Here is my book buying process: I have a pile of books at home I need to/want to read. Like, a HUGE pile. I enter a bookstore. That’s basically a big mistake for my both my TBR-pile and wallet. I see a book with an interesting blurb. I buy said book. That’s what happened with The Problem With Forever. I didn’t intend to buy it but the blurb was just so appealing. So I bought it, said goodbye to my TBR-pile and read it. And now, here’s my book review.
The Problem With Forever: the story
Since I bought this book (which I had never heard of before) only because of the blurb, it’s only fitting I share it here. That way, you can see why I felt attracted to it. Courtesy of Goodreads.
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 main characters are just lovely and so well rounded. I’ve rarely seen such character development in a Young Adult novel. Mallory and Rider come from such a difficult background, it’s a wonder they can function as normal as they do. Mallory is tougher than she thinks and I loved how she grows throughout the novel. Rider is an amazing character and he reminded me just a bit of Finch from All The Bright Places. He is the bad boy with a heart of gold.
- The difficult subjects in The Problem With Forever like abuse, PTSD, self love and (gang) violence are so well written by Jennifer L. Armentrout. These issues are never taken for granted and are handled with care. Both Mallory and Rider deal with their issues on their own way and both have friends and (foster) family who help them. These minor characters are all great, although they sadly all lack the depth Mallory and Rider both have.
- It’s a quick read. This is both because you really want to know how this story ends and because of Armentrout’s writing. Also nice: it’s a standalone so you don’t have to read more books in a series.
- And I have to mention the booktitle. When the quote comes around with The Problem With Forever in it (at about 3/4 of the book), this is just a gorgeous paragraph and one to remember.
- I didn’t like how Mallory’s lack of speaking was written. She… talks… with… a… lot… of… pauses… While that last sentence was a bit exaggerated, she does speak like that, all the time. And I get why, but it just got on my nerves pretty quickly. So that was a big let down, for me.
- The romance In The Problem With Forever was too corny. It never felt forced but it all was just so sappy and sadly I’ve read better romances. Still, these two deserve each other, without a doubt. So this was just a minor negative in my opinion.
- The biggest negative however, was the predictability and the lazy way of writing this. For instance, it is mentioned about 50 times that a certain character has issues with her eyes. And yes, ofcourse something horrible is wrong eventually. Show, don’t tell. Another example: character says his battery is about to die and behold: at the time they need that phone the most, the battery is dead. Again: show, don’t tell. These are just two examples but the whole book is filled with these snippets of predictability.
The Problem With Forever: conclusion
Read this if the theme(s) speak to you or if you love the blurb as much as I did. Read this if you love well rounded characters who have amazing development. Don’t read this though if you want an unpredictable plot, or if you’re annoyed easily by irritating speech patterns. And now I’m off to the bookstore. Don’t tell my unread books.