Forever was the 7th most challenged book from 1990-1999 and the 16th most challenged book from 2000-2009. (Notice the decline in number? Maybe a sign of the times?) The reasons: offensive language and sexual content. In Rib Lake, Wisconsin a principle confiscated the book from a student then proceeded to have the book removed from the school library due to it's sexual content. Mind you, this book was originally published in the 1970's.
The book basically describes the first time a girl has sex and the sexual relationship following. Meet Katherine, a senior in High School, who just met Michael. The senior year of High School is a big moment in most people's lives. Suddenly you're graduating from the monotonous schooling you've been a part of for the past 13 years of your life. You're about to move out, go to college, and be seen as an adult. But this book does not dive too deeply into those details. Instead Judy Blume approaches the subject of a girls first love and how most girls handle it.
I honestly found Katherine to be annoying. She seemed so indecisive, jealous, and whiny. Sometimes I felt a growing annoyance with her while it appeared that no one else caught on to how frustrating she was being. Or maybe she was just too much like I was during my own first experience with love (that could explain it, since the very end of the book was nothing like my first experience with love and that's the only time she DIDN'T annoy me).
Blume is detailed about what leads to the losing of Katherine's virginity but not in an erotic way. She also takes a stance to have Michael and Katherine take the precautionary movements. Using protection and going to the doctors. If we're going to be talking about sex, at least it's a discussion of safe sex. Even the details of Katherine's first visit to the gynecologist is honest and accurate. Honestly, I wish I had read this book before I had my own first appointment. It would have answered many of my questions beforehand and made me more calm to the idea of the experience.
I understand that people feel they have the right to dictate whether or not people have sex and I think it's stupid. I doubt people with this general "I can control you" mentality would appreciate it if they had someone try to control them. I feel it's always worth stating what you believe in- we all have that right! But the decision ultimately involves the person it concerns. Not you.
And let's face it; people are having sex no matter their age, religion, or marital status. It's a fact of life. And if this book could somehow inform a person prior to having sex or, at least, convinces them to have sex safely- isn't that a good thing?