Amazon • (Website, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads)
From #1 New York Times bestselling author Jennifer L. Armentrout comes a riveting 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.
I have read a lot of books by this author and this one was the best I’ve read so far. The author took time to develop the story. This book had a good foundation and was tackled a sensitive subject with grace.
Mallory Dodge was a product of the foster system until a horrible tragedy facilitated a much better placement with caring parents. But Mallory never forgot Rider Starks, the young boy that always came to protect her when she was being abused at the hand of her addicted foster parents.
Imagine Mal’s surprise when four years later, she runs into her childhood protector Ryder at her new school. Of course Ryder had moved on, has a girlfriend and a new family situation. Both Mal and Ryder are desperate to leave the past in the past, but the magnetic pull is stronger than ever. Is it a hero-complex by Ryder as well as a hero worship by Mal, or is this strong connection something more romantic in nature.
While this was an intriguing story, the pace of the story was slow. It was also a tad angsty. I found myself rooting for the heroine and hero, but I didn’t want to the horror’s of her past to undo all the hard work the foster parents had put in aiding Mal.
“Forever was my heartbeat and it was the hope tomorrow held. Forever was the glistening silver lining of every dark cloud, no matter how heavy and thick it was. Forever was knowing moments of weakness didn’t equate to an eternity of them. Forever is simply a promise of more. Forever was a work in progress.”
This book was about courage and dignity. Not just existing but actually living. I enjoyed see Mal’s personal growth in this book. She was the most impressive protagonist that this author has tackled. I was moved with her inner fortitude and survival instinct. I also liked Ryder because he was a genuine guy despite being a victim of abuse as well. I thought the message in this one was heartwarming and powerful.