The Problem With Forever by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Pages: 480 pages
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Publisher: Harlequin Teen, May 2016
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.
This is my first time reading a Jennifer L. Armentrout book, and I’ve heard great things about her works before so I was really excited to read this book.
The premise was interesting, definitely more explicit(?) than I had expected. It deals with a subject that I think young adult novels usually tend to stay away from, child abuse. I usually don’t like to read reviews before I read books because I feel like it personally biases my opinion, however I was marking the book as “currently reading” on Goodreads and accidentally read one of the reviews. Therefore, this child abuse theme was not a surprise to me because I saw someone’s trigger warning. So definitely, if you are planning to read this book, please be aware of that.
Nevertheless, the book had a great start. I really liked the main character, Mallory. I found that the way her anxiety was portrayed was very realistic. It made me feel like I was in Mallory’s shoes. This is commendable because it is definitely difficult to portray this, especially in YA characters. At the beginning of the book, I was genuinely interested in the plots and characters.
I think I really enjoyed the book up until around maybe 300-350 pages in. (This book is 480 pages long.) *insert rolling downhill gif*
I honestly didn’t realize how much I had started to dislike the plot/characters until I just had to stop reading. At this point, I realized that the plot just really didn’t go where I thought it would be, took a turn for the worse in my opinion. The characters I liked were no longer likable. It was just really saddening to realize that because I enjoyed the first half so much. The last 75 pages of the book was very difficult for me to finish, because at this point I was annoyed with everyone and everything in the book.
Armentrout definitely had good intentions, writing a book about such sensitive subjects: child abuse, anxiety, etc. It was definitely a courageous move. However, I just felt like the actual execution of these themes didn’t work. Although the beginning was good, it ended up being very unrealistic to me.
My main problem with this book was the fact that it had too many problems. Every layer of the characters and the plots had extra problems added on top and top of that. At one point, I almost wanted to throw the book at someone. I felt like the author tried to address too many issues, making it kind of frustrating to read.
Unfortunately, The Problem With Forever was not the read for me. It had a good start, but it was a struggle for me to finish. If you find the plot intriguing, it might be worth a shot to borrow a copy. Maybe it’ll be a book you’ll like that I just didn’t connect with!