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.
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Format: eARC Copy
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Firstly, I would just like to comment on the cover of this book. I think the ‘watercolor’ style is absolutely stunning.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. When I first started reading it, the first few chapters took me a couple of days because I couldn’t really get into it. But once I got so far, I couldn’t stop reading!
It’s clear from the start ‘flashback’ and what Mallory says that she had to deal with abuse in the home she was in previously. For some people, this can be a difficult to read about, so I liked the fact that it didn’t focus too much on ‘flashbacks’, and more on Mallory’s recovery.
Throughout the book I found it difficult to agree with Carl’s behavior towards Rider. He thought it wasn’t good for Mallory to communicate with someone who played such a key role in her past, however I thought this was quite wrong. I think if Mallory hadn’t met him again, she may have spent the rest of her life thinking about him every so often, which would be a bugging thing.
Also, I found Paige’s character difficult to sympathize with. Considering she mentioned to Mallory that Rider had talked about her a lot, I thought she may have considered them reuniting good for him. I also thought she may have been kinder to Mallory because of what she reveals about her home life, and I would’ve preferred her to be kinder and more supportive.
Mallory was different to any character I’ve read about before, which definitely helped the book and its originality. The development of her character throughout the book was set at a good, realistic pace and I liked the fact that she didn’t always succeed, but she kept trying. Near the beginning, I found it difficult to believe that Rider was not troubled at all from his past, which is how his character acted, but I think at this point he had just wanted to protect Mallory as he had done previously, and part of this was good because it showed how their roles had to switch.
When reading this book I definitely cried a few times. Some of the book is quite heartbreaking, but there were also happy tears, and I felt like the book ended at a good point. I would recommend this book to everyone as it is insightful and captivating!