Friday, June 8, 2018

Review and Giveaway: ALWAYS FOREVER MAYBE by Anica Mrose Rissi

by Anica Mrose Rissi
Publication Date: June 5, 2018
Published by HarperTeen
Pages: 256
Source: FFBC Tours | Netgalley
Purchase Amazon | B&N | Indiebound | iBooks | Kobo


When Betts meets Aiden at the candy store where she works, their connection is like a sugar rush to the heart. Even before they share a first kiss, Betts already knows the two of them are destined to become an us.

Betts has a bruised, cautious history with love, but she feels safe and empowered in Aiden's arms. He trusts her with the darkness in his troubled past, and his devotion opens up a new future for Betts just as everything else in her world is changing. With graduation inching closer, Betts and her best friend, Jo, have been sliding slowly apart, and that fissure is blown wide open by Aiden.

Betts has only ever kept one secret from Jo, but suddenly there's a long list of things she won't tell her, things Jo wouldn't understand. Because Jo doesn't see how good Aiden is for Betts. She finds him needy. Possessive. Controlling.

She's wrong. With a love like this, nothing else matters.

My Thoughts

ALWAYS FOREVER MAYBE is one of those books that going in you know is going to be heartbreaking. I was drawn to the book by the title and the starkness of the cover, but most definitely because the story is about troubled romantic relationships and best friends.

I love the friendship between Jo and Betts because it is strong and unbreakable. Best friends since second grade, Jo and Betts know the most about each other and want only the best for the other. Their friendship is what makes this book shine.

I'm not going to lie, anticipating where this story was going, it was hard to see Aiden as anything other than loathsome. Recognizing the tactics Aiden used to create their connection and to emphasis their importance to each other was disturbing.
Betts questioned a lot of Aiden's thoughts and actions but didn't completely trust her instinct for fear of betraying him and their relationship. It could have been a more devastating situation than it was if Betts didn't have the support of her friends.

ALWAYS FOREVER MAYBE reminds me of a book I read a few years ago, GIRL ON THE BRINK by Christina Hoag which also tackles the difficult topic of teenage relationship abuse. I want to praise authors for writing these books because readers need them - whether that's because they have a friend in a similar situation and want to help or they see themselves in these stories and need to, but aren't sure how to, ask for help. Sometimes it's hard to see it when you're in it. 
I wish I'd read a book like ALWAYS FOREVER MAYBE as a teenager. I needed it. I'm glad to have read it as an adult.

Disclaimer: I received this e-ARC as part of the Fantastic Flying Book Club Tour. I was not compensated in any way other than the e-ARC provided. Thoughts and opinions are my own.
About the Author

Anica Mrose Rissi photo by Kim Indresano.jpg 
Anica Mrose Rissi grew up on an island off the coast of Maine. After college, she moved to New York City, where she worked as a cheesemonger and book editor. She now writes, fiddles in the electro-country band Owen Lake and the Tragic Loves, and walks with her dog, Arugula, near their home in Princeton, New Jersey. Anica is the author of several books for younger readers, and her essays have been published by The Writer and the New York Times. Always Forever Maybe is her YA debut. Visit her online at, and follow her on Instagram and Twitter at @anicarissi.

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