series, Breaking Waves.

Danielle graduated from Farleigh Dickinson University with honors, and currently lives in New Jersey with her husband and three children.

Connect with the Author:  Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

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6 Comments

  1. Don’t think I have seen this one. It does sounds good though. I do have to agree that a 14 and 18 year really don’t much business dating. As a mother, it is a scary thing. But anyways, I do like the sounds of this. Thanks for sharing it. Great review.

    Jenea @ Books Live Forever
    Jenea @ Books Live Forever recently posted..Review for The Collector (Dante Walker #1) by Victoria ScottMy Profile

    [Reply]

    Chapter by Chapter Reply:

    Thanks for stopping by Jenea. Age difference can be a scary thing. Age is not just a number. =) – Gabby

    [Reply]

  2. Michelle Chew
    4/20/2013

    Sounds like an interesting and realistic read. I’m so glad I came across your review!
    Michelle Chew recently posted..{Winner} March 2013 GiveawayMy Profile

    [Reply]

    Chapter by Chapter Reply:

    We’re so glad you came across our review too, Michelle!! – Gabby

    [Reply]

  3. Danielle Sibarium
    4/21/2013

    Thank you so much for taking timeout of your busy schedule to reveiw For Always!

    [Reply]

    Chapter by Chapter Reply:

    Thanks for stopping by Danielle, I really appreciate you taking time to check out the review :)

    – Gabby

    [Reply]

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