Title: The Problem With Forever
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
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.
It took me over two weeks to read this book. Yes, it's 480 pages long, but that's not why it took so long. Though if we're going to look at a breakdown of pages here's how it went for me:
First 100 pages: boring as crap
Second 100 pages: alright, there may be a plot here
Third 100 pages: I'm sensing a climax, maybe
Last 100 pages: only reason this book got more than one star
It's harsh, I know, believe me I know. I was looking so forward to this book that I ended up requesting it from my library twice. You know when you're really looking forward to a book or movie because of the hype or just the description you read, and then you actually see or read it and it ends and you sit there like, yeah, nope, bad? That is this book in a nutshell.
Let's start with the fact that it gave me a new pet peeve. The words "is good people" is officially out of my vocabulary (though I don't believe they were there to start). I swear I read the phrase "[insert secondary character's name here] is good people" every other chapter. Ugh! The grammar of that alone...
Second, the butterfly analogy. There are butterflies on the head of every chapter, but do we actually get an analogy before the 300 page mark? Nope! And when it does finally show up not only is it beyond predictable, but it never gets truly tied up in the ending.
Finally, for the bad things, the stereotyping! I've read tons of books about child abuse, I don't know why, I just have. This book fits into the nicely labeled box of how to deal with child abuse + romance in a YA contemporary novel. I know it's contemporary, but come on! The only redemption for this sin is that Rider actually confronts shit eventually.
Now, here are the few reasons why this book earned two stars, not one, and that I even bothered to finish it.
1. Jayden - Everything about him and his plot-line
2. The Velveteen Rabbit book - I don't think I've ever read it as an adult, but in the last 30 or so pages of the book the mention and quoting of this picture book made me actually tear up.
3. Mallory carves soap as a calming mechanism, that is awesome.
So overall, do I recommend this? No. If they author had shaved off about 200 or more pages then maybe, but it's too long, too contrived, and frankly painful (and not because of the child abuse).