Blog Tour: Book Review - The Problem With Forever by Jennifer L. Armentrout
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.
If I could think of one word for this book, it would be SLOW. Maybe, I would add subtle, in terms of the plot and storyline, but yeah, slow. Good god, the pacing of this book had me wondering if JLA was building up to something traumatic or some big revelation that would force the MC’s to come to terms with their past and rise above it. There isn't much in the way of action or even one of those “dramatic revelations” that tends to happen in emotional/realistic fiction novels. I kept waiting for the other shoe to drop, so to say, and I got nothing, which may be part of the reason why I didn’t enjoy this as much as I was hoping. I guess you kind of get a resolution of sorts when it comes to Mallory facing her fears and her past, but everything is just so subtle!
I wanted to connect with Mallory so much and I tried so hard. Yes, the girl had quite the emotional childhood and it’s left her pretty damaged, and you would think from facing high school and all the drama there, she would have like an emotional breakdown, but then rise from that stronger. That just isn’t the case here and I can’t really say how this story goes down without giving anything away, and truth be told, I don’t feel like there’s much to say storywise. I’m not saying I didn’t like Mallory, because I did, but I don’t feel any particular strong way about her. She’s okay. I honestly felt more of a connection with Ainsley, Mallory’s best friend, and how emotional her story is going to be (this is me hoping JLA will write her story since I can already tell it’s going to be a tough one).
And I really wanted to like Rider, but there just wasn’t anything special about him to make him stand out. Again, he was just okay. He had his cute moments, but he barely made a blip on my radar. I liked him enough, but didn't love him like I hoped. I didn’t get any “feels” from him and no swoonworthy moments. It was very atypical from a JLA guy. Maybe she wanted the subject matter to be the main focus of the book and not the actual romance. If that was the case, then she succeeded.
I’d say, if you’re looking for someone with a troubled past who (very) slowly learns to overcome her fear of public speaking with a bit of a slow-build romance thrown in for good measure, then this might be the book for you. Everything in this book was just so low-key, like a lake with a few small waves here and there. That’s probably the best way I could describe it. I don’t know, when push comes to shove, I will say that I liked it, but it was definitely not my favorite JLA book. It's still worth a read though, so don't knock it until you try it.
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