THE PROBLEM WITH FOREVER is a force to be reckoned with. It will shake you up and affect you like none other. Check out my review and don't forget to enter the incredible giveaway!
The Problem With Forever, by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Publish Date: May 17, 2016
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Format: e-ARC, provided by Insklinger PR
Genre: young adult contemporary romance
To Buy: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Rating: 5 STARS
(Synopsis) 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.
Trust me when I say, it won't be just the punctuation in this book that will take your breath away. It'll be every single word in this tale about childhood abuse and neglect and the far reaching affects of it. The topic is handled with great sensitivity and respect. There are no easy fixes or gentle brush-offs. The Problem With Forever calls attention to the fact that, as children, we're taught the things that will carry us through into adulthood. Sometimes those lessons are good ones. Sometimes they're not. But, the adults and the people with power in our lives have a great responsibility, and when they shirk that, it takes a village to fix the damage that can occur.
In The Problem With Forever, Mallory and Rider shared a foster home for ten years. Those ten years were horribly traumatic for both of them. Eventually they both made it out, but had to go separate ways, and for four more years, they had no contact. Now, Mallory is attempting to overcome the fears her past has instilled in her by spending her senior year of high school in public school. It's there that she runs into Rider once more and realizes that, while something may never change, other things could never have stayed the same.
As a parent, The Problem With Forever brought to my own mind a sort of affirmation that the love and attention I bestow upon my kids will serve them well in life. It also reminded me that my own actions and words are being seen and heard, so I need to always be mindful of that.
Mallory and Rider were shown that violence and harsh words were just how life was. They had to adapt in order to survive. Rider had to learn to take a beating in order to protect his friend. Mallory had to stay silent so as not to call attention to herself and incur her foster parents' wrath. Even years after being removed from that home and being brought up in homes filled with love didn't remove some of the conditioning they underwent.
The Problem With Forever was an incredibly powerful and emotional book. I got to know Jennifer Armentrout's writing style by reading about characters filled with snark that made me laugh out loud sometimes. This may be one of the first books by her that I've read where that's almost non-existent. Not to say it's completely missing. Mallory might be an introvert, but her thoughts when she sees a hot guy are the same as any other 17-year-old girl's. But, as I mentioned before, there is an undercurrent of seriousness and brevity that is handled so expertly here. From the very beginning I was drawn in to Rider and Mallory's story. I was curious as to what Rider was keeping from Mallory. And I was cheering for Mallory to come out of her shell enough to stand up for herself to her adoptive parents, to Rider's ex, and even to Rider himself.
There will be parts of this book that will make you cry. But, you will also cheer and laugh and rage. It's an amazing book that doesn't pull any punches. And, it will make you look at the world just a little differently.
Her dreams of becoming an author started in algebra class, where she spent most of her time writing short stories….which explains her dismal grades in math. Jennifer writes young adult paranormal, science fiction, fantasy, and contemporary romance. She is published with Spencer Hill Press, Entangled Teen and Brazen, Disney/Hyperion and Harlequin Teen. Her book Obsidian has been optioned for a major motion picture and her Covenant Series has been optioned for TV. Her young adult romantic suspense novel DON’T LOOK BACK was a 2014 nominated Best in Young Adult Fiction by YALSA.
She also writes Adult and New Adult contemporary and paranormal romance under the name J. Lynn. She is published by Entangled Brazen and HarperCollins.
Jennifer L. Armentrout Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4476934.Jennifer_L_Armentrout