Author Jennifer L Armentrout
Publication Date 1 June 2016
Genre Young Adult Romance
From #1 New York Times bestselling author Jennifer L. Armentrout comes a riveting new story about friendship, survival and finding your voice
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 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.
This book is about growing up in a foster home where children are abused and the long lasting effects it leaves behind.Mallory was just a child when she suffered a terrible trauma and ended up in hospital. She was separated from her best friend and protector who wasn't much older than she was. Now, four years later, she is settled with loving adoptive parents who are somewhat overprotective. Quite understandable! After being homeschooled for four years with only Ainsley as her best friend, she faces the challenge of attenting High School. She is quiet and stays in the background to stay unnoticed. This, she learnt in foster care. Keeping quiet equates to not being abused! Conditioned from a young age to protect herself.
Rider hasn't seen Mallory aka "Mouse" to him since that terrible incident but it wasn't for the lack of trying. He is now in a decent foster home, where he is treated as family. He hasn't forgotten about her and can only hope that she is in a good place. He is a talented artist but doesn't give himself credit. He is still the caring and protective boy from his childhood.
On Mouse's first day at the school, she meets Rider. Neither of them can believe that their paths have crossed once again. This reunion is like a dream and they find that their friendship has not faded over the years. With that friendship comes another form of mutual attraction. As the story unfolds, they both find that there are still some hurdles to surmount. They are both still fighting with their own demons in different ways. As strong as their bond is, they are in a situation which could make or break them. Can they overcome these hurdles to make the most of this second chance that they have been given?
This story brings out the long term effects of childhood abuse. It's heartbreaking and heartwarming at the same time. Watching Mouse struggle to fit in and have the life that she deserves brings out all kinds of emotions. Rider copes in a totally different way and until he admits to these feelings which hold him back, he can't really move forward.
I love both Rider and Mouse. They have this unconditional love for each other despite their emotional and psychological scars. It's a story that goes straight to the heart and quite likely never to be forgotten.
I was kindly issued with an advanced ecopy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
# 1 New York Times and International Bestselling author Jennifer lives in Martinsburg, 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, and hanging out with her husband and her Jack Russell Loki.
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 Spencer Hill Press, Entangled Teen and Brazen, Disney/Hyperion and Harlequin Teen. Her book Obsidian has been optioned for a major motion picture and her Covenant Series has been optioned for TV. Her young adult romantic suspense novel DON’T LOOK BACK was a 2014 nominated Best in Young Adult Fiction by YALSA.
She also writes Adult and New Adult contemporary and paranormal romance under the name J. Lynn. She is published by Entangled Brazen and HarperCollins.