Reviewed by B Guerriero
Forever Ends On Friday by Justin A Reynolds is the story of former best friends Jamal and Q and their reconciliation after Q, who dies in a tragic accident, is brought back to life and has only a few weeks left to live.
Q and Jamal have a lot in common. They have always been best friends, they share ‘Jauncy’ – a video-sharing platform channel where they upload their comedy videos – and they both experience parental loss. Jamal’s parents die in a car accident; he blames Q for that but never tells him that and, by the time Q’s dad receives a terminal diagnosis, they are estranged from one another. On the night the boys come together to try and bring closure to their relationship, Q dies abruptly. Thanks to a recent and obscure healthcare technology discovery, Q is reanimated and Jamal has a second chance to say goodbye to his lifetime best friend.
Forever Ends On Friday is a real page-turner: the writing is pacey, the plot is unpredictable and Jamal’s underlying humour seams together tragedy, connection and forgiveness in one enthralling story. The point of view of the narration is so detailed that it almost feels we are allowed into a private, personal space. Family and friendship are key themes in the book; all the relationships with the secondary characters are given the spotlight, none of them overshadows the others and they all contribute to the development of the plot. In Reynold’s story, we hurt with all the characters, we grieve with them and we heal with them.
Forever Ends On Friday is a book that I feel needs to be read in a quiet, private space as there is a lot to process; I think would be a great addition to a KS4 library.
I love reading and talking about books with my students, and always look out for stories that represent and celebrate our diverse communities and lived experiences.
When I am not reading or teaching (or teaching reading or reading about teaching), I play my guitars, write songs and poems and cook.