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The Problem with Forever: A compelling novel (Harlequin Teen) Hardcover – May 17, 2016
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From School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—Engaging characters and real-life drama make for a potential hit with teens, if they can overlook the stock, repetitive romantic descriptions. Mallory (aka Mouse) is living with successful, caring adoptive parents after a horrific childhood in foster homes. She decides to attend public high school after years of homeschooling. Her world is rocked when Rider enters her speech class; Rider was her lifeline in the foster home, taking many beatings for her and teaching her how to hide and stay quiet to avoid Mr. Henry's wrath. While the protagonist seems shackled by her past, Rider appears to have moved forward, complete with a swagger and a laissez-fair attitude. They spend time together, and their relationship starts to grow from Mouse and her white knight to much more. Unfortunately, Rider's lifestyle and family link him with some unsavory characters. Mallory and Rider must evaluate their relationship—who really has changed, and is it for the better? The situations are gritty but presented in an accessible manner. One frankly depicted sex scene makes this more appropriate for high school readers. VERDICT An easy sell to teens wanting to experience a frank if predictable coming-of-age romance.—Lisa Ehrle, Falcon Creek Middle School, CO
"Armentrout is consistently stellar, but this book blew me away, completely. Gripping from page one, I -- quite literally -- couldn't put it down until I'd reached the end, and when I did, Iwanted to be able to start all over again for the first time." New York Times Bestselling Authors Christina Lauren
"Heartbreakingly real -- a remarkable novel about the power of first love and the courage it takes to face your fears. I carried the bookeverywhere until I finished it, but I'll carry the story with meforever. Jennifer L. Armentrout truly blew me away." Kami Garcia, #1 New York Times Bestselling Coauthor of Beautiful Creatures & Author of The Lovely Reckless
"An achingly real masterpiece from Jennifer L. Armentrout. Heart wrenching, heart warming, heart everything." ~Wendy Higgins, New York Times Bestselling Author
"We fall in first love with Armentrout's characters, sheleads us to the front porch and we await our kiss and everything that comesafter...we are left breathless and a little haunted and wanting more." - NewYork Times Bestselling Author Danielle Paige
"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" - PW
Top customer reviews
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This didn’t feel like reading a book. Rather, it felt like I was reading someone else’s story. Someone real.
This book made me think about a lot of things. I was born in a happy family with parents who made me feel so loved. But as much as we don’t want it to be true, there are kids out there who weren’t lucky enough.
One thing I loved about this book is how the author painted Mallory and Rider as characters. They went through a lot as children but despite all these things, I didn’t see them as weak. Surely, they did not come out unscathed but they wanted to change and that is admirable. The character development in this book was one of the best I’ve read. I found myself rooting for them.
This book has taken me on a roller coaster ride of emotions. To me, the best books are those that have the power to affect you, the one that lets you sympathize with the characters, and the kind that makes you feel as if you’re part of their story and you care about what happens to them. This book definitely did it for me.
Honestly, I found it hard to write this review. Sometimes, there are good stories that can’t be put into words and the only way to make people understand is for them to read it. And that’s what I’m telling you: Read this book .
"The past never went away and it was not designed to do so.
It would always be there, and it should be acknowledged."
This book was so beautifully written. It tugged at your heart strings and had you reeling for more. I like that this story line was different. We so often forget that we all face some challenge in life and we may not have the same background, money, job, or family but we are all facing something and it should never be dismissed not matter how small.
We can either let the past hold us forever or move forward into the future.
“Forever was something we all took for granted, but the problem with forever was that it really didn't exist.”
Lisa : After suffering with a traumatic childhood, Mallory is now in the care of two trusted, supportive and loving parents. She's attempting her senior year in a public school after being home-schooled for many years, yet it's not the easy task since she's still struggling with the after-affects of the abuse. On the very first day, Mallory runs into Rider, the sole good memory she has of those horrible years in foster care hell. The connection with Rider is instant... as if they had never been apart. Rider is also struggling with issues from his past, and he's on a vicious spiral downward. Mallory's habit of staying mute is being tortured as she struggles with the decision to stay silent or speak out and try to save her friend, the only person who stuck by her during those bad years. As you can tell... lots of feels in this story. Two struggled teens who spent a horrible time together, now reunited, and both still dealing with overcoming the trauma they both suffered.
Becca : I couldn't have said it better myself Lisa!! Both Mallory and Rider endured such a traumatic childhood. A decade of their childhood was spent being neglected and abused and the only thing they had to get through it was each other. Just the concept alone gave me all kinds of feels for these two characters.
Becca : The Problem with Forever begins on Mallory's first day of high school and is told from her POV. Mallory can speak, but chooses to be mostly mute out of fear because of her childhood. It is not that she doesn't want to talk, it's that she freezes in fear and cannot force words out. My heart broke for Mallory, after years of abuse as a child she is adopted by a loving family and even after years of therapy is still trying to put the pieces together. When she sees Rider at her new school, it is both good because he was her lifeline as a child and bad because it brings back so many unwanted and repressed memories.
Rider appears to have it all together, as if he has worked through every issue from his childhood. After a year in a group home, he was placed in a foster home where he gains two almost brother Hector and Jayden. It is not in the nice part of town and he is still labeled as "trouble" but he is safe a fed there.
I loved the relationship between Rider and Mallory, it was so warm and comforting at first and then slowly turned to more. I really enjoyed the slow burn of the build up. Experiencing the stories of their childhood was so hard, after all they had went through I could fully understand their connection. I also fall big time for the "second chance romance" trope, it gets me every time!
The secondary characters in this book were awesome too! Mallory's adoptive parents were so amazing and very important parts. I love a book where the parents are active in their child's life. Her best friend Ainsley was so fun and totally cool! Also Rider's BFF Hector was pretty awesome, and his little brother Jayden was so funny! Even Paige, Rider's ex was a good addition because I loved to hate her!
Jennifer Armentrout did an amazing job of building these characters and helping them grow. There were times I was mad at Mallory for being so scared and afraid, but in the end it struck me as being all part of her journey. As for Rider, because of his mask of indifference he is perceived as being fine and I loved how his growth became a huge part of the book too.
Lisa : This had the second-chance romance feel that I adore so much. These two experienced such torture together at a very young age, then they lose contact for quite a while, only to come back together again in high school. One of my favorite romance tropes, and I loved every minute of it.
I completely agree with Becca... these secondary characters were incredible. Seeing Mallory finally get the comforting and loving family she always deserved was wonderful. I also liked the addition of Paige, Rider's ex, who had the whole mean-girl vibe going on. She was very jealous by the undeniable connection between Mallory and Rider, and honestly, what teenager wouldn't be? These characters all came together beautifully to tell a wonderful story.
“I'm here. You’re safe, Mouse. And I know you might not believe it, but I’m going to keep you safe forever.”
TO SUM UP:
Lisa : Another hit from JLA! I was so excited to see her venture into the YA genre, and I'm delighted to say it was a total hit! I'm forever loving her writing, addicted to her stories and characters, and always wanting more. I truly hope JLA writes more in this genre as it really hit the spot for me.
Becca : There is a reason JLA always has me coming back for more, she builds real characters, real emotions and makes my heart hurt and then swoon all at the same time. I know some say that the "quiet girl and broken guy" thing has been done before, but I happen to love it and probably always will! Not many can make that "cliche" work quite like JLA :) If you are a JLA fan then I highly recommend this one!! I really enjoyed this book and I hope that there will be more in this series... like maybe an Ainsley and Hector story??!! That would be EPIC!
The writing style is definitely aimed for teens, and as a college aged reader, it was a bit too "young" for me at certain points. The pacing is rather slow up until the climax of the story - after which I couldn't put the book down! I enjoyed it just the same.
I recommend this book to people who love a good love story that overcomes obstacles and barriers.