Monday, November 28, 2016

The Problem with Forever by Jennifer L. Armentrout

The Problem with Forever
by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Read: May 29 - June 1, 2016
Published: May 17, 2016 by Harlequin Teen
Source: Kindle Purchase 
Category: YA, Contemporary, trauma, reunited friends
Series:  Companion

Book Description: 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.

The more I think about this book, the more it makes me angry. I think maybe it's because I really wanted to love it a lot. And I didn't. It also bothers me so much when I seem to be the only person to have a specific issue with a story. I just need to move on now.

The Good: I really liked Mallory. I especially loved her journey from crippling social anxiety and not liking herself to confidence and taking action in her life. And I enjoyed seeing JLA write a YA heroine who is not snarky or 'badass' in the traditional sense. I loved the connection to The Velveteen Rabbit. I also appreciated the way this book shows the value of therapy and support from others, but ultimately each person has to make their own choices and do their own work to change.

The Bad: I STRUGGLED with the romance. Rider has a girlfriend through the first half of the book (we don't find out they broke up until after 50%), and I did not like anything about how that situation was handled. That's usually dealbreaker for me anyway, but I pushed through. Sadly, it was not a good choice for me. I thought the story was getting better in the second half. But nope. While I liked Mallory a lot - minus her romantic choices - I ended up mostly disliking Rider. 

I have a LOT more thoughts on this, which you can read on my Goodreads review.

Love Triangle Factor: (Possible Spoilers) I don't know what to say here. Most people would just say none, and from Mallory's POV there isn't. Though honestly, I wish she'd gone out with someone to wake up Rider a bit out of his idiocy. But Rider has a girlfriend for half the book, and to me that becomes a triangle, I'd also say his behavior towards Mallory skated over the line of cheating. So I'd say medium for the first half. But again, for most people, this will not be an issue at all. Look at other reviews as an example. 

Cliffhanger Scale: standalone/companion series (I think). This book seems to be setting up a future couple. I liked both of them, but not sure I could invest in more if this were a series.


  1. Ouch, I am skipping this one for sure. I've seen this around a lot but I can't condone cheating and I hate that it's such a glossed over issue in this. Sorry this didn't work for you, Lauren, but thanks for your honest and helpful review!

  2. I haven't heard great things about this book. So, I'll probably skip it. I really dislike cheating in novels- it's so unnecessary.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this one.

  3. Jennifer L. Armentrout’s latest books didn’t work for me, and it looks like this is not for me either.

  4. Armentrout's books are either a huge hit or a huge miss for me. I'm taking a pass ont his one.

    Karen @For What It's Worth

  5. I've been avoiding this book, and for no reason in particular. I have a love-hate relationship with Armentrout's books, and this epitomizes why. I will never read her Covenant series because of the love triangle (and by extension, won't be reading her Titans series). I liked her Lux series. I liked White Hot Kiss but probably won't be finishing that series anytime soon (again, love triangle). I personally thought her NA books (Wait for You, etc.) were repetitive uninteresting copies of other NA books... her adult romance books are the only ones I've really liked? Obsession, and her Brazen ones. Personally I think she's gone a little downhill over the past year or two.

    This one, again, I couldn't say why I didn't ever want to read this book, but I had a gut feeling that it wouldn't be for me. I don't usually like tough-issue contemporary, and I definitely don't like it when the love interest has a boyfriend/girlfriend for much of the book. Cheating is a HUGE no-no and I will trash a book's rating for that alone. Drop a love triangle in and basically there is no chance. *sigh* I don't know what Armentrout has been doing, but lately, her books have been massive misses. :/

    Anyway. That was a bit of a rant and a tangent all in one! I'm so sad that this one won't be for me (thank you for confirming this, I appreciate it!), but at the same time, I don't think it ever was. And that is okay.

    Great review, Lauren! =)

    Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!


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