*I was sent this book, in exchange for an honest review*
First things first, two songs came to mind when I read this book.
This song made me think of Mal, at the beginning of the novel when Rider and Paige were together.
This song just reminds me of Rider, Jayden and Hector.
For some people, silence is a weapon. For Mallory “Mouse” Dodge, it’s a shield. Growing up, she learned that the best way to survive was to say nothing. And even though it’s been four years since her nightmare ended, she’s beginning to worry that the fear that holds her back will last a lifetime.
Now, after years of homeschooling with loving adoptive parents, Mallory must face a new milestone—spending her senior year at public high school. But of all the terrifying and exhilarating scenarios she’s imagined, there’s one she never dreamed of—that she’d run into Rider Stark, the friend and protector she hasn’t seen since childhood, on her very first day.
It doesn’t take long for Mallory to realize that the connection she shared with Rider never really faded. Yet the deeper their bond grows, the more it becomes apparent that she’s not the only one grappling with the lingering scars from the past. And as she watches Rider’s life spiral out of control, Mallory faces a choice between staying silent and speaking out—for the people she loves, the life she wants, and the truths that need to be heard.
I LOVED THIS BOOK. It tugged and tugged at my heartstrings and I actually cried because it filled me with such an overwhelming sense of emotion that I couldn’t contain myself. I mentioned before, in my ‘Me Before You’ review that I connected with Lou soo much and for that reason, it made my experience reading it more heightened.
The same thing happened with Mallory, I could relate and connect with her deeply because (although I haven’t been abused or anything like that) I have always been the quiet and shy one in my family and at family events I alway let my sister do the talking for us because I get choked in social situations. For years, I have suffered with anxiety, even to the point where I have been crippled to silence because I actually cannot cope.
I was always that person at school ( and now at Uni) that freaks out at the start of the academic year when the teacher//lecturer calls out the names on the register. I still seize up inside and think of the high humiliation that would come over me if I wasn’t on the register. I am the same when I have to give presentations, I cannot sleep or eat because the anxiety spreads all over me.
The reason this book is so special, is because it confronts the taboo of child abuse in such a delicate and interesting way. Topics like child abuse need to be addressed in ‘young adult’ books because of the power they hold; they have the ability to teach people. The issues are hinted at throughout the novel; through the use of flashbacks, dialogue and vivid dreams which completely captivate the reader. The novel also deals with the sensitive subjects of death and blindness.
Jennifer L. Armentrout created such wonderful characters, that I could not help but fall in love with them. Aforementioned, I connected with Mallory on a deep level because of my own connections with anxiety but the best thing about Mal was her strength. At the end of the novel, she was the ultimate ‘strong independent woman’. I truly admire the way the author took the reader on a journey of appreciation and acceptance.
This journey was also emphasised in the character Rider, who like Mal came from from a troubled childhood. He was Mal’s protector and instantly from the moment they reconnect, I wanted to ship them. He did have that edgy, hot lad vibe about him.
I liked the way the novel dealt with the different aspects of people’s lives and how the author intricatley described how social enviroments change people. While, it was evident that Mallory was broken due to what she saw as a child. Rider, on the other hand, put on a front and had that ‘I don’t give a f*** attitude’ to life. Throughout the novel, both learn something about themselves- Mallory ‘mouse’ realises she can be strong while Rider realise he doesn’t have to always be strong. They both help each other overcome their childhood struggles and deal with the loss of a close friend.
Jayden…Jayden…Jayden… IT IS STILL TOO SOON TO TALK ABOUT THIS. COMMENT BELOW.
I easily devoured this book because the characters were relatable, lovable and the storyline captivated my attention. I have been working non stop recently , so this book took me like a week to read, but it consumed my life. All I could think about was how it was going to end and I could’t wait to finish work so I could read more and more.
One thing I would improve about this book, well it not even an improvement but I want more. I want to know what happens to Ainsley…I want to feel Hector’s pain and I need to know more about Rider and Mallory’s future.
This book gave me the feels and I know that this story will stay with me for a long time because of how beautifully it dealt with difficult subjects. Also, how beautiful is the cover!!
I cannot wait to read more of her stuff in the future. AWEOME YOUNG ADULT!
- Have you read it?
- What did you think?