Title: The Problem With Forever
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Rating: 3/5 Stars
Hardcover, 474 Pages
Published May 2016
Summary: 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.
Amber and Emily are huge Armentrout fans, and I tend to like her romance novels that aren't centered around fantasy and sci-fi, mainly because I'm more of a contemporary reader. So, needless to say, The Problem With Forever was a great fit for me, and I enjoyed reading it.
As the summary explains, Mallory has some severe PTSD after a bad foster home experience, in which she was always trained to be as quiet as possible. Fast forward years later, Mallory is finally ready to start her life over again with a new, loving family, and she even goes on to try high school for the first time. She's ready to put her past behind her, forget it all, and start anew after years of practice, reconditioning, and therapy.
There's just one problem. Rider, the one big piece of her past, walks right back into her life again.
So, yeah. Lots of drama.
Onto what I felt about the book!
First of all, I was totally in love with Rider from start to finish. He may have been a bit dumb at times (but, let's be real here, most boys tend to be...), but he was overall such a sweet, caring, protective character. His affection for Mallory won my heart over from pretty much the beginning. Also, hearing about the horrible past that he and Mallory had to endure was shocking, heartbreaking, but also uplifting in a way, knowing that they found their way out of those troubles and into a life better than either of them could've imagined.
It was interesting to watch Mallory's development throughout the story. She started off as a shy, insecure girl who could barely speak a single sentence without stumbling. As the story went on, she began to branch out more, and got more comfortable with her friends (and Rider, of course), and managing high school in general.
*Major spoilers ahead so please skip to the next paragraph if you haven't read the book yet!* Okay, so that big death definitely shocked me. I was NOT seeing that one coming. It was the best kind of plot twist, because I didn't see it coming at all, even though it ripped my heart apart and made me super sad.
The one thing I wasn't crazy about with this story was the ending. It seemed like a bit of a cliche to me, even if it IS a romance novel and should end that way. (Don't worry, I won't spoil it for you, so you can keep reading.) Even if it was what I was expecting to read, it took the fun out of it a little bit. I would've liked a bit different of an ending, but that's just my opinion.
All in all, The Problem With Forever was an interesting read about overcoming challenges and finding love with an important figure in your life when you least expected it. There were definitely some plot twists in this story that threw me, and (on the other hand) some parts that I predicted and felt were a little cliche, but overall I felt the story was solid and I'd definitely classify this with one of Armentrout's better works.