Forever Is Now (Hardcover)
A poignant and lyrical young adult novel-in-verse about a Black teen coming of age in an anxiety-inducing world, from the author of For Black Girls Like Me and In the Key of Us.
I'm safe here.
That's how Sadie feels, on a perfect summer day, wrapped in her girlfriend's arms. School is out, and even though she’s been struggling to manage her chronic anxiety, Sadie is hopeful better times are ahead. Or at least, she thought she was safe. When her girlfriend reveals some unexpected news and the two witness a violent incident of police brutality unfold before them, Sadie’s whole world is upended in an instant.
I'm not safe anywhere.
That's how Sadie feels every day after—vulnerable, uprooted. She retreats inside as the weeks slip by and relies on her phone to stay connected to the outside world. When Sadie’s therapist gives her a diagnosis for her debilitating panic—agoraphobia—she starts on a path of acceptance and healing. Meanwhile, Sadie's best friend, Evan, updates her on the protests taking place in their city. Sadie wants to be a part of it, to use her voice and affect change. But how do you show up for your community when you can’t even leave your house?
I can build a safe place inside myself.
That’s what Sadie learns over the course of one life-changing summer, with some help from her family, her best friend, an online platform for activists, and a magnetic crush she develops for the new boy next door.
From Stonewall Honor–winning author Mariama J. Lockington comes Forever is Now, a powerful young adult novel-in-verse about mental health, love, family, Black joy, and finding your voice and power in an unforgiving world.
About the Author
Mariama J. Lockington is an adoptee, educator, and Stonewall Honor–winning author. She has been telling stories and making her own books since the second grade, when she wore short-alls and flower leggings every day to school. She is the author of For Black Girls Like Me, In the Key of Us, and Forever is Now, as well as a poetry chapbook The Lucky Daughter. Mariama holds a Masters in Education from Lesley University and Masters in Fine Arts in Poetry from San Francisco State University. She lives in Lexington, KY with her partner and dapple haired dachshund, Henry.
“An outstanding novel in-verse that tells the story of a teenager's struggles to better both her mental health and her community. Lockington's approachable poetry covers heavy topics readers may find emotionally demanding—mental health, family dynamics, anti-Blackness, social activism, sexuality, social media, romance. The author elegantly and compassionately portrays Sadie's complicated, sensitive struggle with agoraphobia and depicts various realistic ways people might respond to the mental health of their loved ones.” —Shelf Awareness, starred review
“Nuanced depictions of intercommunity tensions—between Sadie’s empathetic dad and her brusque mom, between her bold, activist, nonbinary best friend and her tentative, Black transracial adoptee new crush—help propel the narrative. Lockington’s real achievement here, though, is the tenderness with which she captures the utter vulnerability, strength, and beauty of a ‘sad, anxious Black girl.’ Intimately and immensely powerful.” —Kirkus Reviews, starred review
“Black queer teen Sadie Dixon confronts police brutality while contending with her own mental health challenges in this lyrically written verse novel . . . Lockington steadily builds momentum via Sadie’s sharply rendered and visceral voice, making for a devastating portrayal of—and compassionate look into—one teenager’s struggles to better her mental health situation and her community.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review
“This novel-in-verse depicts a range of relevant struggles for Black girls: Sadie is painfully aware of a world that is both physically dying and politically corrupt, and she’s furious that her generation is expected to save it even as the threat of racial violence means she could be the next person whose name gets chanted at protests. Notably, Lockington equally emphasizes Sadie’s cherishing of sources of Black joy . . . Sadie is a character readers will root for as she overcomes her first heartbreak, advances with her therapy enough to attend the protest march, and finds her voice: 'I am a sad, anxious Black girl./ And all I have are these fists,/ telling a fury tale.'" —The Bulletin, starred review
“Lockington effectively mixes verse narration with social media posts to create an authentic teenage narrator. She thoughtfully explores mental health, sexuality (Sadie is bisexual), family, anti-Blackness, Black girl joy, and activism.'" —Horn Book