Title: Forever Julia
Publication date: May 1, 2015
Publisher: Great Plains Publications
Author: Jodi Carmichael
Six months ago, Julia's life was perfect. Then her dad died. Now she lives with her grieving mother and sick grandmother in a puny apartment above their bookstore. After a dark bout of depression, Julia is fragile, and mourns both her father and her old life. But she has one thing to be happy about: Jeremy, the most popular boy at school, has chosen her. Jeremy's love for Julia is passionate, even obsessive. As she grows closer to Jeremy, Julia pushes her disapproving friends and family away. But Jeremy only becomes more controlling and Julia has to decide what lines cannot be crossed.
From Chapter 19
“Julia,” he says. His knuckles whiten as he grips the steering wheel. He stares out the front windshield. “You know I love you, right?”
“Yes and I love you.”
“Which means you’re mine,” he says.
“Uhm, That’s sort of archaic, Jeremy. You sound like a Neanderthal.”
He releases his seat belt and leans across the car. “I want- ed to do this all night.” He caresses my face, his fingers feather light as they trace my cheekbone down to my lower lip. Chills spread out from the invisible tracks his fingers made, down my neck. “So beautiful,” he murmurs.
Then he kisses me.
Those chills change to heat waves that engulf me entirely. His hand moves to my belly and under my shirt, caressing me as it rises to my chest. I gasp. But I don’t make him stop.
He pulls away and helps me out of my buckle.
“Come,” he says, and climbs into the back seat. My heart is beating wildly. I follow.
“Lay back,” he instructs.
I look up at him, as he shrugs off his jacket. His grey-blue eyes are almost black, full of desire, his face flushed.
“Oh my God,” I say, unable to stop my words, “You are so hot.”
“And you are too sexy,” he whispers, kissing along my jaw- line. He slips his hand under my shirt and kisses me again. He groans. I melt into him and a moan escapes. He moves his hand to my waist, unbuttoning my jeans. He works the zipper down, sliding his hand into my panties.
My eyes flash open. My vision resumes spinning. I thrust myself up and bash my forehead into his chin.
“Crap!” he shouts, holding his face.
“I’m going to be sick!”
“What?” Jeremy backs away like I’ve got rabies. “Not in my mom’s car!”
I cup my hand over my mouth and struggle with the door handle. Jeremy reaches over me, releases the lock, and pushes the door open wide.
I tumble out and land hard on the road. My hands scrape on the icy pavement. Crawling on my hands and knees I make it to the back of the car before I vomit. Over and over. My throat burns. It feels like I am spewing up chards of glass.
Jeremy lays his hand on my back and I jump, retching. Finally, it stops and I lean back against the car’s tire. My head is clear. Jeremy’s face is distorted, his desire gone. I yank up my pants zipper.
“I’m sorry, Jeremy,” I say, trying not to cry. My stomach cramps. Oh, God, no more. I clench my teeth, willing myself not to throw up.
What is wrong with me? Maybe I do have sex issues. He has every right to be angry. I am a sex loser.
“Let’s go,” he says, pulling me up under my arms. He leads me around the front of the car and buckles me in. The clock on the dash reads 11:50. He passes me his tin of mints, but doesn’t say a word. I pop in three. I am too numb to speak.
As we drive home the silence builds, forming a wall between us. In moments we’re in my parking lot.
“I’m so sorry, Jeremy.” He doesn’t respond. “Jeremy—”
“I’m not going to wait forever Julia,” he says.
“But, Jeremy, I just drank too much. I—”
“You better go in,” he cuts me off.
“Okay,” I say, waiting for a kiss goodnight. He doesn’t make a move. And why would he want to kiss me? “I’ll see you tomorrow.”
Still no response. I open the door and climb out.
“I love you,” I say, as a light flashes on behind me. The back door swings open as Jeremy speeds down the back lane.
“His Royal Nibs couldn’t walk you to the door?” Grandma’s voice rings out across the dark cold night.
“He had to get home too,” I lie as I brush by her, stomping inside.
Grandma grabs my arm, forcing me to face her. My head spins. I concentrate hard on staying upright. It would totally blow my cover if I fell in a heap at her feet.
She stares hard at me, her grandma senses must be tingling.
“What?” I ask. I can’t bear her scrutiny.
“Just looking,” she replies, smoothing her pale green toque. Since she cut her hair, she loses all her heat through her head and she gets too chilly at night to sleep.
“For what?” I’m careful to speak clearly.
“I’ll know when I see it.”
“There is something,” she says, taking a step back and running her gaze over me from head to toe. Her eyes narrow, her brows don’t flinch. “I’ll be watching you, my dear. Closely.”
I squeeze by her in the narrow hallway.
“I’m really tired.” She follows me as I carefully walk a straight line down the hall. I don’t feel nearly as wobbly as I did at the party, but I can’t mess up.
“Nice jacket,” Grandma says.
“Thanks. Jeremy gave it to me.”
“Looks expensive.” She doesn’t sound impressed. “Better soak those pants. Vomit stains.”
Jodi Carmichael is now on my list of favorite authors. I really loved this book! She really captured what it feels like to be a fifteen year old girl who is desperate for that feeling of belonging.
Forever Julia is a book that needs to be read by all teenage girls who are of dating age. Julia really cares for her boyfriend Jeremy and she puts up with a lot from him that she really shouldn't but when it really comes down to what's important, Julia doesn't change who she is just to make some guy happy. This is a really important lesson that young girls need to learn! Like most teenage girls Julia wants to be liked and be popular and she is well on her way to that goal because she is dating the most popular guy in school. Julia's self-esteem is quite low when the story starts and I suspect part of it is from losing her father and trying to deal with her loss. I feel like Jeremy preyed on that and knew that Julia would do just about whatever he wanted in order to make him happy. He tries to come in between her and her best friend and to convince her that she doesn't need her anti-depressants because she has him and he loves her and that's all that matters. That is one of the first warning signs of an abusive relationship.
Relationships like this are so easy to fall into because it starts out slowly. It's just a little thing that you try to brush off or think maybe you're over-reacting and then the next thing you know he's got you isolated and scared to leave him. It is very easy for young girls like Julia to end up in relationships like this. Her wild friend Annika even tries to save her from her relationship with Jeremy. On more than one occasion she mentions to Julia that Jeremy's behavior is unacceptable but Julia makes excuses for him and stays with him.
The characters in this book are very well-written and believable. I have to stay that as much as I adored Julia and Annika, Julia's grandmother and Tyler were my favorite characters. Julia's grandmother is a force to be reckoned with and doesn't take any crap from anyone. She sees right through Jeremy immediately but she lets Julia make her own decisions while keeping an eye on her from a distance. I really liked Tyler and thought that he and Julia were going to end up together, and I was hoping they would, but Jodi Carmichael surprised me on that one! The ending was my favorite part of the book and I usually do not say that about books. I felt satisfied with the ending of this one, though.
This was a really great read for those young and old. Julia is a very endearing character and seeing how she grows emotionally through the book is very rewarding. I highly recommend!
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JODI CARMICHAEL lives in Winnipeg where she can often be found dancing in the living room with her two wildly imaginative daughters, her patient and supportive husband, and a scruffy Border Terrier named Zoe. Jodi’s previous book for young readers, Spaghetti Is NOT A Finger Food, won numerous awards and has been a multi-week Bestseller.
Visit Jodi Carmichael at www.jodicarmicael.com.