review: the problem with forever

Monday, February 13, 2017

Date started: November? I don't even remember
Date finished: February 8
Book 13/52 in 2017 (WAIT WHAT? No way!)

Usually when I listen to an audiobook and I hate it this much, I blame it on the narrator, stop listening an hour or so in and switch to the printed book. (Example: Dorothy Must Die. I didn't care for the first book in any medium, but I loved the series way more after I got away from the narrator.) This time, I cannot blame Amy Landon for what was simply an awful, terrible, boring, monotonous, not-that-interesting book.

I read through a lot of reviews on Goodreads before I sat down to write mine – I like to know if I'm just being melodramatic or if my complaints are well-grounded in reality – and many people who gave this book a low rating agree on one thing: Jennifer L. Armentrout's heart was in the right place. The struggles that Mallory faces after being abused and neglected as a child are important. Her fight to overcome her PTSD is important.

But, unfortunately, that is all there is to Mallory. That, and Rider. Mallory without Rider and without any obstacles forcing her out of her comfort zone = a cardboard cutout of a person. Her surroundings force her to become a slightly more interesting person, but she really can't and doesn't hold her own.

Rider is fine. He's a perfectly fine male lead and romantic interest – but I'll get to my problems with that in a minute. But his dialogue with Mallory made me yell, audibly, loudly, aggressively, at my car audio system.

 1. Jayden. Jaden?

However you spell it. He was delightful. Until... Well.

OK, I'm out. 

Seriously. I hated this.

1. This was a long freaking book. 

14 hours of audio? 400+ pages? It could've been chopped in half and been way more reasonable. I mean, nothing happened in the audiobook version until the 11-hour mark, and by then, I was so agitated with everything else, I hardly cared.

2. How does anyone who likes this book overlook the obviously toxic relationship between Rider and Mallory? 

Mallory and Rider were foster children who grew up in the same abusive home. Rider took beatings for Mallory and protected her, took care of her. When she turns up in his life four years later, he picks up right where that left off – and even though Mallory goes through a "transformation" and suddenly doesn't need him to take care of her anymore, that never actually happens. Their entire relationship is built off of Rider's unhealthy need to protect her and other people and Mallory's dependence on him.


Enough said. I counted 12 uses of the word gaze just in my 20-minute commute home. Are you kidding me?


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