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.
Dusty, empty shoe boxes, stacked taller and wider than her slim body, wobbled as she pressed her back against them, tucking her bony knees into her chest.
To be honest, I don’t know where to start with this review, where it will go and if I can write it without crying.
The Problem With Forever is a book that touched me, made me cry and made me feel understood.
The story is written from the point of view of Mallory, a 17 year old girl who lives in a foster family after suffering from childhood neglect and abuse and their long-term effects. It’s hard for her to speak to people, make friends, rise her voice. She doesn’t talk a lot with others at the beginning of the book but I loved her inner monologues. You can see how smart, kind, sweet, talented, lovely and normal she is. The quality she wants to have so badly. That’s also the reason why she decides to spend her senior year in a public high school after four years of homeschooling. I mean, isn’t that an act of strength?
That’s the moment when she meets Rider. Hands down to how perfect he is. Jennifer L. Armentrout always creates amazing characters but her male characters are always on point.
Rider has been at Mallory’s side as her protector since they were little and until they got separated after an awful event when she was twelve years old. After four years she meets him again at school. Their first meeting after all these years was emotional and so cute. And touching. It happened pretty much at the beginning of the book and I was so excited to see what will happen with their friendship and how both of them will develop during the whole book.
Of course there were up and downs in their relationship and a lot parts of the book made me cry. I haven’t cried for a long time while reading a book but here I just could relate too good to the characters and the story.
Like I said before Mallory is afraid of speaking in front of people. I can understand her. Totally. It’s so hard for me too. She also said that she is afraid of everything and I can sign these words with my own signature.
“I am scared of everything”, I admitted, voice hushed. “Everything. My biggest fear is forever. That I will be like this forever.”
That’s why I got emotional. She tried so hard to become someone else, to become better, to get over her fears, to start liking herself and to get unstuck. She is so strong and doesn’t even realize it. The thought that appeared in my head was that I want to be as strong as her too. Mallory gets to the point where she realizes that she has to try. That trying means living and she is SO RIGHT. And she does it. She starts trying.
“But it’s all about trying (…) It’s not about getting it right the first time and it’s most definitely not about perfection, but if you try, you succeed.”
The development Mallory goes through is admirable and at the end of the book she is a completely different girl. She understands that she has to accept herself in the way she is. She doesn’t have to be a med student to be loved by her foster parents and she doesn’t have to have someone who speaks for her. She can do it by herself. Most importantly, she can stand up for herself.
Like the title of the book already says, the story is dealing with the question what forever means. Mallory’s view of forever changes from the beginning to the end.
I have to quote my favorite message of the book because it can’t be said any better.
Forever was my heartbeat and it was the hope tomorrow held. Forever was the glistering silver lining of every dark cloud, no matter how heavy and thick it was. Forever was knowing moments of weakness didn’t equate to an eternity of them. Forever was knowing I was strong (…) Forever was the fire-breathing dragon inside me that had shed the fear like a snake shedding skin. Forever was simply a promise of more.
Forever was a work in progress.
And I couldn’t wait for forever.
The Problem With Forever is so sad and so beautiful and so heartbreaking and so hopeful. The whole book spreads so much hope that you start believing in it. Maybe, again. The development of Mallory is breathtaking. The first time she rises her voice is the most emotional thing ever. How she deals with all the sad moments in the book is admirable and how she cares for Rider, who has been her protector for so many years is heartbreaking. How HE cares for her and how he understands and tries to help Mallory is complete perfection. Everybody deserves to have a Rider in their lives.
As you might have noticed, I TOTALLY fell in love with this book. Totally. From the inside to the outside. I want to read it again and again. Inhale every thought, message, sentence, word of it. The Problem With Forever is not just a fun and sweet YA read. It’s deep and touching. It became one of my favorite books.