I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This has in no way affected my opinion of the book. The review below is my open and honest opinion.
Synopsis from 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.
My Thoughts on The Problem with Forever:
First and foremost I would like to apologize to The Problem With Forever. I didn’t give you a fair chance. I knew as soon as I picked you up you were likely to be a sacrificial lamb gone to slaughter. But I picked you up anyway. Why? I had to. I had to choose somebody to be the sacrificial lamb and unfortunately you were my next target. Don’t feel bad. There wasn’t a snowballs chance in hell you were ever going to live up to my last read. Because for the past two months I’ve been hanging out at Hogwarts for the first time ever and that magical experience may have ruined all books for me.
Now I sincerely hope that is not the case. Because oh do I love books. But for now I am in a massive book hangover.
The Problem With Forever wasn’t a bad book. I actually somewhat enjoyed it. Yes, I know that’s a rousing recommendation. It is JLA though and her writing is, as always, on point. She introduces us to yet another swoony boy, Rider, who of course is super hot. (He joins the ranks of Aiden, Seth & Daimon perfectly.) The book surprised me with its intensity. To be honest, I don’t think I ever read the synopsis. I think I just saw JLA and went okay. So when I realized what the subject matter was, I was a little shocked.
This story is about a girl and a boy who slipped through the cracks in the system and fell into a horrendous foster home. A home where they were starved and beaten. It’s difficult to read about at times because they were children. Nobody wants to see this happen to any human or animal, but a child adds that extra layer of intensity to the situation. They both eventually get out of the situation, but are separated for four long years, until one day they pop back into each other’s lives. Romance, steamy scenes and hard truths lie ahead.
The Problem with Forever was way too long.
Oh my gosh. I don’t believe that any contemporary has the right to be over 400 pages. I’m sorry. I just don’t. Fantasy, sci-fi and paranormal make sense. Books in those genres have much more world-building to do that naturally takes up more pages. But contemporary? Just no. The book was very slow-paced and I felt like I was never going to get through it. And I felt like nothing was really happening. I appreciated that Mallory was taking her time working through her issues, but good lord can we speed things up just a little? At almost 500 pages this book was simply way too long.
I never connected with the characters.
This is highly unusual for me when it comes to JLA books. Normally I connect immediately and I’m invested in her characters. Perhaps it had something to do with the intensity of the subject matter. It’s hard to connect with something that severe since I’ve thankfully never experienced it. Or maybe it was completely due to the fact that I was coming off of a Harry Potter binge read and my heart and soul are still at Hogwarts. I think the characters are well-fleshed out and I think many people will connect with them. I just didn’t. But that made me enjoy the book less because I didn’t get all the gooey feels that normally come with a JLA book.
Rider was hot and the relationship was adorable.
On a positive note, Rider was seriously hot and definitely swoon-worthy if I could only have gotten my head out of Hogwarts and connected with him. I definitely think most readers will completely fall for him. I should have. And I tried really hard. I just couldn’t. And the relationship between him and Mallory was really adorable. I loved the history there. I loved that he called her Mouse. I loved that it wasn’t easy. It was a huge struggle because of their history, but their history is also what made their relationship strong. It was an interesting dynamic to watch develop.
I loved the message hidden in the pages.
The Problem With Forever had an incredible message hidden between the pages. The idea that you’re a work in progress. That not everyone gets forever. Fear can cripple you, but you don’t have to let it. You can work on it every day so you get out there and live. That doesn’t mean you have to be perfect in one day. That doesn’t mean you have to be perfect ever. It just means that you continue to work on yourself every single day to become better, to live life to the fullest. It was this message that really made me enjoy the book.
It’s not you, it’s me.
I really think this was a case of sacrificial book. I mean honestly, how could I have expected this to live up to Harry freaking Potter? I couldn’t. I think most people are really going to love this one. I didn’t love it, but I did still enjoy it. So I really think this is a case of it’s not you, it’s me. I would definitely recommend it as a great contemporary featuring some great messages and hot, swoony guy.
Have you read The Problem With Forever yet? What did you think? Did you find it to be too long? Did you swoon over Rider? Who’s your favorite JLA boy? Mine’s Seth.