4 – 4.5 stars.
Forever My Girl is a beautiful YA rockstar romance about the heartbreak of mistakes, the power of forgiveness, and the hope of a second chance at love.
I’ll be perfectly honest, when I first read the blurb for this book, I squeed right out loud. I mean, a second-chance rockstar romance? What’s not to love?
Here’s the blurb, I’ll let you fall in love with it all on your own:
I was never supposed to be a rock star. I had my life all planned out for me. Play football in college. Go to the NFL. Marry my high school sweetheart and live happily ever after.
I broke both our hearts that day when I told her I was leaving. I was young. I made the right decision for me, but the wrong decision for us. I’ve poured my soul into my music, but I’ve never forgotten her. Her smell, her smile.
And now I’m going back.
After ten years.
I hope I can explain that after all this time.
I still want her to be my forever girl.
Seeeee?? *clutches heart* Now you can understand why I just HAD to read it!
“I gave up on their dreams and the life we had all planned out. And now I was heading home to face the music.”
By the time I was 3% into my read, I was already choked up. There was just so much emotion! There is a tragedy that occurs back in Liam’s home town, a death of a close friend, and I just have to give serious props to the author for making me utterly heartbroken over a character I had never even met! I totally felt the hole that his loss had left in his loved ones’ lives. It really helped connect me very early on in the book to the characters and draw me right into the story.
With Liam now being the tattooed, motorcycle riding, bad boy, rockstar that he was, I wanted to know what made him originally decide to leave his forever girl behind and never look back? He was clearly still 100% in love with her after all these years and never forgot her or was able to let go, so what could have pushed him to leave?
Despite the fact that I could fathom why he’d have left in the first place, I really respected that he didn’t just thunder back, demanding to be back in Josie’s life. I loved how understanding he was of her new life despite still being completely in love with her.
With Josie, I wanted to see how she’d react to him. She was put in such a difficult situation of not knowing why the love of her life walked away with no warning and completely cut off ties from her and was then faced with the reality of him not returning and was left to move on without him.
“Hey, Jojo?” he yells.
“Yeah,” I yell back.
“I’m going to marry you someday.”
I thought for sure we’d spend forever together. I thought our love was one of a kind. I would almost be okay if he had met someone else and fallen in love, but he didn’t. He just left.”
I loved seeing the way she dealt with his return. I loved how she didn’t just fall over him the second he walked back into her life – that she made him earn his forgiveness and his place back in her life. I felt like her struggles were real and relatable… and there are other pieces to this story that I don’t want to mention because they are slight spoilers but I really felt for everyone involved and for their struggles at figuring out how how to move forward.
I liked that none of the characters were fully perfect and that given the huge mistakes of the past, I liked that their lives didn’t just magically fall back into place. The rekindling of their relationship was never rushed making the story feel a lot more real.
“Her tear streaked face is beautiful. I want to wipe away her tears. I want to take the last ten years and erase them.”
I enjoyed the writing style. The story was told in alternating POVs with flashbacks here and there. The transition between POVs was smooth and the flashbacks were very well integrated. Seeing both sides of the story helped connect me to both main characters and given the complicated situation they were in, it was really well done. And the story just had these few lines here and there that just hit you right in the feels. Total heart clutch moments! I didn’t ever cry but I got all chocked up more than once!
“I want every part of you in my life, Jojo, when you’re ready.” “I’ll be patient… You will be mine again.”
I read the whole book in one sitting (about 3 hours). I didn’t want to put it down and it was one of those book where the pages just flew by.
The genre kind of rides the line between YA and NA. There is one sex scene towards the end. Its not closed door, but not very graphic either. There are, however, a few beautiful kisses scattered throughout the book and, if you read the story, you’ll see that an earlier bedroom scene wouldn’t have really made sense anyways.
We’re also introduced to a wonderful network of friends, family and band members each with their own heartaches and stories that I’m sure will be featured in the upcoming books.
The story is wrapped up in a happy ending. I did feel it was just a tad rushed, but at the same time, everything that needed to happen for your heart to rest easy happened, so you are left satisfied.
“I love you, Liam.”
“You’re forever my girl.”
This book had so many things I love in it – an emotional second-chance love story, a bad boy rockstar, a smart heroine, a strong ensemble of supporting characters, and a wonderful story.
It was a great debut novel! I’m definitely a new fan of Heidi McLaughlin and am looking forward to the next book in this series.
** SERIES READING ORDER **
Book #4: FINDING MY WAY — Kindle — prequel (Liam)