By Jennifer L. Armentrout.

 

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.

This is probably my favourite Jennifer L. Armentrout book from all those I’ve read so far. It doesn’t reinvent the wheel or anything, but it’s so goddamn cute! The main characters truly make this book.

Mallory and Rider’s backstory is so horrible, yet to see them reconnect after a few years was beyond adorable. Seeing them slipping into old habits and their old roles in the relationship, and then seeing Mallory wanting and actively trying to change all that, was so so good. When she admits she doesn’t like how she is, and Rider tells her all the reasons she shouldn’t say that, my heart pretty much exploded. In fact, this whole book took little pieces of my heart and scattered them to the winds, because what use is an intact heart anyway?

Aside from her relationship with Rider, Mallory’s relationship with her family was also a big part of this book, and it touched upon a lot of important issues in a really gracious way.

The plot is fairly predictable but I didn’t have a problem with that, there are a lot of books where nothing really happens, and I enjoy them as much as action-packed books.
I can understand why someone who didn’t relate so much to Mallory’s personality might not really enjoy or get this book – she is timid and shy and doesn’t like to speak in front of crowds or, you know, anyone really. If she sounds like a boring main character, then maybe this book isn’t for you. All I know is, she was anything but to me.

This book made me cry, which is not an easy thing to do. I loved it even more because of that.

 

4 hearts out of 5

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