Monday, May 28, 2012

Book Review of #2 For Better, For Worse, Forever by Lurlene McDaniel

Name of Book: For Better, for Worse, Forever

Author: Lurlene McDaniel

ISBN: 0-553-57108-7

Publisher: Laurel Leaf books

Part of a Series: As long as we both shall live

Type of book: death, widowhood, second chances, cancer, brain tumor, suicide, St. Croix, 1990s

Year it was published: 1997


April thinks she and Mark will be together forever. But since Mark's death, she has never felt more alone. Then Brandon Benedict comes into her life. Brandon is lonely and angry- he and April have a lot in common. Their closeness helps them both heal. But April cannot tell Brandon about her illness. When April's medical problems suddenly return, she must decide what to tell Brandon. Can the strength of the love she has felt before help her now?


April does change a great deal in the sequel, especially towards the end and tries to appreciate everyday. I also found it sweet that Brandon is there to help her and encourage her while he can. There are secondary characters but there wasn't enough limelight on them, thus we barely get to know them. (Spoilers ahead) April is determined to be happy since the death of her fiance from the previous novel, and with the help of Mark overcomes sadness. She likes to take chances, and, in some cases, is also in denial in beginning when familiar symptoms return. Mark is angry with his father and often blames him for what happened to the mother. He learns from April to appreciate day to day living and to take chances.


Enjoy life to the fullest, for you never know when it will be over.


This is written in third person narrative from both April's and Mark's points of views, although April's took up almost the entire novel. It immediately picks up from the first novel and asks questions that one will never find answers to; why this happened. Still its a sweet novel and a worthwhile read. I do feel that some issues seemed to be glossed over and wish that the author could have paid more attention to them.

Author Information:

Lurlene McDaniel began writing inspirational novels about teenagers facing life-altering situations when her son was diagnosed with juvenile diabetes. "I saw firsthand how chronic illness affects every aspect of a person's life," she has said. "I want kids to know that while people don't get to choose what life gives to them, they do get to choose how they respond." Lurlene McDaniel's novels are hard hitting and realistic, but also leave readers with inspiration and hope. Her books have received acclaim from readers, teachers, parents, and reviewers. Her novels Don't Die, My Love; I'll be Seeing You; and 'Till Death Do us Part have all been national bestsellers. Lurlene McDaniel lives in Chattanooga, Tennessee. (From inside flap)


This novel will induce tears and its also sad. But it also discusses second chances at love, albeit briefly and, it seems, its all about second chances and treasuring the times while they last. I felt that it was too brief with major issues and I liked that the ending felt realistic instead of sugary and sappy. Be sure to have plenty of tissues if you decide to read it. This also picks up immediately after 'Till Death Do Us Part, and it can be read on its own, although the first novel will make it more understanding. (Actually I have read For Better, for Worse, Forever first before reading 'Till Death Do Us Part.)

4 out of 5
(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)

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