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Author: Lexa Hillyer
Release date: June 2, 2015
Publisher: HarperTeen
Pages: 352
Formats: Hardcover, audio, eBook

Read the FIRST 6 Chapters


Before: It was the perfect summer of first kisses, skinny-dipping, and bonfires by the lake. Joy, Tali, Luce, and Zoe knew their final summer at Camp Okahatchee would come to an end, but they swore they’d stay friends.

After: Now, two years later, their bond has faded along with those memories.

Then: That is, until the fateful flash of a photo booth camera transports the four of them back in time, to the summer they were fifteen—the summer everything changed.

Now: The girls must recreate the past in order to return to the present. As they live through their second-chance summer, the mystery behind their lost friendship unravels, and a dark secret threatens to tear the girls apart all over again.

Always: Summers end. But this one will change them forever.


NOTE: This review is based on an eARC received from the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for my honest thoughts about the book.

The Review

THE PROOF OF FOREVER is a beautifully written, moving, heartwarming and heartbreaking must-read story. It is the story of four girls, summer friends, who have grown apart in the two years since camp ended and who have been given the chance to go back in time to the final few days of their last summer together and do it all over. It is wistful. It is eye-opening. It’s sad and sweet. It’s the perfect summer read.

If Joy hadn’t asked, Zoe might never have gone to Camp OK’s reunion. Tali had her own reason for going: Blake. Luce’s mom, The Cruz, might have made her go. But without all four of them, they never would have entered that photo booth, gone back in time, and been forced to try and recreate the events that would bring them back to the present.

They never would have learned the truth. About themselves. About their lives. About each other. And they never would have been given the chance to become who they wanted to be, or should be, instead of who they were.

Lexa Hillyer penned an emotional and thoughtful story that at first glance appears to be simply one that is light and fun. She begins to add layers with each new revelation, each new secret uncovered. She takes readers on a heartfelt and sentimental journey with her characters. She draws them in with passages that are at times breathtaking, heart-wrenching, and achingly beautiful. She makes them think about might-have-beens and could-bes, what was lost and what was gained.

Told from each of the four characters’ perspectives, readers will get to know and connect with Joy, Zoe, Tali and Luce. They’ll discover their secrets. Their fears. Their truths. They’ll find out whether the trip back in time was helpful or harmful. And they’ll learn whether or not the girls were able to return to the present and if any of what happened was real.

THE PROOF OF FOREVER is bittersweet and nostalgic and wonderfully told. It’s about friendship and love and discovering oneself. It’s about perfection and imperfection, mistakes and forgiveness. It’s about second chances. It’s a story that is guaranteed to bring tears to every reader’s eyes. It’s a story that is infinitely re-readable.

The Rating


Like In-N-Out Burger‘s infamous secret menu this one deserves my off-the-menu 6 star rating.

About the Author


Lexa Hillyer is the author of Acquainted with the Cold (Bona Fide Books), the 2012 gold prize winner of the Foreword Book of the Year Award for Poetry, as well as a recipient of the Melissa Lanitis Gregory Poetry Prize. She is also the author of Proof of Forever, a debut young adult novel which was published by HarperCollins on June 2nd, 2015. Her work has been featured in Best New Poets 2012, and she has received various other prizes and honors for poetry. Lexa earned her BA in English from Vassar College and her MFA in Poetry from Stonecoast at the University of Southern Maine. She worked as an editor at both Harper Collins and Penguin, before co-founding boutique literary incubator Paper Lantern Lit. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and a very skinny orange tree.

Follow her on the social media links below!


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