Writer: Judy Blume
Translator: JE Retno Dwiastuti
Publisher: Gramedia Pustaka Utama (2004), first published in 1987
Swapped at IRF 2013
The thing about Judy Blume’s books is, they’re always tell honest stories about sensitive issues- even though the targets are young adults. She wrote about religions, ethnicity, cultural differences, divorce, family problems, although in the 70s-80s, people didn’t really care about “diversity in YA books”. I love how she wrote simple stories with deep meanings and memorable characters.
Just as Long as We’re Together told a story of three friends: Stephanie, Rachel, and the newcomer Alison. Despite their differences (Stephanie is an extrovert, cheerful girl, Rachel is a total genius, and Alison is an artsy, pretty girl from California), they fought their way together in the middle school dangerous fields- complete with bullies, popular girl cliques and handsome crush all over their way.
But their friendship has been tested with the problems they faced at home: Stephanie’s parents were in the middle of “separating phase”, Rachel’s brother kept on getting into troubles, and Alison was feeling torn as an adoptive daughter of a famous actress.
I love how Judy Blume wrote the story in a light, flowing kind of way. This book was taking me back into my teenage days, growing up in the midst of family issues, ups and downs of friendship stages and of course the murky, unclear future in front of me.
One thing I noticed in Judy Blume’s books is the crappy parents. Seriously, I can’t hate any parents more than I do with Stephanie’s selfish parents. They are separating but telling nothing to the kids, and the first time the kids had to accept the fact is when they were introduced to their father’s new girlfriend. Sucks!
That’s why I think Judy’s books are as important to the parents as they are to the children, since they remind us how to avoid being selfish, inconsiderate, and childish parents to our kids! 🙂
The companion book, Here’s To You, Rachel Robinson, tells the story from Rachel’s point of view. Too bad, after the second book, Judy didn’t continue with another sequel.