"Authentic, inventive YA with the “what if?” edge of speculative fiction"
The ever-original Jason Reynolds has done it again in this brilliant novel about grief, friendship, making amends and seizing the day. With a killer concept at its beautiful heart - what if you could bring your best friend back to life to say goodbye? - Reynolds also has a rare gift for tackling life’s big stuff with genuine humour.
“If matter doesn’t die, if energy can’t die, then no one really dies.” This line of comforting logic comes near the start of the book, twenty-three months on from funeral of Jamal’s best friend Q. Painfully, while they’d been “the Best Kind of Brothers” since childhood, they hadn’t been friends for a couple of years before Q’s death, after Jamal blamed Q for the accident that killed his parents. But Jamal still tried to save Q’s life, and wishes more than anything that he’d had the chance to put things right, that he hadn’t been “an asshole” the last time they spoke. Then, inexplicably, that chance comes when the enigmatic Mr Oklahoma from “The Center” says he can reanimate Q for a few weeks. Q’s mom agrees, but no one must reveal what’s going on, which puts Jamal in a messy predicament - how’s he going to put things right if he can’t tell Q the truth?
With an engaging in-the-moment narrative and dialogue that dances with authenticity, this is rich in relatable young adult experiences with extra edge courtesy of its “what if?” set-up. But that’s not all - Forever Ends on a Friday will put a smile on your face too, not least during the brilliant “Carpet Denim” (trans. carpe diem) scene, and through Q’s witty one-liners.