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About THE PROBLEM WITH FOREVER
From #1 New York Times bestselling author Jennifer L. Armentrout comes a riveting new story about friendship, survival, and finding your voice.
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 lingering scars from the past. And as she watches Rider’s life spiral out of control, Mallory must make 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.
My Rating - 4 stars
Forever has many different meanings. We've all experienced times that we wish could last forever. We've also all experienced those times where unpleasant things have felt like they would last forever. It is a word filled with both hope and despair. The promise of forever can be a heart lifting thing, or could hold all the agony in the word. Jennifer L Armentrout looks at these different interpretations of the same word with these pages. She, also, however adeptly showcases that forever is just an idea, and one that perhaps doesn't truly exist.
This novel looks at the foster care system, and the impact it has on the children who are part of the system. It examines the literal and metaphorical scars that are left behind on those who fall through the cracks of a system that is simply stretched too thin to prevent it from happening. Jennifer L Armentrout packs a lot of emotion into this particular storyline and ensures that the reader sees the resilence and strength in someone like Mallory while recognizing the horrific truth for all the others out there who don't find their way out of the darkness.
Choices are what define a lot of us. There are choices we make every day. Some are small and unimportant in the larger picture of our lives. Others have the ability to shift and change our future. The problem is that sometimes it's hard to know which choices are the life changing ones. Worse still is the fact that sometimes choices are made for you, and these situations are the hardest to accept. Jennifer L Armentrout looks at choices and relates to the idea of forever. I liked that the novel, in various ways, looked at our choices and how they can shape how we feel. We many not have the ability to dictate everything that happens to us, but we can choose how we react to them. We can choose to try. We can choose to survive. We can choose to allow ourselves to heal and experience the emotions. This is a novel filled with hard, heartbreaking situations but the hope that shines through is in the ability to control what we do in the face of these. We may think that things will never change, and that that the darkness is forever. This novel's biggest message, however, is that nothing, neither the brightest moments or the darkest, is forever.
Mallory has had her share of darkness in her life. She has also had some light, too. My favourite thing about her is that she never truly allows herself to be defined by the things that happened to her. They shape her, and are a part of her, but they are not all she is. We see it even when she doesn't. That kernel of strength is there, it just needs to take root. Experiencing her growth and taking the journey with her as she comes to terms with the demons that haunt her was what made this novel work. Her journey is the heart and soul of the story.
Rider's journey is just as important and incorporates the same overall themes that Mallory's does, just in different ways. His story doesn't feel as vital to the story as Mallory's does. Their stories do feel entwined but Mallory's definitely feels more explored. The impressive thing is that you like both Rider and Mallory on their own and together. The romance feels authentic because of how their stories are linked, and there is not a hint of insta-love because you believe in their connection and how it was forged. It's powerful, because the traumatic situation they were in bonded them. The exploration of this, and what a bond forged in that kind of environment and if it can be a viable relationship, is wonderfully done.
This, however, is a story that many will be familiar with. It's reminiscent of many other contemporary novels out there. It's voice is authentically Jennifer L Armentrout though and that is what sets it a part from the rest. Her writing style is uniquely hers and that is something that stands out in this novel.
This is a book that fans of Jennifer L Armentrout's previous novels will devour easily despite it's hefty page count. It's got all the makings of a quick contemporary read, and romance fans will find it especially swoon worthy. This is the type of novel that delivers exactly what you expect it to, and that means those looking for this kind of book will be immensely pleased when turning the final page.
Praise for THE PROBLEM WITH FOREVER:
“The intensity between Mouse and Rider is palpably sizzling… romance aficionados [will] lose themselves in Mouse and Rider’s smoldering glances and steamy kisses.” -Kirkus
“Armentrout’s effort to gradually coax her protagonist from her shell via a supportive, loving community succeeds, and readers looking for an inspirational comeback story will find Mallory’s to be satisfying and hopeful” –Publishers Weekly
About Jennifer L. Armentrout
# 1 New York Times and #1 International Bestselling author Jennifer L. Armentrout lives in Martinsburg, West Virginia. All the rumors you’ve heard about her state aren’t true. When she’s not hard at work writing, she spends her time reading, watching really bad zombie movies, pretending to write, and hanging out with her husband and her Jack Russell Loki.
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.
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