The Problem with Forever

The Problem with Forever

The Problem with Forever

by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Genre: YA Contemporary
Published: May 17th, 2016
by Harlequin




When Mallory was a kid, she was bounced from one horrible foster home to another. At thirteen, a terrible accident got her removed from the group home where she was living to a hospital where she met the parents who would adopt her. But when she starts a new school and encounters an old friend from the foster system sparks start to fly.


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

The Problem with Forever is an emotional and eye-opening book. The story is simple yet powerful, and reminds us that no matter how bad we think we have it, others have suffered worse.

Mallory grew up in an abusive foster home, but managed to escape. She’s spent the last four years with loving adoptive parents, trying to forger the past. But Mallory has decided she wants to stop running from the past, and she decides to try going to a public school.

Mallory’s character is what makes the book shine. It’s heartbreaking to read about all the atrocities she’s endured, but at the same time you can’t help but root for her as she tries to put the past behind her and get a fresh start. Mallory’s character growth is written perfectly and everything about her feels so real.

One of the main points of the story is the romance. On the first day of school, Mallory is reunited with Rider Stark, the boy who was her protector and only solace when she lived in the foster home. Their chemistry is written wonderfully, and it’s fantastic to watch how their relationship grows throughout the story.

Surprisingly, The Problem with Forever doesn’t just involve around the romance. There are great dynamics as well between Mallory and her adoptive parents, as well as between Mallory and her best friend. It’s clear how much they all care for her, and I love how that friendship and family are given such a large place in the story as well.

If I had one minor problem with the The Problem with Forever, it would be that there was some unnecessary high school drama that didn’t add anything to the story. It just felt out of place for a book with such serious and taboo topics as this one.

Anyone who is looking for a heartbreaking story with great character growth should give this a try.


48 thoughts on “The Problem with Forever

  1. Ahh, I haven’t read any books from Jennifer L. Armentrout, but none of them have tempted me before! This one, on the other hand, sounds like the kind of contemporary I could love. Wonderful review, Zoe! 🙂

    1. Yeah! So glad to hear that this sounds like something you think you’d like! 🙂 Can’t wait to see what you think of it if you end up giving it a try.

  2. I really want to read this one! The cover looks stunning and the premise looks very emotional and strong. I think the romance would be a great dynamic as well.

    1. Yeah! So glad you’re intrigued Emily! 🙂 Definitely let me know what you think if you end up reading this. 🙂

  3. Awesome review, Zoe! Books that can focus on something other than the romance are the best kind. I actually haven’t read any of Jennifer L. Armentrout’s work, but this one definitely sounds different from her usual YA/NA paranormal romance. Also, there’s something to appreciate in books that have more simplistic storylines but complex themes. I also love how plain but beautiful the cover is! Thanks for sharing this review with us! 🙂

    1. Thank you Summer! It’s definitely not the kind of story she normally writes, but it’s wonderful nonetheless. Let me know what you think of it if you decide to give it a try, okay? Thank YOU for your lovely comment! <3

  4. Ah, I love it when YA explores so many relationships at once. It is comforting. However whenever I read these I think of The Perks of Being a Wallflower quote about how even though other people have had it worse it doesn’t stop what you have from being so painful.
    Great review Zoe!

    1. I do too Mawa! It’s always a nice change of pace from all the YA books that are overpowered by romance. 🙂 Let me know what you think of this if you end up giving it a try, okay? Thank you! <3

  5. Damn, I knew this sounded too good to be true for a JLA book. She loves the excess drama doesn’t she. I’m glad it didn’t really detract from the overall storyline though. It sounds as though this one could have a massive impact on readers. I used to feel the same about Katie McGarry books. They just feel as though you want to dive right in and rescue the characters. Wonderful review Zoe, really enjoyed it <3 <3

    1. Ha…she definitely does love the drama! 😉 It is definitely the kind of story that lingers in your mind after you finish reading it because of how powerful it is. Let me know what you think if you decide to give it a try, okay? Thank you! <3

  6. I HAVE THIS ON RESERVE AT THE LIBRARY AND I AM ALL THE EXCITE!! 😀 You rating a book 4-stars is like me rating it 5-stars generally. So afjksdladj I’m so keen for this one, plus it’ll be my first read from this author!

    1. YEAH!!! I am so glad you’re planning on reading this! And bahaha…I am picky with my 5 stars, aren’t I? 😉 Can’t wait to see what you think about it Cait!

  7. I love Jennifer L. Armentrout! I’m so interested to see what a YA contemporary novel is going to be like from her! I’m so glad to hear about Mallory’s parents and her best friend! I hate it when the focus is purely on the romance. Hopefully my library will get this soon!

    1. If you’re a fan of Jennifer’s books, definitely give this one a try Genni! And I agree – focusing on friendship and family is a nice change of pace from a lot of other YA books that are overpowered by romance. Let me know what you think of it if you end up giving it a try!

  8. Aah, I’ve heard there’s a lot of drama and nearly love-triangle-ish angst in this, so I’m quite convinced I’ll be skipping it but you do make Mallory sound like such a wonderful character! Either way, I’m glad you enjoyed this one and I’ll be curious about Armentrout’s next stand-alone!

    1. There is a bit more drama than I would have liked, but it doesn’t take away from the story thankfully. Thank you Keertana! <3

  9. I’m currently listening to this – it’s my first audiobook, finally! – and because of that, I find it a bit long… But other than that, I’m really enjoying the book, because it’s SO MUCH MORE than the romance, which I hadn’t expected going into this, as it’s what Armentrout usually do. Also, I don’t talk that much to people I don’t know in real life, so I 100% relate to Mallory – even though we don’t have the same reasons for doing so. Great review, Zoe! 🙂

    1. That’s what I loved about it too Lexie! So many YA books are overpowered by romance, but this actually manages to focus on family, friendship, and romance all simultaneously. Glad you’re enjoying it so far! Thank you! <3

  10. I really want to read this book – the plot is very interesting and it looks very close from a story I once thought about writing. Although I gave up on that already, I was shocked to find out that the main character from this novel is adopted and is facing her first time on a public school after being home-schooled her entire life, because my main character was just the same!
    I’m also excited because Jennifer L. Armentrout is a very popular author and I’ve never read anything by her.
    Great review, Zoe!

    1. That’s so ironic that you were writing a similar book! Definitely let me know what you think of this if you end up giving it a try, okay? Thank you! <3

  11. This book kind of reminds me of Katie McGarry’s stories, girl from the wrong side of the tracks etc. I’m glad there was more to the book than the romance though, and especially the development with the best friend. THe cover is so beautiful but I don’t think I would be picking this up. Lovely review Zoe!

    1. I’ve heard a ton about Katie McGarry’s books, but haven’t read any of them yet. If they’re anything near as good as this, I’ll definitely have to read them! Thank you Jeann! <3

  12. You have NO idea how glad I am you wrote this review, Zoe! You’ve earned every (virtual) cookie in the world, honestly! Because in the past, Jennifer L. Armentrout and I have had our ups and downs, and this sounded almost TOO serious of a topic for her to cover. I hate to say it, but Jennifer usually likes her high school drama (which probably explains that one negative you had). I’m INCREDIBLY glad to hear that, apart from that one small (and expected, in my case) gripe, the rest of the story was so compelling and tackled such an important issue. <3

    Looooovely review, and thank you so much for writing it! To my TBR it goes!

    1. I’ve noticed that too about her stories. But, fortunately, the drama doesn’t really take away from the story. Thank YOU so much for the lovely comment (and the virtual cookies!) Lexie! <3

  13. I got quite into the Lux series of hers a while back, but haven’t really tried any of her other contemporary stuff. Maybe I should give it a try! Lovely review, and glad you enjoyed.

    1. Definitely give this a try Hannah – especially if you liked her Lux series. Let me know what you think of it if you end up giving it a try, okay? Thank you! <3

  14. Ooh I should think about reading this one, I’ve currently been going on a little contemporary binge. (needed a tiny break from all the complex fantasy worlds)

  15. Damn the unnecessary high school drama. 😛 I am definitely intrigued by this book. To start, I’ve yet to read a Jennifer L. Armentrout book so I want to tick at least one of her books off my list this year. I am always very appreciative of a story that explores relationships beyond the romance and the fact that there’s an emphasis on the adoptive parent’s relationship definitely sounds promising. I’ll definitely have to give this book a chance. 😀

    1. Definitely give it a try Lois, especially if you’re a fan of books that explore relationships beyond the romance. I’m curious to see what you think of this if you end up giving it a try!

  16. Great review Zoe! I haven’t read anything by Jennifer L. Armentrout yet. For some reason, I’ve always been hesitant to pick up your Lux series. But this contemporary sounds really wonderful and I’ll definitely give it a go. The cover has been catching my eye every time I got to the bookstore and the synopsis sounds right up my alley! Also Rider sounds like a wonderful love interest!

    1. Definitely give this a try Jenna, even if you haven’t read anything by her. I hope you end up enjoying it as much as I did if you end up giving it a try!

    1. Thank YOU for the lovely comment Liselle! 🙂 Definitely keep this in mind, even if you don’t usually read contemporary.

    1. I read Don’t Look Back too a while ago, and, in my opinion, this one was worlds better. Definitely let me know what you think if you end up giving it a try. 🙂

  17. I haven’t read anything by Jennifer L. Armentrout ever since the Lux series (have you read those?) and this is so different. I was a bit wary about this one but you make me wanna go read it 🙂 Great review <3

    1. I read the first book in the Lux series, and, in my opinion, this one was much better. 🙂 So glad you’re intrigued! <3

  18. I am looking for a heartbreaking story! JLA can write anything and I’ll read it. (No matter how much it’ll make me cry!) I love the Lux series and the Dark Elements series, but I’m ready to see how my favorite author serves contemporary. I am so excited to read this!

    -Kayl @ Kayl’s Krazy Obsession

  19. It’s great that you liked this one, Zoe!

    I really love it when a main character shines, because it just makes the book so much more special and enjoyable. So it’s awesome that Mallory was a character like that, especially with the added bonus of character growth.

    Ah, I really like the sound of the romance, but also the fact that Mallory’s relationship with her adoptive parents and best friend aren’t pushed to the sidelines because of it. Having a balance is always such a good thing.

    Lovely review, dear! <3

    1. Balance is always the key, right? I’m so glad this sounds up your alley – I hope you end up enjoying it as much as I did if you give it a try. 🙂

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