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The Problem with Forever

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A story about friendship, survival, and finding your voice.

Growing up, Mallory Dodge 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, Mallory must face a new milestone—spending her senior year at a public high school. But she never imagined 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 soon it becomes apparent that she's not the only one grappling with lingering scars from the past. And as she watches Rider's life spiral out of control, Mallory must make 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.

474 pages, Hardcover

First published May 17, 2016

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About the author

Jennifer L. Armentrout

133 books111k followers
Hey Guys! Please note: I don't send out ARCs for review. If you're interested in reviewing a book of mine before release date, please contact the appropriate publisher. I also do NOT check my Goodreads email.

To email me, please use the below addy.

# 1 New York Times and # 1 International Bestselling author Jennifer lives in Charles Town, West Virginia. All the rumors you’ve heard about her state aren’t true. When she’s not hard at work writing. she spends her time reading, watching really bad zombie movies, pretending to write, hanging out with her husband and her Jack Russell Loki. In early 2015, Jennifer was diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa, a group of rare genetic disorders that involve a breakdown and death of cells in the retina, eventually resulting in loss of vision, among other complications. Due to this diagnosis, educating people on the varying degrees of blindness has become of passion of hers, right alongside writing, which she plans to do as long as she can.

Her dreams of becoming an author started in algebra class, where she spent most of her time writing short stories….which explains her dismal grades in math. Jennifer writes young adult paranormal, science fiction, fantasy, and contemporary romance. She is published with Tor, HarperCollins Avon and William Morrow, Entangled Teen and Brazen, Disney/Hyperion and Harlequin Teen. Her Wicked Series has been optioned by PassionFlix. Jennifer has won numerous awards, including the 2013 Reviewers Choice Award for Wait for You, the 2015 Editor’s Pick for Fall With Me, and the 2014/2015 Moerser-Jugendbuch- Jury award for Obsidian. Her young adult romantic suspense novel DON’T LOOK BACK was a 2014 nominated Best in Young Adult Fiction by YALSA. Her adult romantic suspense novel TILL DEATH was a Amazon Editor’s Pick and iBook Book of the Month. Her young adult contemporary THE PROBLEM WITH FOREVER is a 2017 RITA Award Winner in Young Adult Fiction. She also writes Adult and New Adult contemporary and paranormal romance under the name J. Lynn. She is published by Entangled Brazen and HarperCollins.

She is the owner of ApollyCon and The Origin Event, the successful annual events that features over hundred bestselling authors in Young Adult, New Adult, and Adult Fiction, panels, parties, and more.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 6,717 reviews
Profile Image for Wendy Higgins.
Author 18 books7,940 followers
March 8, 2016
Don't even bother trying to guard your heart as you start this book, because Jen is going to take sandpaper to that measly wall you've built, and you'll be laid bare. Raw. Vulnerable. Going back and forth between crying and swooning.
Heartbreaking, heart wrenching, heart warming, heart everything.
As a person who has suffered from anxiety since childhood, I can tell you that Mallory's reactions and the seemingly-small things that garner her anxieties, are RIGHT ON. Like, achingly realistic. I was breaking out in a sweat for her. I love it that Jen wrote about a real, broken girl, who shows us that strength can come in "mousy" packages. There are many kinds of strengths. We tend to value sassy, loud, vibrant strength over quiet strength, and all kinds of strengths deserve to be applauded. I could not have been happier watching Mallory's growth throughout her journey.
My heart...my heart!
Please read this book.
If you loved stories like Perfect Chemistry, Speak (no, this is not a rape story), and Pushing the Limits, then you will love The Problem With Forever.
Profile Image for Laura.
471 reviews553 followers
June 3, 2016

DNF @ %75

Alright, this is a no more, please, no more kind of situation.

It was page 60 and I was already all about putting the book down for good but since I’m a loyal Jennifer L. Armentrout fan, I continued reading the story… and I regret that decision.

I’ve spent a few days deciding if I wanted to push myself and finish the book because I’m only like 100 pages left, but at this point I really don’t care.

I found myself skipping through the chapters and maybe I’m the one who outgrew YA and I’m done with high school drama in any kind of degree because our main lady here has been homeschooled until her senior year so we experience everything for the first time again and I’m not up to it anymore. I was very bored throughout the whole thing.

And when I wasn’t bored to tears, I was kinda turned off and slightly offended so go ahead and tell me if I’m wrong but even though there are idioms and accents and certain words change their meanings depending on the country, city and culture, is that enough to call it a slightly different version of the language?

It’s like saying that because I’m Colombian, I speak “Colombian” and it’s different from someone speaking “Mexican” or “Venezuelan”. It does not make sense to me. In this particular case these people are Puerto Rican and this is the kind of stuff I had to read
“What...does no la mires mean?” I’d totally butchered the words like a typical white girl who couldn’t speak any form of Spanish would.
Her brows shot up again. “Why are you asking that?” […]
“It basically translates to don’t look at her.”
[…]and the fact I was asking her to translate what she informed me that morning sounded like Puerto Rican had her little ears twitching.

Eh, how do you translate “don’t look at her” and say that is from a specific country?

And not only that but I don’t know why people think latinx can’t finish a sentence without throwing a mami, mamasita, cariño, bebé, bebita, etc somewhere. It’s like the author is giving way too much emphasis on showing she has latinxs and doing it wrong. I don’t know a single person who says that that much and dear lady, don’t get me started the expressions. I’ve met a few Puerto Ricans and it’s kind of like common knowledge that some countries have certain words that are more used by their population so when I read words like cabrones, puta (when what they wanted to say is bitch so they could’ve used perra instead), gandules (isn’t it guandules?) and some like that… they’re not colloquially Puerto Rican so one might ask why the author didn’t get help or why she didn’t consult with real Puerto Ricans about the expressions they normally use because if you’re going to have characters from different cultures, the least you can do is learn about them to not make these mistakes.

Maybe I’m reading too much into it but I’m Latina so I care and I care about representation because when I was growing up most all the times I read or found a latinx character, they were usually drug dealers, low-lives and/or used to show how dangerous a certain neighborhood was because of them living there and that kinda was what happened here in this book and yeah, I understand the social problem and stigma that a lot of people have about kids growing up in foster houses and how little these kids are expected to be once they’re out of that system but it wasn’t delivered well. And I got to the point where I couldn’t care less about the characters and when one of them died (what a shocking surprise… it was a latino) I was like meh.

Overall, it was an overdramatic book.

Drama #1: Mallory overcoming her fears after years of therapy all while dealing with her past.

Drama #2: Mallory dealing with the feeling of being a replacement to her adoptive parents’ dead daughter and living under her shadow.

Drama #3: Mallory re-connecting with her old best friend, savior, love of her life and all the memories that come with him.

Drama #4: Rider’s girlfriend –and also the mean girl. Fuck me, girls can’t catch a break.

Drama #5: Rider’s life. It’s messy and full of danger and death.

Drama #6: Mallory’s adoptive parents disapproving her relationship with Rider and her not wanting to go to med school.

Drama #7: Mallory’s best friend going blind.

There were so many things going on and I just didn’t care about most of them.

This book feels like the first draft being published by mistake.
Profile Image for Aestas Book Blog.
1,059 reviews74.8k followers
May 25, 2016

"I know you might not believe it, but I'm going to keep you safe forever..."

This was a gorgeous high school romance that brought me right back to the intensity of falling in love for the first time. I've loved Jennifer Armentrout's writing ever since I read Wait For You back in 2013 and when I heard about this new book, I just couldn't resist diving it. I feel like there's something particularly special about childhood friends-to-lovers stories -- I love the shared history between the hero and heroine and I love all the emotions and deep feels that come when they're reunited after years apart. It had also been a while since I read a YA romance and I really enjoy those so, for so many reasons, this was a book I really wanted to read... And I loved it!!!

Let's start with a little of what the story is about first...

Mallory and Rider grew up in an abusive foster home without enough to eat and in constant fear of beatings. Even though Rider was only a few months older than Mallory, he took it upon himself to be her protector and to keep her as safe as he could in their volatile home. Until one day, after a particularly violent confrontation, he disappeared. Four years went by and she didn't see or hear from him again even though she never forgot him. Luckily in that time, her life improved. She was adopted into a loving home and given much support in her efforts to heal from her past.

I thought about the boy who made my chest hurt, the one who’d promised me forever. It had been years since I’d seem him or even heard him speak. Four years of trying to erase everything that had to do with that portion of my childhood, but I remembered him. I wondered about him.
How could I not? I always would.
He had been the sole reason I survived the house we’d grown up in.

Years of homeschooling had helped her heal and given her the strength to decide to attend her senior year in a public school. Despite her conviction, this was no easy feat for her as even something as simple as talking publicly gave her extreme anxiety. But the last thing she expected on her first day was to see Rider Stark. The boy who'd protected her, who she hadn't seen in four years, right there in her class.

Their reunion was intensified by the relief of finding each other again after years of not knowing what had happened and complicated by their attraction to each other, but their situation was anything but simple and starting off as friends was best for them given everything that was going on. As she got to know Rider again though, she quickly learned that despite being well, he was also caught up with people that were slowly spiraling out of control. All those years ago, he'd saved her over and over again. And now it was time for her to return the favor.

"Be careful," I whispered...
Rider's grin faded from his handsome face. I moment passed before he spoke, "Always."

It's been a while since I've read a real high school YA romance and I have to say I really loved it. All the emotions, thrills, and intensity of falling in love for the first time made my heart race as Rider and Mallory slowly began to acknowledge their feelings for each other. For the record, he does have a girlfriend in the beginning. This isn't really a love triangle and the girlfriend wasn't serious by any means but still, I know there are some of you who'd just want to know what to expect. Even though they start as just friends, it's quite obvious to the reader that Mallory is the girl he cares most about and nobody is going to stop him from spending time with her. See, he even says this...

"She understands that if I have to pick between you two, it's not going to be her."

... and there's no cheating. He's quite upfront with his girlfriend about how much Mallory meant to him and that he was going to be spending lots of time with her. So even though it took the a while to sort out their dynamic and work out their relationship, you always knew that Mallory and Rider were meant to be.

Falling in love for the first time, especially when it's with the person who you know you'll want to be with forever, is always intense and for them, with their shared past, pain, and connection, the intensity of their emotional connection ran deep and they not only were falling for each other, but shared a deep bond of understanding.

"I never stopped thinking about you," he said in a low voice. "Not one day, Mallory."

This story isn't just a romance though... Mallory's growth over the course of the book as she came out of her shell and gained the courage to truly be who she wanted to be sent a strong message about bring true to yourself, reaching for your dreams, and choosing what makes you happy for you -- not in an effort to please other people. It really drove home how your life wasn't defined by your circumstance, but by who you were and what you strove to be.

As I neared the end of the book, my heart raced with anticipation -- I swear it did not seem like there were enough pages to fully resolve the story but thankfully there were! Those pages really flew by and the ending was beautiful.

I'm so glad I read this book. I loved the writing, I swooned over the story, I cared for the characters, and I highly recommend this for anyone looking for a wonderful YA romance to fall in love with!

Rating: 4.5 stars! Standalone YA romance.


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Profile Image for jessica.
2,479 reviews29.7k followers
July 5, 2019
‘forever was my heartbeat and it was the hope tomorrow held. forever was knowing moments of weakness didnt equate to an eternity of them. forever was knowing that i was strong.’

this book is filled to the brim with life lessons but, if anything, this story is the epitome of what it means to love and be loved. and its that second part, how to accept love, that i think is the most important.

the connection and history between mallory and rider is so, so special. there were multiple times whilst reading this that it felt like my heart was going to burst because it was filled with so much tender emotion. i absolutely adored how they supported and healed each other, proving to each other that they were both worthy of love.

JLA has always been one of my fave authors, but her contemporary stories are where i think she excels. this is hands down one of my favourite YA contemporary romance stories of all time, without a doubt.

5 stars
Profile Image for Ayesha.
109 reviews337 followers
June 21, 2016
☠ Well, This is awkward. X__x

“My name is Mallory...Dodge.” I drew in a deep breath, speaking to no one. “And I like...I like reading. And I don’t like...I don’t like who I am.”

☠ Pffft you got that one thing right, Mickey mouse. I don't ....ahh.....don't like you....either. I'm sorrry....but....after a thousand ellipses....you mooning over.....what's his name.....Jake or Josh or Ryder....I'm not sure....algorithms look...more..........appealing....to me now. I'd have considered this a minor detail If it were a more substantial story with less stilted romance and a more realistic approach to the tragic back story. You see, Mallory/Mouse(What's with the animal nicknames and JLA) can't speak due to PTSD. So the .......... were kind of a necessary evil but the other dooming characteristics make this minor detail an even more irritating feature for me than it should have been. The Problem with Forever has so many problems that it would take forever to point them out.>>>>Horrible pun of the day #1.

--But, First things first, Lets congratulate JLA for getting a beautiful artsy cover for her book! Shocking right?Thank God it didn't have the brooding fabio guy from the Lux covers. There is even a list featured on GR listopia named THAT GIRL AND HOT GUY FROM OBSIDIAN COVER. ^____^ ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha.

☠ Another problem that I've is the absence of banter and witty dialogues. I know this is a sad and supposedly a book meant for ugly crying. But I don't want my eulogy titled Death by boring literature. All the again supposedly instagram worthy quotes are not that inspirational and the routine gets boring after a few chapters. If you've read the author before, then you already know about her hilarious banter weaved with sexual tension. But sadly this lacked all the ingredients for a JLA book recipe. Maybe, there were some of these elements and Daemon black was an onion.

Words were not the enemy or the monster under my bed, but they held such power over me. They were like the ghost of a loved one, forever haunting me.

Words equaled noise, and noise was rewarded with fear and violence.

---Moreover, It seems as it she's trying too hard to bring on the waterworks.

☠ I've read her other contemporary romances under the pseudonym J.Lynn and I loved them then. I'm not sure how I'll feel about them now but this I can guarantee they were definitely more satisfying than The Problem with forever which took me like forever and ever to read.

Profile Image for Natalie Monroe.
588 reviews3,480 followers
September 8, 2016
2.5 stars

"I couldn't put my finger on the exact moment I'd become a different Mallory. Maybe because it wasn't just a moment but more of a combination of hundreds, even thousands of them.


And it was knowing that I could still be...still be afraid of everything, but not letting that fear stop me from living."

I sighed as I stared at my laptop screen.

Do I really want to do this? I thought, tousling my hair sexily because I am a bookworm and bookworms are secretly hot as fuck once they ditch their glasses. Do I really want to bash a book that, in all honesty, appeals to my values?

Yes! a dark, fanged part of me shouted. A part of me I'd dubbed Cynical Natalie and seemed to grow with each negative review I wrote. Soon, she'd overwhelm me like Mr. Hyde and I'd be nothing more than a tiny corner of light in my own mind, screaming for help, as she posted gif after gif of Taylor Swift rolling her eyes.

I shivered. I don't want to be that girl. Mallory wasn't that bad. She was different from JLA's usual heroine: meek and shy. She had a mental speech impediment and she conquered it all by herself. And the rant on mansplaining and a little speech on why the First Amendment isn't a free pass for spewing crap was pretty nice. That's worth points.

I stared out the window. Pink tinged the sky in a very metaphorical way.

But I do feel like punching her. I sympathize with her, but I also want to punch her.

Hm, this is a conundrum.

What do you think? I asked Cynical Natalie.

DEATH TO STAIRS! she shrieked.

Well, that makes no sense. Biting down on my lower lip, I read over the notes I'd made.

Shot game, huh? Like that other JLA book I reviewed.

I flexed my fingers and began to type:

Take a shot whenever Rider's fucking grin and dimples are mentioned.

When he lowers his lashes.

When his hotness is mentioned:

When you see ellipses.

When Mallory channels Ana Steele and says "Oh my" or "Oh my gosh."

When the writing tries to be fancy and philosophical, but makes no sense when you think about it:

"...the way he said Mouse was so different from how Paige hurled the nickname. It was soft and deep and infinite."

Bonus points!

Ten shots when you realize Rider is simply Daemon Black/Cam/every JLA love interest in different clothes and with differently colored eyes and hair.

Twenty shots when this line shows because I didn't pay for an E.L. James metaphor:

"The blush turned my face into a breathing strawberry."

Two hundred more for the pages that could've been shaved off.

I realized I was grinning and my hands recoiled from the keyboard like a hot stove or a snotty tissue. What was I doing? I said I wouldn't bash this book! Yet here it was, my seething, ink-black hatred, oozing all over the screen.

Hurriedly, I pressed Crtl+A and prepared to delete the whole thing and start over.

My finger stalled above the button, quivering.

Then again, none of what I said was untruthful. I did not like The Problem of Forever. I shouldn't pretend like I did.

And I spent an hour on this when I should be doing real writing.

Sighing, I pressed "Save" and watched my bubbling, spitting mess of poisonous thoughts get turned into zeroes and ones and be forever immortalized on the Internet. I pulled up my blank Word document again and looked at it.

Eh, I'll do it later.

I clicked season 3 of Breaking Bad.

(I apologize for this review, guys. It's super weird.)

Profile Image for Christy.
3,711 reviews31.6k followers
March 24, 2019
4 stars

 photo C6B018D2-DF54-4BB0-BB00-EBC20CE9E2EA_zpskrltnbuz.png

If you’re looking for an emotionally charged YA, look no further. This book has been on my TBR for the longest, and I finally got around to reading it. What was I waiting for? I adored it.

Mallory Dodge grew up as a foster kid. She didn’t have the best childhood, but her one saving grace was her friend Rider. After a terrible accident, they were separated and Mallory was eventually adopted by a great couple. She’s been homeschooled ever since, but now that she’s about to be a senior, she wants to go to school for her final year.

She never in a million years expects to run into Rider. Rider recognizes her right away and the friendship and feelings come right back. Though the feelings they have for each other now are a lot different than the ones they had as children
"I never stopped thinking about you," he said in a low voice. "Not one day, Mallory.”

Rider Stark is protective by nature and seems tough, but he’s so darn cute and soft in the best way. He was the best part of this book. I loved how much he cared for Mallory and when he blushed I smiled so big. He was just the sweetest. Mallory coming into her own and standing up for herself made my heart so happy. I love that she has Rider to stand up for her, but I love even more that she found it in herself.

As much as I loved Rider and Mallory, I loved some of the secondary characters just as much. Mallory’s bff was great, so was Hector and Jaden *sobs*. Just a heads up, this one is a tear jerker. I was minding my own business grocery shopping with my iPods in my ears and all of a sudden the tears were flowing. Maybe don’t read certain scenes from this book in public, m’kay?

The Problem with Forever is a beautiful coming of age story of first loves, friendship, loss, and finding yourself. For being so young, these two characters had such an epic bond. I loved this story and the writing was top notch. Highly recommend for all lovers of YA!
“I might've saved you all those years ago, but now you've saved me.”
Profile Image for ⊱ Poppy ⊰.
338 reviews301 followers
July 8, 2017

“Forever was something we all took for granted, but the problem with forever was that it really didn't exist.”

I picked The Problem with Forever with quite an expectations. Jennifer L. Armentrout was one of my fav authors. I've read almost every book of her. But yet this book was .. just not for me. If you have read the reviews of this book, you must've noticed everyone saying that this book is not our usual fun and quirky JLA read. Well I agree with them, this book really was an exception but not a good one. At least not for me, though I must say JLA you nailed it with this beautiful cover, unlike anyone of your BEST novels but with a average cover, this was really a exception. Well, I really really don't want to bash this book, though my inner devil is literally glaring at me and saying " Do it, Poppy Do it!!

I must say I really appreciate the struggle that you had to make it more philosophical read, but oh my, Sorry to say I didn't even understand half of the time whatever you were trying to say. There were so many things off with this book. Especially the Main Characters Sorry but i wouldn't have cared if they didn't get a HEA or a HFN or Rider or Mallory died, seriously I was unable to even like them. For me the side characters were MUCH more favourable than the Main Characters. There was no feels.

"...the way he said Mouse was so different from how Paige hurled the nickname. It was soft and deep and infinite."

Why I didn't loved this book??

✏Like I said I love the side Characters, Jayden, Hector, Paide, Katie and Ainsley- Man everyone!! Every single of side character was my fav one, they literally made me read this book till the end. Even i cried for a side character, if you have read this book you would know what i am talking about.

“As class ended, Hector announced, “I’m hungry.”
“ okay,” Rider responded as I said to my notebook into my bag. “ what exactly do you want me to do about it?”
Hector grinned as he glanced over at me and winked. “ I want you to take me out and feed me.” Rider snorted.”

✏ The writing, main I wa shocked to see the writing how much JLA's writing has been changed in year since i have last read her books. The more the book was going towards its ending the more i thought; Man where the hell is plot???

✏ This book was Simply on Mallory and on his... ahh ... speech .. problems because .. of her.. past ..and trauma.. Well Shit Mallory its just a problem. Its not like i don't sympathize with her, i do. What she faced in her childhood was bad but this doesn't describe what you are now.

“You're beautiful, too. I mean, you're hot,” I blurted out. “But I always knew you would be.” my eyes widened as I realize what just streamed out of my mouth, and his grin to turn into a smile. “Oh my God, I did not just say... any of that out loud.”
“you did”

✏ The relationship between Mallory and Rider was not upto the point. Like in one half they were dealing with the Ghosts of the foster home duh i mean "mr.henry and then They meet in High School after 4 year and Viola They are in freakin LOVE!!. Not it doesn't end on that, there's more ..

"Mouse, we can't be together. We've to end this .."
"what .. are you talking.. about rider?? why shouldn't we be together."
"Don't call me Mouse, i am not a Mouse anymore, I've changed."
"Mous.. Mallory I am leaving you, you deserve better than me."

✏ The Main problem was The Name's, Rider Stark Oh, you mean Tony Stark's brother from Civil War as you know their is such a similarity in their names?? and then Mallory "Mouse" Dodge Well yeah babe you really shouldn't be dodging in speech but .. in ... life babe!

✏ The metaphor's ..
"My Blush turned me into the full shade of strawberry."
"His eyes shine like a eclipse."
"The dimple turn in to full smile that makes his eyes shine."

Well, yeah you can understand my feelings..

At the end, you guys MUST be thinking why giving it a 2 stars, when should give it 1 star, well because of the story, Not characters, not the drama, not the snob dailouges, not the fake angst, not E.L james metaphor. Just because of story and the message that "Everyone should find their voice, nothing remains Forever."

Forever wasn't being the one who needed protection. Forever wasn't pain and grief forever wasn't a problem. Forever was my heartbeat and it was the hope tomorrow held. Forever was the glistening silver lining of the dark cloud, no matter how heavy and thick it was. Forever was knowing it moments of weakness didn't equate to an eternity of them. Forever was knowing that I was strong.

Profile Image for Rachel Reads Ravenously.
1,789 reviews2,134 followers
May 23, 2016
3 stars

This book............ it had the right idea, but the execution just wasn't quite right. JLA is one of my all time favorite authors, many of you know that because I've been screaming about her books since I discovered them. I enjoyed this book, and I love the concept of it. I just didn't like the execution of it.

This is the story of Mallory, a foster kid who doesn't speak much because of PTSD and conditioning from her previous foster home. Four years later and a nice couple have taken her in and homeschooled her, but now she's going to fulfill her senior year at a public school. On the first day of school she runs into the boy she never thought she would see again, her protector in her old foster home. They are happy to see each other, but their time in that horrible house has left it's mark.

I think Mallory's story was an important one to tell, social anxiety stemming from her issues is a tough subject. I feel teens will be able to relate to her as a character and easily empathize with her. It's important for teens to have books they can relate to so they don't feel alone, and this is a perfect one to hand to a teen who has issues with public speaking/ptsd. What I didn't love was this book was looooooooonnnnnnnnnnnnnggggggggg. Like, the message could have been executed in 350 pages instead of 470. Because for me, this book dragged big time. I never had that excitement to pick it back up again once I put it down.

I think I am one of the few with this opinion, so please pick it up and try it for yourself. JLA is still one of my favorite authors and I will gladly read anything she publishes in the future, this just wasn't exactly my cup of tea. And oh! This book has a pretty cover. That's another bonus :)
May 20, 2016

I don't know what to say. I really really don't. JLA was my absolute favorite author for two years....two years...and now I feel like she's an acquaintance that used to be a best friend from High School-We pass each other in a store and do that awkward hi/hello/ass-out-hug that plagues us when we realize we no longer have anything in common with our dear old friend. I mean, I knew JLA wasn't for me anymore, I knew that. But I had thought I remembered her writing being more...fluid?? I don't know. Perhaps it's the fact that I read wonderfully long, fleshed out, beautifully written fantasies now, maybe it's because I'm SO DAMN PICKY with my contemporaries, or perhaps it's just a case of 'it's not you, it's me.'

For those of you who adore JLA, I'm sure this will be a home run for you. I found that JLA and I stopped seeing eye to eye at the end of the Lux series-her last two books left so much to be desired, in my opinion, because I just had so much love for the first three stories. Hell, her Lux and Covenant series have a bunch of space taken up on my bookshelf because I love them so damn much. I still held out hope for her writing, though, as she began to switch into the contemporary field. Turns out? Her attempt at contemporary stories was the final nail in the coffin for our relationship as I began to see how boring her stories were without the threat of death, mayhem, evil aliens, and crazy deities. If you look back on my older reviews (wait for me, last two lux) you'll see I did rate them highly-this goes back to my 'I don't want to be the only weirdo who is turning on this popular author' days where I didn't have a voice and, frankly, wanted to stay loyal and hold onto the last thread of hope that my favorite author could still do it for me and not turn into someone who failed to make my heart beat faster (aside from my love for the Covenant series and the first three Lux).

So why in the hell did I read this if I don't like her anymore, you ask? Well...there are a multitude of reasons. I may not think she is as amazing as she used to be after being let down so many times, but I always found her writing addicting as fuck. I ALWAYS loved her story-telling abilities. But here, I found there was a lack of fluidity in the writing (FOR ME, I just didn't connect with her flow) and I had to keep going back to re-read paragraphs just to get the feel of the sentences right. Secondly, this story line seemed epic and unlike anything she has ever done before. But, as it turns out, I was bored from the beginning until about 80% when things finally started to come together and I got to see the deepest parts of our two main characters emerge. I loved seeing Rider's vulnerability and Mallory's voice..it just took forever to get there. Third, she always creates my dream BBFs. *shrugs* I mean, I am who I am lol. And on this front? She delivered. Wonderfully. Lastly? I wanted to love another JLA book...in the deepest part of my heart, I wanted to go back to when JLA was my whole world, I wanted to be proven wrong and find out that I had just become a snooty, pretentious bitch who snubbed her old favorite author. Alas, this didn't happen...in fact, it went the exact opposite way, and that makes me want to cry.

I know one of my best friends will always love JLA-always. And I sincerely wanted to be that person, again, who fell hard for the author who made me realize I am a peril whore who thrives on that dreadful, heart-shattering cliffhanger (Cough Opal Cough). I mean, guys, she is the author who made me the crazy with want after a crying desperate plea of love perilista I am today-I didn't even know I had this type of masochistic bone in my body (I had read these types of books my whole life but had never realized it was an addiction until JLA) before her, and she shaped my GR name, my reading style, and my whole world. So, yes, I read a book I knew I might not like....but my hope was so much stronger than my common sense and doubt.

The writing may have not worked for me, but I imagine many of you will find no stilt, no disconnected feeling like I did-it's a personal preference, really. And, as for the main characters, Rider and Mallory, I think that's a personal preference, too. Rider was perfection, no doubt about that, and I felt like skimming all the time until I could get back to him (again, all about the boy, not a good sign). He was sweet, loyal, flawed, and absolutely adorable. When he blushed my heart soared and I became all giddy. When he got all protective of Mallory I fell harder in love. And OMG, the book, guys, that book....*sigh*.

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But, and this is a small but, I didn't get to bbf status with him....so close, but just, I didn't get enough of him, I guess. He made my heart and stomach do crazy flips, but maybe I was just so bored with the story I didn't give my full attention...and that really sucks.

As for Mallory....*crickets*. She was fine but....she was the main reason I was bored and her stuttering, while fine when she talked, made her inner monologues grating and hard to read. I might be a bitch, but it's how I felt. And I feel bad because I know that's just how she talks, but I just didn't fall for her as a character.

So, yeah. I feel bad because there wasn't anything wrong with this story, per se, but I just didn't ever feel 100% immersed. I felt detached and indifferent, most of the time, and only really started loving parts when Rider was in them. Seriously-he was all I looked forward to (I guess I loved him way more than I let on, whoops lol) and was ecstatic when his name or dialogue popped on the page. And, hey, maybe it was the relationship he was involved in that bothered me? Not heavily, but maybe it just bored me that we had to go through that drama, as well. Fuck, guys, I don't know-Here I am, again, saying this horrible phrase: I hated this book....but I loved it, too. Whatever. I don't know.

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I'm side eyeing you, JLA


I know *monkey covering eyes emoji* I added it, anyway, Jen :P
Profile Image for ❥ KAT ❥ Kitty Kats Crazy About Books.
2,113 reviews7,124 followers
April 10, 2019
I'd hit such a book funk, I can't count the amount of books I tried getting into to get me over it, and none held my attention..UNTIL this book..

What an amazing book!! This was so realistic, I could see it all unfolding as I was reading, I connected to the characters whole heartedly, the storyline flowed perfectly, not rushed, easy to get into, but so damn hard to put down, once I’d started that very first chapter I was beyond hooked.
If this throws me into another book funk then I’m going to be truly f# cked.

I loved everything about this book and talk about the feels, this was a fast burn for me, as soon as these two characters reconnected that was it for me I was in my zone going along on this beautiful journey.
In my happy place loving these two, they were utter perfection.
Profile Image for Sophie.
28 reviews1,687 followers
July 13, 2017
The only contemporary romance I have ever been able to finish.
Honestly, so not surprised.... I mean, is it even possible for me to dislike something written by JLA? I keep waiting for it to happen, but uh NOPE. Def not possible.

Check out my full review here:

Profile Image for TheCrazyWorldOfABookLover.
362 reviews863 followers
November 8, 2016

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This is the author everyone seems to rave about, huh? I have so many book friends who love this author and love her other books. But in all honesty, I don’t see the appeal. I found nothing extraordinary about her writing and nothing made it stand out to me. Maybe it’s me. Or maybe this isn’t her best work; maybe this specific book doesn’t reflect her writing abilities. I think (and am HOPING) it’s the latter.

What didn’t work? What I found incredibly annoying was first and foremost the actual writing. This author seems to be a HUGE fan of using an excessive amount of commas (and I REALLY HATE THIS TYPE OF WRITING) and an even bigger fan of ellipses:

“The kids in my class will know…that I can’t do it and that I’m getting something..they aren’t. They all…have to stand up there and I don’t? I need to…do it.”

“I….I didn’t think you’d do that.”

���Then…you shouldn’t have followed me because….I’m not your problem anymore.”

After a while, all the “…” in the text was really irritating.

The book is also unnecessarily LONG. 480 pages of nothing really. And I would have considered the writing issues I had minor details if the actual story was more substantial with a romance that wasn’t so freaking stilted. There was absolutely no quick banter or witty dialogue which is something I look forward to when I read YA. It was like the author was trying really hard to make the reader cry by forcing this awful backstory on the MCs. It didn’t make me cry. Not even once. Not even a little tear. Not even an eye rub. And maybe that's a harsh thing to say, especially considering the tough subjects this book covers. But you know what YA book with a heroine that has a really tragic backstory made me cry my eyes out? That was FILLED with witty banter regardless of the sad undertone of the plot? THIS ONE.

Another huge issue was Mallory herself. I know a few people who read this said there was WAY too much inner monologue. But an issue the heroine faces is speaking. So I understand the use of it. That isn’t what bothered me. It was that her voice was never authentic. It was all over the place and felt forced. She vacillated between having a really mature thought process to having these immature “teenage” thoughts. And I say “teenage” because it felt like the author wrote her as an adult mimicking an annoying teenager and their slang.

It all just came off as amateur and this doesn’t seem like a book that was written by a seasoned professional.

This was a YA book with no soul. I am a firm believer that there are YA books out there that can appeal to all ages (*cough* THIS ONE *cough*) but this one seemed too juvenile, among the many other issues. I won’t write this author off and plan on reading her other books. But if they are anything like this one, I think I’ll need to just accept her writing isn’t for me.

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Profile Image for ambsreads.
656 reviews1,403 followers
December 22, 2016
What is 'The Problem with Forever'?
The fact it felt like forever for me to finish this book.

“Words were not the enemy or the monster under my bed, but they held such power over me. They were like the ghost of a loved one, forever haunting me."

The Problem With Forever wasn't a bad book at all, but it wasn't good. Well, that's a lie. It was good for the first 40% - I can say that from the fact I had a smile on my face and couldn't put it down once I started reading it last night until my eyes burned. However, when I woke up and continued to read it lost all the charm it had the previous night. It was now boring. It lost every part of the spark that entrapped me in the story and the further I got the more I wanted to DNF it, but I persevered because I hate myself obviously.

I usually love every one of JLA's books, they're guilty pleasures and fast reads. However, this one fell completely short. Maybe it was the brief mentioning of things to only be disregarded - e.g. Or maybe it was the unrealistic nature of people in the book. I never understand when people are afraid of a character in a school like the whole school is afraid of them. I, myself, went to nine different schools and not in one was there a single person everyone was collectively afraid of. Maybe, it's just an American cliche I can't understand. It's just weird.

I would like to read a book about the side characters - particularly Ainsley and Hector. They were brilliant characters and honestly made up for the lack of story in the rest of the book. I also wasn't that shocked when I was honestly just annoyed by the weakest main characters I have yet to read about. Mallory wasn't able to do anything for herself and Rider honestly just had a death wish.


Mallory was plain. Thats the best description of her. She was incredibly plain. She carves things out of soap for Gods sake and thats meant to be the quirkest thing about her - keep in mind this particular skill is sparingly mentioned as well. But, Mallory, our sweet never been kisssed and has been homeschooled for four years, is someone I would get sick of quickly. I understand that she has been through things, I'm not being unsympathetic, but she couldn't move on from the past which was infuriating. Things happen and you have to move on from said things is what I have learnt, Mallory, however, liked to dwell on these things and break down.

Oh, Mallory's other quirk is she doesn't talk. Well, she does. She's neither mute or shy. She just simply has been conditioned to be quiet and four years away from the house where that happened hasn't changed that. She can barely string four words together without stuttering, and again not to be unsympathetic, it got annoying quickly. I understand it was to provide a deeper picture into what child neglect and abuse can do to someone but it gets a bit tiresome in a 400+ page book, in my opinion at least.

She does have a character development, though, this character development happens at 95% of the way through the book, so we don't really get to experience Mallory's change of heart. It was just annoying. She didn't stand up for herself, she was weak, she relied on Rider for the entire part of the book he was in to help her despite the fact he had his own stuff going on. She also never got to know the older Rider, just presuming he had remained the same in the past four years.

Rider wasn't as bad as Mallory, but he was still bad. He had a saviour complex around Mallory, he put her on a pedestal and won't ever take her down. It was unrealistic and eye rolling. Sure, every girl and boy deserves someone to love them but there is a point where it reaches creepy and overbearing - at least in my opinion.

His character was never developed either. We were expected to think that Rider was the same person he was at like 13 at 18, or whatever their ages were. Everything about his character was unrealistic in the way it was over dramatised. He was painted to be a bad boy, but he was a smart bad boy. Oh wait, no he wasn't actually a bad boy. He was just from the wrong side of town. Which meant none of the teachers cared about him. Which meant that no teachers cared if he went to the wrong lunch. It was just ridiculous how we were expected that teachers and others wouldn't care about him. Some may say that's public schools but I've been to public schools my entire life to know that fact is false.

Rider just wasn't the strong and brave character JLA was trying to portray. Of course, at the end, it is shown that he is as messed up as Mallory. Which was pretty damn obvious.

Please excuse me while I ram my head into a brick wall because I can't handle this.


The plot was basically between Mallory and Rider. There was no really other deeper, underlying issues. I mean, , but the plot primary focused on their relationship and how they cared for each other - along with the fact of Paige and their actual problems from the abuse which weren't really acknowledged besides the fact Mallory didn't talk - earning her the nickname Mouse from Rider (which actually came across as condescending each time I read it).


The writing was classic JLA, and I did enjoy the writing. I just didn't enjoy the self-absorbed characters she created which is what ended with this book falling short for me. I also didn't entirely enjoy the dialogue, cringing at moments as I read it. I mean, I've seen so many people who have enjoyed it and I did enjoy it. Just not to extent I would have though with the beautiful writing in the book.


Overall, a good book but it personally didn't live up to the hype I was expecting it to. It was slow for the first 70% and then tried to jam way too much in the final 30% that it came across as cliche. This review is slightly all over the place and I've probably contridiced myself several times - but I'm okay with that because thats what this book did.
Profile Image for Eliza.
664 reviews839 followers
May 13, 2016

    Emotional. Hopeful. Inspiring.

Growing up in foster care, neglect and abuse are no strangers so Mallory Dodge and Rider Stark. As Six year olds, they were each other’s solaces in a world where they were failed by the adults around them. Years later freedom comes as a result of a particularly harrowing night, but with it, a separation and end to the home they found in one another.

It’s not until four years later, as seniors in high school that they re-enter each other lives. There are some powerful moments shared and what takes place is the a story of love, loss and discovery. I was moved by JLA’s descriptions, her emotive style of writing and the overwhelming admiration I have for Mallory and Rider.

I always feel as though I’m in safe hands when it comes too JLA and YA. The reticence I usually feel about the sub genre dissipated within the first few pages of The Problem with Forever. There is such depth in both the storyline and characters, the only problem I had was putting it down.

Profile Image for Patricia Bejarano.
434 reviews5,295 followers
March 22, 2017
Si me conocéis, sabéis que Jennifer L. Armentrout es una de mis autoras favoritas, y en cuanto me enteré de que llegaba a España este libro, no pude ser más feliz. Y es que encima he amado cada palabra desde el principio de la historia.
Es un libro donde se tratan temas peliagudos, como el maltrato infantil, el abandono y sus efectos a largo plazo y ¡qué bien lo ha hecho Jennifer! Ha creado a unos personajes redondos, donde podemos ver como sus circunstancias de niños les han afectado en su vida. Sí, hay una historia de amor y sí, hay ciertos clichés, pero ¿y? He amado la historia, he amado a sus personajes y lo más importante, lo que quería mostrar la autora, lo ha hecho de 10. Mallory y Rider van a permanecer siempre en mi corazón, porque ha sido demasiado bonito conocerles.
Profile Image for Rebecca Woodward.
272 reviews148 followers
July 13, 2017
5 Stars!!

Excellent writing, This is my first read from this Author for this genre. I not only fell in love with the cover and the blurb but the storyline is well written. With so many Young Adult coming of age books out I have to say this one is my top five. So many ways I thought the author was going to take us and boom she does something I didn't expect. The heartbreaking scene left me is tears. I know that our children services protection is so overwhelmed that when we read about the lives these children sometimes endure is heartwrenching.
This is a story about a boy and a girl under ten who survived being in the foster care system. The abuse these two individuals is heartbreaking. This is their story 5 years later after a night of terror and seperation. They reunite and find each other in different places and how one gets the helped needed and the other not. I recommend this read for all to understand when a human life is broken there is help. In order to get help that person needs to be willing to want it.
Profile Image for Aj the Ravenous Reader.
1,005 reviews1,050 followers
December 18, 2017
    “Forever wasn’t pain and grief. 
Forever wasn’t a problem.
Forever was my heartbeat and it was the hope tomorrow
Forever was the glistening silver lining of every
dark cloud, no matter how heavy and thick it was.
Forever was knowing weakness didn’t equate
to an eternity of them”

Life taught me that sometimes you have to protect your heart from beautiful things because when they break or shatter or when I finally look at them up close and find an irreparable damage, it breaks my heart. This is how I felt about reading The Problem with Forever. I was very cautious that even though I wanted to embrace the characters close to my heart, be involved with their story and feel their emotions, my instincts told me not to get too attached because for some reason, I knew it was going to be tragic.

I was wrong though.

And honestly, even if I tried to control my emotions and even if the book did end tragically (which it didn’t, just partly because ), I would have still fallen in love with the story and the characters because how could I not? I wanted to protect little Mallory and Rider from everything they went through.

Reading their story made me want to change my career to being a social worker if only it were possible. My heart ached for the only kind of life they knew as children so thank goodness for second chances, for kind strangers who foster and adopt children and love them like their own.
The Problem with Forever has been at the top of my wish list since it was published. For some reason, I felt very drawn to that cover and to that title so I did everything I could to find my copy and I’m very glad it didn’t disappoint.

But as significant as the story is, know that this book is basically a romance novel between a girl and a boy whose past has forever marked them in both good ways and bad so it’s a bit angsty, cheesy, sometimes corny but really adorable and inspiring. Both Mallory and Rider but Mallory especially are admirable characters and their story is one that I would cherish and probably read over and over, possibly forever. ;)

Here’s the perfect song for the book.
November 2, 2022
DNF🧍🏻‍♀️i hated the way they did the latinx representation. + it was just boring for me. also hated the whole gf storyline.
Profile Image for Carmen de la Rosa.
469 reviews379 followers
August 24, 2021
Bueno las cosas se pondrán incomodas pero siento que este libro definitivamente no es para mi. Esto sera una opinión impopular, porque la mayoría han puesto este libro sobre las nubes, pero no se que ha pasado, si ha sido porque he tenido muchas expectativas, porque no fue el mejor momento en que lo he leído o porque DEFINITIVAMENTE este libro no ha sido para mí.

Quiero empezar aclarando que nunca había leído a Jennifer L. Armentrout y honestamente esta historia no me causo un buena primera impresión. Pero creo que este no fue su mejor libro, ya que considero que la toma de decisiones de la autora ha sido un error (un error que hundió el libro una y otra vez).

Este libro me atrajo por la sinopsis, pensé que no era otra novela juvenil de romance... pero como vas pasando las paginas es justamente OTRA NOVELA JUVENIL DE ROMANCE, primer punto malo, esta novela sigue las mismas características de las novelas con esta temática, eso significa que esta llena de clichés, uno tras otro y parece que no tendrán fin, lo que la convierte en una historia predecible.

Creo que un gran error que se comete es precisamente el romance, con Mallory la protagonista pudo simplemente escribir un solo libro para contar su propia historia dramática, una donde nos hablara de sus feas vivencias de la niñez, de sus traumas, de la superación, etc. Pero todo eso se vio opacado por un romance, por lo cual un tema tan enriquecedor es absorbido por una protagonista PATÉTICA.

No se si fue porque este libro este cargado de tópicos que fue por lo que no pude conectar con la protagonista, esta bien que tenga todos esos problemas, pero había algo en su voz que no era auténtica, se sentía forzada. Ella vaciló entre tener un proceso de pensamiento muy maduro para tener estos pensamientos “adolescentes” inmaduros y digo “adolescente” porque se sentía como que la autora la escribió como una adulta imitando una adolescente molesta, pero a veces era tan niñata, tan infantil, y luego de repente era tan adulta, que no tenía sentido y no me refiero solo a su comportamiento, sino a su forma de pensar, cada 3 paginas llenaba media pagina hablando sobre el hoyuelo de Rider, llego a hartarme tanto el puñetero hoyuelo que quería quemarle la cara a Rider para que Mallory dejara de hablar de el, no hablemos del "cuerpazo" que tiene Rider porque la descripción también venia cada 3 paginas, en verdad las autoras creen que cada 2 segundos las adolescentes piensan sobre el cuerpo de un hombre? lo único bueno de ella ha sido su evolución a lo largo del libro.

Después tenemos a Rider otro protagonista detestable de principio a fin, odiaba con todas mis fuerzas que llamara a Mallory "Ratón" creo que me venían arcadas cada que le llamaba así, lo más ridículo es que se notaba que Rider tenia millones de traumas que resolver, pero que convenientemente la protagonista a pesar de estar llena de traumas nunca los vio y los dejo pasar. Really?
No entiendo como es que les gusto un personaje como Rider que con su simple declaración de amor se veía venir la clase de persona que era, como puede ser que en plena declaración, mencione a la ex? Que horror!!! Eso se hace cuando ella saca el tema, que poco tacto.
Incluso en el tema del trafico de drogas, Rider se mete en el negocio pero un día se levanta y dice que esta mal y se sale y afortunadamente el maravilloso de Rider sale ileso, sus clientes lo aprueban, incluso se olvidan de él y el mundo parece seguir rondando en la misma dirección. Estas jodiendome? TODOS SABEMOS que esto nunca sucede, esta clase de cosas no es como arrancarse un curita y todo esta bien.

En resumen es que Mallory es la chica inocente y necesitada, que tiene aspiraciones, es rica y Rider es el salvador macho fuerte y solidario, que no tiene un futuro y que es pobre. Por desgracia, esto es un cliche que está presente en muchas, PERO muchas historias y lamentablemente en esta historia, es significativamente afectada mi opinión por los típicos personajes y su relación.

La relación entre Mallory y Rider era mi mayor preocupación. Su relación es muy fuerte, pero es demasiado "profunda", que poco a poco llegó a ser tan tóxica justo cuanto más se aprendió acerca de los personajes, así como su pasado en común. Rider tiene esta necesidad persistente para proteger a Mallory y esto hace que ella dependa de su protección. A pesar de que hacen un desarrollo un tanto significativo para el final del libro, el fundamento de su relación íntima asalto todas las alarmas. Fue bueno ver que al menos las preocupaciones de Rosa y Carl sobre la relación, ya que sin duda fue razonable. En lo personal, Rider y Mallory estarían mejor como sólo amigos, a pesar de compartir algunos momentos lindos a largo de la novela.

También tenemos el gran problema del vocabulario en algunos personajes, ya que la autora cree que si eres de Puerto Rico hablas "Puerto Rico" no hablas español latino o castellano, hablas dependiendo del país que vengas, esto es bastante ofensivo, lo editores no hablan con los autores o no les buscan personas para que los orienten y no se cometan errores como estos en los libros? #EPICFAIL

Una novela que pudo tratar sobre el abandono y el maltrato infantil, junto con familias que acogen a los niños abandonados, las pandillas adolescentes y los barrios de mala muerte pasan sin pena ni gloria en las más de 500 paginas de la historia. El libro también es innecesariamente largo. 544 páginas de nada en realidad.

Nunca hubiera imaginado lo cursi, predecible y horrible que iba a ser. Pero es que esta historia fue tan difícil de leer... a tan solo en la pagina 100 ya quería dejarlo, esto no es definitivamente lo que yo esperaba. Había descubierto que la dirección que tomaba la trama era muy poco realista y terminó por no gustarme los personajes protagónicos, no me hubiera importado si Rider o Mallory terminaban muertos, en serio este libro hubiera mejorado con eso, para mí los personajes secundarios eran mucho más favorables que los personajes principales, me encanta los personajes secundarios, Jayden, Hector, Paide, Katie y Ainsley. No hubo conexión con Mallory y Rider.

Lo que sí que me ha gustado es el discurso al final que da Mallory sobre el daño que puede hacer un pasado horrible en una persona, lo difícil que es sobrevivir a veces, la importancia de confiar en uno mismo, así como el apoyo de los amigos y familia.
Profile Image for Jen ♥Star-Crossed Book Blog♥.
496 reviews303 followers
February 9, 2017
The Problem With Forever was an emotionally haunting and beautiful story. Reading the prologue alone, I knew that I was stepping into a book that would forever be ingrained in my heart. Not only because this was a first for me, since I cried from the prologue. To think about children suffering through that type of physical and emotional abuse hurts me to the core. But that wasn't the only reason why this story will stay with me forever. Mallory and Rider enraptured me with their feelings. I became obsessed with The Problem With Forever as we transitioned to High School in the first chapter, and that obsession never once wavered.
Words were not the enemy or the monster under my bed, but they held such power over me. They were like the ghost of a loved one, forever haunting me.

Mallory Dodge was unlike any other character I have met. She was timid, she was overwhelmed by noise, and she had been trained not to make a sound. While she was a foster child, she spent her youth learning that sounds and noises brought attention to herself. And with attention came physical and emotional abuse. And while I have never once felt nervous, overwhelmed or panicky about the thought of speaking to others, Mallory made me feel terrified right along with her. My palms were sweaty and my stomach was tossing and turning with nervousness. Mallory made me feel every single thing she did! Yet as the story unfolded, we got to see Mallory push herself out of her comfort zone again and again. I loved how we got to watch Mallory grow and find strength within herself. She was an amazing woman!
“Do you recognize me?” His voice was still barely above a whisper.
His eyes continued to hold mine, and I spoke what turned out to be the easiest word I’d ever said in my life.

But what Mallory could never had predicted was running into Rider Stark on her first day going back to public school. Rider was a foster child who had grown up in the same house as Mallory. They had been together from the age of 3, until they were separated at 13. Although four years had passed since they last saw each other, it's hard to forget that they were each others world. Especially for Mallory. Not only was Rider her best friend, but he was her protector too. He took beatings that she was meant to take. He sacrificed himself to protect Mallory and keep her safe at all costs. Until they were ripped apart.
My heart exploded as those strong arms pulled me against his chest. There was a moment where I froze, and then my arms swept around his neck. I held on, squeezing my eyes shut as I inhaled the clean scent and the lingering trace of aftershave. This was him . His hugs were different now, stronger and tighter. He lifted me clear off my feet, one arm around my waist, the other hand buried deep in my hair, and my breasts were mushed against his surprisingly hard chest.

Rider was breathtaking. Not only because of what he did in the past for Mallory, but those actions continued through to present day. Rider stepped back into Mallory's life and became her protector all over again. He would do the sweetest things like ditch a class so that way Mallory would have someone to sit and eat lunch with. Just wait till you see everything he did for Mallory, he was such a good guy! But some aspects of their relationship did change over time. Sexual tension was strumming between them and it was sigh and toe curling worthy. Rider literally gave me chills with his words and mannerisms towards Mallory. So yeah, I became a little obsessed with him lol. Rider was charming, sexy, sweet, loyal, dedicated and the intensity of how much he still cared for Mallory lifted off of the pages. It was impossible not to fall for him.
I pulled myself out of the memory, but there were so many of him coming to my rescue for some reason or another until he couldn’t, until the promise of forever had been shattered, and everything… everything had fallen apart.

I loved how it felt like I knew Mallory and Rider inside out, especially with the flashbacks to their younger years. Whether it was just a short moment or a longer memory, we got to watch their friendship unfold. And we also got to truly understand all of the horrors that they lived with. It was easy to grasp that they only had each other to rely on. And how their past helped form them into the person that they would become.
His lashes lowered and the lopsided grin appeared. “I always knew you’d be beautiful one day.”
My breath hitched as I sat straighter. What was left of the pizza , just the crust, was totally forgotten . My ears had to be smoking crack or something.
A flush swept across his cheeks as one side of his lips kicked up. “I just never thought I’d get to see how beautiful you’d become.”

The Problem With Forever also contained moments with Mallory's best friend who I absolutely adored! It was refreshing to see a strong female friendship, and I can't wait for Ainsley's book! And I was happy to see that Mallory's adoptive parents played an active role in some very important moments in Mallory's life. But when I closed that last page, I was struck by how extremely grateful I am for my life. I was reminded of all of the positives that constantly surround me, no matter how little or big they are. And I'm so glad that message, whether intentional or not, sunk it's claws into me. So of course I loved every single moment in The Problem With Forever, and I hope you will too.

*ARC kindly provided by Harlequin TEEN via Inkslinger PR in exchange for an honest review*

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Profile Image for ~♡AB♡~.
975 reviews664 followers
May 25, 2016
★★★ 3.5 Stars ★★★

The Problem with Forever is a story that touches on the lives of two high school seniors who are both products of the foster care system, and who share a bond that is deep and unbreakable.

Mallory Dodge is one of the lucky ones, and after a horrific childhood where the only person who showed her any love was her foster brother, she is now living with caring and understanding adoptive parents. It's been four years since she was ripped away from the boy who used to protect her from the monsters that were supposed to care for her, and not a day has gone by when she didn't think about what became of him.

Choosing to transition from homeschooling to completing her senior year at the High School, she is knocked for six when she discovers that Rider Stark is also a student there.

"We’d been separated. But we had never really been apart."

I loved the hero, Rider - he was a fiercely loyal and protective young man, who was confident and outgoing on the outside, but with deep insecurities and an extreme amount of guilt on the inside.

Mallory was harder to connect to, she was extremely shy and introverted which sometimes came across as bland, but I couldn't help but root for her to come out of her shell and start living. I do feel however that younger readers will be more able to relate to her and her worries.

The book was quite long and Mallory's inner monologue was quite testing at times, but the tender moments between Mallory and Rider made up for that. I also loved the side characters, Rider's foster brothers and even Paige, who was Rider's girlfriend at the start of the book.

Overall, it was a sweet read that tackled teen issues in a way that left you with hope and admiration for the two main characters.

The Problem with Forever is a young adult romance, told in Mallory's POV.

ARC gratefully received from Harlequin (UK) Limited in exchange for an honest review

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Profile Image for Lara (Bookish_turtle).
227 reviews196 followers
May 9, 2018
This is a story that's going to stick with me for a long time. It was such a beautiful contemporary! My heart was completely shattered from all the feels, but it was totally worth it.

Mallory was a wonderful protagonist. Rider was incredible. Ainsley was the best and I wish all YA novels had a character like her. It was brilliantly cute and adorable, yet also realistic and dealt with some serious issues. It was upfront and honest, but a beautiful read. I would highly recommend.
Profile Image for Jasmine.
436 reviews700 followers
June 30, 2016
Life was like doing this speech. It wasn't necessarily about the end result, but more about trying.

This book is so not the typical Jennifer L. Armentrout style. The Problem with Forever is a story about lessons of life, love, family, and reflection on our society nowadays. I know this may sound very serious and stone-cold cruel, but that's the way it is. We all need to accept and endure it.

The story mainly focuses on Mallory (Mouse), a quiet girl who is deemed as a mute in school because of her post-traumatic childhood experience, and Rider, a seemingly open-minded, extroverted guy who actually bears some unspeakable scars on his stained soul. They are both orphans and adopted by the same family when they're little but under the mask of kindness, they fall victim to domestic violence. Rider protects Mallory at all costs and she learns not to make a noise whenever her adopted father gets mad after drinking.
Rider had said nothing lasted forever, but some things, some scars, ran too deep to ever fade away.

Therefore, she gets used to stay quiet no matter where she is, no matter what she does. It becomes a part of her life and her voice seems like a stranger to her. She loses her confidence, and she can't seem to enjoy the rest of life because the shadow dwelling in her heart is too dark to get away. Thus, when she meets Rider by chance in school, he's the only key to her closed mind. And teaches her how to live her life.
"It's just that I think sometimes you miss what's going on around you, because you're so worried about what others are thinking about you and your choices."

Rider has his own problem as well. He seems like a happy-go-lucky at first, but he's one of the troublemakers (or at least he used to be). There's no denying that there are more or less some problematic teenagers/youngsters around the world; they become drug dealers, trade their lives for contraband, and bargain with demons or the Death. These people never stop existing and I think it's time we faced the reality.
In that moment, I knew I couldn't hold what he used to do against him. Rider...Jayden...so many other people were a product of their environment. Some got out. Others didn't.

I hate to say this, but the biggest disappointment is that the story is too predictable. The plot is simple and the inspiration behind all these is easy to grasp, however, this book doesn't make me wow. It doesn't surprise me at all. For example, it's not that hard to guess from the minute Mallory and Rider meet, their relationship is going to develop into something more than friends. I mean, she's apparently drawn to him and he finds her grow maturely and attractive. Also, both of them are adolescents so overloaded hormones drive them toward each other like two inseparable magnets.
"Understand what?" I whispered. Rider's gaze held mine again. "She understands that if I have to pick between you two, it's not going to be her."

Yikes, cliche alert! This book reminds me of Until Friday Night, which is one of the top disappointing books of mine this year, because of the similar plots. (Quiet girl with broken guy, blah blah blah...)

The only thing interests me is probably the idea of "forever" in the story. I keep looking for signs of forever since the title of the book mentions it but not until the very end of the entire book did I finally get the metaphor. Real life isn't a fantasy, and sometimes even fantasies aren't necessarily fantasies, either. Just like forever, what is forever? Have you thought about the meaning of forever before? It's not just a time period, nor is it some dimensional measurement. This book lets us know that there are actually two kinds of forever. And what lies in between.
The good kind. The bad kind. I'd learned early on that the good kind of forever was, well, it was a lie. That kind of forever literally and figuratively ended in flames, because no matter how tightly you tried to hold on, that kind of forever slipped between the fingers.
The bad kind of forever lingered like a shadow or ghost. No matter what. It stayed, always in the background.

All in all, I may not enjoy the book as much as I do for JLA's other works, I'll still recommend this to those who like to read something light and yet with in-depth meanings between the lines.
Profile Image for Grecia Robles.
1,413 reviews312 followers
November 5, 2017
4 Ser Real STARS

Antes de empezar la reseña sólo voy a comentar algo que aprendí y quedé anonada, toda una vida siendo una ignorante y engañada ¿Cómo no me dijeron antes que el puertorriqueño era un idioma? porque al parecer es diferente del español que según aquí puede que sólo se hable en España y entonces yo tampoco hablo español hablo mexicano.

What the Fuck? Jennifer L. Armentrout

Dejando ese punto a un lado. la historia realmente me gustó, es sentimental, triste, dulce y con un poco de drama, es un Young Adult muy lindo romántico pero sobre todo de superación y crecimiento personal, que todas la cosas que nos suceden buenas malas y trágicas nos moldean y nos hacen la persona que somos, que la vida es dura pero que tenemos que tener la valentía para enfrentarla y que el miedo y el dolor no nos límite y condicione.

Rider y Mallory son dos jóvenes que crecieron en una casa de acogida, pero que las personas que tenían que protegerlos les fallaron, sólo se tenían el uno al otro cuando una tragedia los separa, volviéndose a ver cuatro años más tarde.

Mallory es una chica con un trauma profundo que le causó que pierda la capacidad de hablar con personas que no conoce, pero ella quiere cambiar, me gustó su evolución a lo largo del libro y como se superó y creció

Rider es casi un chico perfecto y yo quiero uno como él en mi vida, no es un chico malo, no es el típico conquistador mujeriego, se preocupa por la gente que quiere es protector y a causa de sus problemas de la infancia no se siente digno de ser amado y de nada

Ya estaba preparada para llorar, pero dije seré fuerte así que aunque hubo escenas muy triste no lloré, hasta que llegué a una parte y si me partió el corazón y si se me humedecieron los ojos pero no lloré sólo diré el nombre Jayden y los que lo leyeron me comprenderán.

El final me dejó un poco insatisfecha como que faltaron cosas por concluir y por lo que puse al principio no le doy las 5 estrellas.
Profile Image for Amanda.
193 reviews45 followers
November 13, 2016
Thank you to Harlequin (UK) Limited & Jennifer L. Armentrout for my copy of the ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Anyone who knows me knows I absolutely adore Jennifer L. Armentrout, she is one of my favourite authors so much so that I still haven't read the last book in The Lux Series because I'm not ready to let go of Katy & Daemon, but for some reason I just couldn't click with this book it kills me to say it!

After an unfortunate upbringing through the care system, Mallory has spent years in therapy trying to get over it. So when she finally gets ready to get herself back to mainstream school after years of homeschooling she never imagines she will run into Rider the only person who loved, protected and understood her growing up. Not only is this a shock to Mallory it also takes Rider by surprise, after and accident that caused both them to be separated he never thought he would get to see his precious mouse again. After four years down the line and both of them in better places is life really what it seems?

To be honest, most of the first half of the book didn't captivate me I was getting bored willing for it to give me something that would catch me but it never happened, I wanted it to so bad believe me but sadly it was not meant to be. Getting into the second half of the book I started to like our characters but I never really felt much of a connection like I would have hoped.

After reading so much of Mallory not speaking I wanted to scream please for the love of god say something anything and it did start to grate on me, I do like her and the way you see her grow and flourish into a women is lovely, but for me, it was the other characters who made it. Rider had my heart out on a line from the beginning I just wanted to wrap him up in my arms and never let him go, it actually breaks my heart to think that there are stories like this happening and it made admire him even more and it made me take a complete dislike to Carl.

So I had a few favourites, obviously Rider but I loved Mallory's best friend Ainsley she was always so upbeat and supportive no matter what was going on and I love that there was Hector who's dirty mouth had me giggling about him and Ainsley it was hilarious. Then there was Jayden, he holds a special place in my heart, I love outgoing cheeky chaps who are witty and full of self-confidence they always make me laugh and are my favourite characters in any Armentrout's books.

The book really touches on some of the horrible things kids can go through in the system that actually cuts deep if you really think about it and I think Jennifer touched on them pretty well. I did enjoy the end of the book and I was rooting for everyone as the story was coming to a close and I still have loads of questions, will Mal go to prom?! PLEASE, I HAVE TO KNOW!

So one last thing that always gets me with Jennifer's books, I love how she is devoted to safe sex but still makes you feel completely and utterly legless swooning over each private moment... safe sex is important kids remember this!

Check out my blog www.amandaminnockx.tumblr.com thanks :)

"I know you deserve better, but I want to be better. I want to be that for you." His voice dropped low as he stopped in front of me. "That's why I'm going to ask what I'm about to."
The fluttering was deep in my chest and in my stomach. I felt breathless as I stared into his eyes. "Ask me what?"
A muscle flickered along his jaw as his chest rose sharply. "Can I kiss you?"
Profile Image for Sarah Elizabeth.
4,670 reviews1,269 followers
April 27, 2016
(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to Harlequin (UK) Limited and NetGalley.)

“He had been the sole reason I survived the house we’d grown up in.”

This was a YA contemporary romance about two teenagers raised in the foster system.

Mallory was an okay character and she was really lucky to end up with the parents she ended up with. She’d obviously had a pretty rough childhood, and I could see why she tried to keep quiet most of the time, but she really did find herself in a really good position, even if it was hard for her to see it at times.

The storyline in this was about Mallory meeting Rider, a boy that she’d lived with in the foster care system who had saved her life by protecting her from abusive foster parents. We then got a romance developing between Mallory and Rider, but the pace in this was really slow, which made it seem like nothing was really happening.

The ending to this was okay, and things worked out pretty well in the end, the pace just let this book down though.

6.5 out of 10
Profile Image for TJ.
972 reviews116 followers
May 21, 2016

Why this book?

Jen (in her Unicorn Bubble)’s review made me want to read it

What I thought

This book will always be in my heart. Mallory and Rider were two characters who were emotionally abused who lost eachother and found one another years later. I listened to the audiobook so listening to Mallory try to talk was hard for me, it was heartbreaking. No girl should be conditioned not to make noise. I loved how Rider was always there for her when they were younger and when the see eachother again years later. Rider life was also heartbreaking he didn’t feel like he deserved anything, like he wasn’t good enough. They needed eachother and I’m glad they found one another again. Mallory grew so much through the book and I was rooting for her all the way. I got to say Rider was my favorite character he was absolutely swoonworthly. Overall a must read!
Profile Image for *TANYA*.
1,002 reviews280 followers
March 1, 2017
I wanted to step in for Mallory so many times and speak up for her, clear things up, right the wrongs. And I LOVED Ryder!! He was classic!! I picked this book because I was drawn to the cover and the the title, I'm so glad I did!! Fantastic book!!
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