Jasinda Wilder and her husband Jack have a great story. If you haven’t seen it, I’ve watched this video from CBS news several times and cry a little every time.
If you can’t play the video, click here to see it.
You can meet Jasinda and Jack Wilder at Wicked Book Weekend March 7-9 in Ft. Lauderdale.
Right before Christmas, Jasinda published the first two books in the Ever Trilogy, and they were PHENOMENAL. Some of the best writing I have read all year. They are a MUST READ, and I feel like with the holidays you all may have missed this incredible release, so Jasinda teamed up with me to give away a Kindle e-reader with the re-print of my reviews.
Forever & Always by Jasinda Wilder: Book 1 of the Ever Trilogy.
Genre: New adult with lots of sex
Does not stand alone
Get this book now.
If you have been a follower of my blog for some time. You know that I don’t love to read books that make me cry, unless they are happy tears. I’m all about the happy book. But when I do read one with intense emotions like most of Jasinda’s books, they blow me away. Forever and Always by Jasinda Wilder is the first in The Ever Trilogy, an intense emotional journey that sucked me in and didn’t let me go until I finished the first two books in 2.5 days amidst a lot of Christmas shopping.
Unless I am on vacation, I have never gone 2 days without posting on my blog. But there was no way I could review another book while so deeply engrossed in these. In fact, I have read a few books I’ve enjoyed lately, but felt like I was in a bit of a slump. I needed one to totally blow me away. Oh yeah…Jasinda did it. And I had no posts for two days (sorry).
I have a book hangover like you wouldn’t believe. But I wouldn’t trade it for the world. This is going to be a hard review, because I was so caught up with the book, I didn’t stop to take notes or highlight half as much as I normally do.
Ever and Cade meet at ages 14/15 at Interlochen, a sleepaway arts camp. Both talented artists, they connected on a level neither ever had before. I grew up going to sleepaway camps like this, so I know how much you can bond while there. Life is magnified 100 times. And these kids had so much in common. I loved the book right from the start because these talented teens felt so real to me. As a mom of a teen, and a middle school substitute, I’m around them enough to know that Jasinda got it right.
When camp ended, Ever and Cade weren’t ready to sever the connection, so they decided to be pen pals. real paper and pen, hand-written pen pals. As the letters are revealed, I almost felt like a voyeur, or even more, like I found a real box of letters that two young teens about to fall in love wrote to each other.
It’s hard to write this letter. I’m not even sure what to say, but I feel like I can tell you things, because we’re friends, and somehow these letters are like a journal.
My mom has cancer.”
Ever understood completely. Ever and her twin sister Eden lost their mom to a car accident. Their dad couldn’t handle the grief and basically checked out, leaving the two girls lost and alone. When the same thing happened to Cade, Ever was there, understanding him. Ever had Eden though, Cade was alone.
Things only got worse for him. Poor Caden. This kid has had so much crap in his life, the worst luck possible, your heart just can’t help but break for him. His light, his strength when he might have otherwise broken are his letters with Ever.
“Being able to write letters to someone who couldn’t judge me, who would write back and seem sympathetic and friendly, it helped me be me, helped me feel okay.
Now, nothing is okay, and sending this letter to Ever seemed necessary. It would make me okay.”
Ever and Caden did not consider themselves anything more than pen pals and friends. But for years, the letters became a huge part of their lives. Through all of the important growing up years, and all of the tragedy poor Caden endures, they never fully lose touch. They would drift apart, then come back together, but Cade’s sorrow and loneliness weren’t always easy reads for Ever.
As time passed, they met others. They had relationships. But through it all, they connected via US Postal Service, and in their hearts and minds and art. So much so, that they could never fully connect to someone else. But they never really realized it was because they each had a part of the other since they met 5 years before.
“I felt as I was missing a piece of my soul, like the memory was all that was left of a love I’d had and lost.”
When tragedy strikes yet again….finally, Ever and Caden meet in person.
“Nothing had ever felt so cataclysmic, so drought with atomic power. I couldn’t breathe for the kiss, hadn’t taken a breath in an eternity and it didn’t matter because now, suddenly, she was my breath.”
When they finally met and connected, I was giddy with happiness. YAY! These two finally, after five long years, found their way to each other.
“What is this, with us?”
“I don’t know.” What words could I use? I’d just met her after five years of letters. But I knew her, and I needed her. “It’s everything. It’s –”
“That’s what I need. I need everything, Cade. I need you… your everything. Your always.”
And if you’ve read Jasinda before, this is where her epic sex scenes begin. I mean EPIC. Pages and pages of lovemaking and soul-fusing, and so, so much love.
“God, you’re so…much. So beautiful. I feel drunk from kissing you. Like touching you makes me high. I’m dizzy from your skin.”
Then, just when you think it should end right there and be a perfect 5 star read Jasinda breaks you completely. Thank fucking God book two is available right away.
- Pulled me out of a major reading slump.
- Grabbed me from the beginning and didn’t let go.
- The emotions started at the beginning and didn’t really let up. Tissues are necessary.
- There was fun amidst the tragedy.
- Told in dual POVs.
- Reading the letters between Ever and Cade felt so real. I felt like I got to watch them grow up in a very unique way.
- I love the realistic portrayal of gifted teens in camp.
- The kids were artists and Eden, Ever’s sister, was a cellist. I enjoyed reading about the extremely gifted teens, they are always a bit more ‘alone’.
- Tragedy reigns throughout this book, yet it still remains hopeful.
- There were a lot of beautiful moments, Jasinda’s writing, while sometimes bordering on a bit too flowery for such young characters, was wonderfully poetic.
- Gorgeous set of covers!
- I know Jasinda’s books have a lot of long erotic scenes, but the length and breadth of the sex in this, I felt was overkill. I love hot sexy scenes, but these were just a little too long and sometimes bordered on cheesy (especially because she used the word turgid again!). I found myself reading these parts with a little less attention to detail than usual.
- There was a strange lack of social media. I never thought about it when reading, but as I write this review, I find it strange that two kids never used Facebook or twitter or even e-mail. It was all paper letters, and the reason why was never mentioned, almost like this took place 15-20 years ago.
- Sometimes I lost track of who’s POV I was reading.
Rating: 5 stars, 4.5 heat (The amount and detailed sex can warrant a 5 heat, but it needs to have a little kink for me to go to a 5)
Forever and Always by Jasinda Wilder is more than a solid 5 stars. It may be in the 5+ range and will absolutely make the list of my top books of 2013. The “literary love” turning into real love was beautiful. The teens realistic. The tragedy was heartbreaking. Jasinda has a gift. She can wring you out emotionally one minute, make you swoon the next, make you all hot and bothered then make you cry again. Yet it all is wrapped up in an unputdownable package of realistic characters that you can’t help but love.
Bleary eyed from lack of sleep, all I can do is wait for book 2, thank goodness I only need to wait a day.
Purchase Forever and Always (Ever Trilogy 1) by Jasinda Wilder
**DO NOT READ THIS REVIEW IF YOU HAVEN’T READ FOREVER & ALWAYS there are some slight spoilers in this review, it is impossible to review without!**
After Forever: Book 2 in the Ever Trilogy by Jasinda Wilder. 200 pgs.
The first book is New Adult with sex, this one is more adult.
Does not stand alone. Not quite a cliffhanger but kind of.
“You promised, Ever. You promised me you’d never leave me. I know you didn’t want to, you didn’t mean to. But you still did, and I’m back to being numb and floating through life, through every day. Except now I don’t even have you, have your letters to keep me tied to the earth.”
This is going to be the hardest book review ever. After Forever by Jasinda Wilder begins right where Forever and Always left us hanging. Tragedy has struck our poor Caden once again. He is so lost and alone. He has nobody at all.
Jasinda’s writing was absolutely incredible. I applaud her courage for writing a book that will no doubt upset many readers. I was upset, angry, sad, broken, and praying it wouldn’t happen…yet I understood why it might. My emotions were all over the place.
The thing was…I couldn’t put it down. I almost pulled an all nighter. I was glued to the pages and have never been so tempted to jump ahead and see what happens. This is not an easy book. It leaves you with such conflicted emotions, and if it weren’t for a little sneak preview of book 3, I’m not sure I’d have liked it as much as I did.
Liked….hmmmm…did I like it? Well, I liked that I couldn’t put it down. That I needed to read it. I loved how engrossed I was. Did I like where the story went? No. Do I understand it? Yes, kind of.
It’s Jasinda’s writing that makes this book so phenomenal. The prose is poetry. The confusion, heartbreaking loneliness, hopelessness, and guilt are written so powerfully that you can’t help but be moved by it all.
“I felt Ever slipping away. I found myself less and less able to keep up the one-sided chatter that Eden seemed to produce so effortlessly. Maybe it was I who was slipping away. I was retreating, I knew, back into the numb place I’d lived after Mom died, and even more so after Dad had. I was there again, and it was the only way I’d survive. I couldn’t bear to miss Ever. It was too deep a cut through my heart. Talking to her made me miss her. She was there, breathing, heart beating, but she wasn’t there. She wasn’t listening. I wasn’t sure if I believed she heard me or not.
I was slipping away.”
Cade has lost everyone. He even lost his art. He had absolutely nobody. No friends, not a soul to help him after the accident. He couldn’t walk, drive, cook and could barely make it to the bathroom. Ever’s sister Eden was a gifted cellist, and her cello and her sister where the only two constants in her life. Eden was alone too. So you can’t help but be relieved when Eden (who I did not like during the first book) shows up to help Cade.
As a reader, you know Cade needs help. Eden is there. But there is something between them…and at first it totally pissed me off. This is Ever’s TWIN. Cade must be confused as hell, yet it makes a sick sort of sense that he feels something. But not so soon.
“My thoughts were raging out of control, haywire. I thought of Ever, missing her, hating missing her, hating feeling like she was slipping away from me. I hated being so dependent on Eden, hated that I had to see her every day and fight how much she reminded me of Ever and yet how clearly she was her own person, so distinct and so unique that I couldn’t deny having noticed it, having seen it every day for so many weeks.”
Cade and Eden visit Ever every single day. They never skip. They are forced together daily and have nobody else. They are both lost and alone and mourning.
“She’s gone! But she’s not dead, and I can’t mourn and can’t forget her and can’t move on. I can’t bury her, but I can’t have her! I can’t do anything! I’m coming apart”
Through alternating points of view, in this book we have Cade and Eden’s story spanning 18 months. I didn’t like Eden at all in the first book. In the second, I feel I understood her a lot more and could totally relate to being jealous of her sister. My sisters are both skinny and gorgeous. But there was something still holding me back from truly liking her. I don’t think she even remotely wanted to do anything to hurt her sister, she absolutely loved her, yet the way she coveted what her sister had played a part in this story, and I hold Eden 80-90% responsible for the outcome.
I was so torn reading this book. I didn’t want there to be any connection between these two. But poor Caden. He needed someone. There was nobody for him. He was so alone. He was only with Ever 3 months before the accident. He is still a child and he has lost everyone he has ever loved, right in front of him. He needed the physical touch of someone who cared about him in any way he could get it.
Now what? Will Ever wake up? They don’t think so. What happens if she does? The guilt and horror of the way Eden and Cade cling to each other is palpable. But it was inevitable that when you spend day in and day out with someone in an emotional situation, that they would eventually veer off course.
- An all-consuming roller coaster of emotions.
- The way Jasinda actually put me at war with myself.
- The fierce need I had to peek ahead (I resisted).
- The emotions leapt off the page.
- Jasinda’s writing is brilliant.
- That you never doubted Cade’s love, despite his actions.
- That Jasinda made me care about what happens to a person I wasn’t really sure I liked or trusted.
- The sneak peek for book 3
- The initial attraction was too soon.
- I hated the way the story went but I absolutely loved the books.
- Biggest dislike: Eden was a bit of a slut, there was never any talk of condoms (pet peeve).
- Though Jasinda’s writing is pure poetry, sometimes it’s just a little too good for a first person story…these characters wouldn’t think such eloquent thoughts, (or use the word turgid) especially Cade.
Rating: 5 Stars 4 heat (sex, but guilty sex)
I know many of you are scared to read this series. I see why a bit. But I’m telling you, you need to experience the genius. You may not like the way the story goes, but you will still be glued to your kindle for the whole journey. Jasinda has assured me that the series DOES have an happy ending. At this point, I can’t imagine how in the hell she will do it. After Forever doesn’t have a desperate cliffhanger like the Always and Forever does, but it does end unfinished. It appears the next book is more Eden’s book, and I absolutely LOVED the snippet! I don’t think that you really need to wait for the trilogy to be out to read these, in fact, in my case, I enjoy the anticipation.
Still, I’m counting down till 2/14 for Saving Forever.
Purchase After Forever (Ever Trilogy 2) by Jasinda Wilder
The Ever Series order (click covers to purchase in your country)