The Problem With Forever by Jennifer L. Armentrout ~Goodreads~
Published by Harlequin UK 2016
Paperback edition 384 pages ~Book Depository~
Thank you to Cara at HarperCollins for sending me this book for an honest review.
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.
I knew from reading the blurb that I was going to enjoy reading this novel, and I’ve heard great things about the author Jennifer too so I was even more excited!
This book follows Mallory or “Mouse” Dodge as she suffers from post traumatic stress disorder, after enduring an abusive childhood with her awful foster parents where she was protected by her foster brother Rider. After the incident, Mallory and Rider are separated and Mallory found Carl and Rosa both doctors and her new understanding foster parents who lost a daughter previously. After being home schooled for three years, Mallory makes the brave decision of attending school for senior year so she can prepare herself for college. Battling with social anxiety and speech difficulties, she soon bumps into a familiar face- Rider.
This book captures a journey of battling with oneself, and finding the confidence to overcome anxiety in order to progress in life.
With the romance between Mallory and Rider, they both have their own individual issues relating to their previous foster parents and together they help each other overcome their demons and become the people they want to be. I felt these two characters were the only one’s to really develop throughout the story but it was believable and a comfort that anyone can overcome their anxieties, they just need support and love to help them through, and Rider and Mallory did this together.
I did really love Mallory’s best friend Ainsley, and I could definitely see myself in her so that was great and I hope her character is explored more in a future book.
This story most certainly stands out, but I didn’t quite warm to the romance between Mallory and Rider as much as I thought I would. It was cute in places but in some ways, rather toxic and I couldn’t see this kind of romance being like this in real life. I think there is too much history and pain between them, as this book really deals with some seriously dark topics (child abuse, drugs, grief, loss) which was brilliant to see in a YA novel but I think the ending in reality may not have been quite as happy as it was in this book but I liked that it was happy.
I think Jennifer did well to write such a powerfully dark YA romance novel, and I look forward to reading more of her works in the future.