Title: The Problem with Forever
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Publication: May 17th 2016 by Harlequin Teen
Genre: YA, Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 480 pages
Format: Library book
For some people, silence is a weapon. For Mallory “Mouse” Dodge, it’s a shield. Growing up, she learned that the best way to survive was to say nothing. And even though it’s been four years since her nightmare ended, she’s beginning to worry that the fear that holds her back will last a lifetime.
Now, after years of homeschooling with loving adoptive parents, Mallory must face a new milestone—spending her senior year at public high school. But of all the terrifying and exhilarating scenarios she’s imagined, there’s one she never dreamed of—that she’d run into Rider Stark, the friend and protector she hasn’t seen since childhood, on her very first day.
It doesn’t take long for Mallory to realize that the connection she shared with Rider never really faded. Yet the deeper their bond grows, the more it becomes apparent that she’s not the only one grappling with the lingering scars from the past. And as she watches Rider’s life spiral out of control, Mallory faces a choice between staying silent and speaking out—for the people she loves, the life she wants, and the truths that need to be heard.
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So here’s the alphabetical run down:
The characters in this book were so raw and honest and I absolutely loved them! Mallory has post-traumatic stress disorder and conditioning from a childhood where she learned to stay quiet to stay safe. She struggles to give voice to her thoughts and Armentrout liberally uses ellipsis (…) even when Mallory is just thinking to herself, showing that her thoughts are as difficult to complete as her spoken words. As Mallory’s character progresses throughout the story, her speech slowly changes, which is such a significant detail.
Rider is the best kind of “bad boy.” He’s only a “bad boy” in his life circumstances, but not in the way he treats others, including Mallory. He is absolutely dreamy in the way he treats Mallory, it may be cheesy or overboard to some readers, but I was sucked right in.
Mallory’s adoptive parents play a huge role in her healing and are such a great representation of parents adopting a previously fostered child. They are also written really honestly, with flaws that make them even better and more believable.
This colors on this cover are so beautiful and one of the reasons I picked the book up. Honestly, the majority of Jennifer L. Armentrout’s books are too “cheesy romance cover” for me. I’m really happy this one didn’t get cover models in half their clothes. Not only would that have turned me off from reading it, but it wouldn’t have fit the story at all.
The romance is this book is different than the majority of books that I read because it feels like it was written by a romance author, not just a contemporary author who’s characters happen to fall in love. From what I understand, Armentrout writes a lot of romance, some YA and some new adult, some contemporary and some fantasy, but always romance, and from this book alone, I can tell she is very good at it. The descriptions of the physical romance were detailed, but still felt like they were age appropriate for a mature YA audience.
One of my favorite parts of the book was the constant physical descriptions of characters, their facial expressions, their outfit, where they’re standing, how they’re standing, etc. I can understand someone not liking this style of writing, but I love picturing the characters and what they’re doing so I really enjoyed it.
Throughout the book there were flashbacks of Mallory and Rider’s life when they were younger and they were so raw and painful, but so realistic sounding as well. The entire book was a lot deeper and had a lot more meaning than I expected before reading it. The connection Mallory feels to the Velveteen Rabbit, not feeling “real” because she’s never been “loved” is just beautifully done.
“You’re beautiful too. I mean, you’re hot,” I blurted out. “But I always knew you would be.” My eyes widened as I realized what just streamed out of my mouth and his grin turned into a smile. “Oh my God, I did not just say…any of that out loud.”
“Forever was something we all took for granted, but the problem with forever was that it really didn’t exist.”
I actually really struggled with rating this one and even considered bumping it up a half heart, even though I’m opposed to half ratings because they just complicate things. It’s a very very good book and definitely deserves four (almost five) solid hearts.