Published by Harlequin Teen on June 1, 2016
Genres: Young Adult, Romance, Realistic
Format: Kindle eBook
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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.
In this Young Adult contemporary romance, Mallory Dodge reconnects with a former friend when she decides to enroll at her local public school. Let’s review, shall we?
I’ll just say it – I had a really difficult time connecting to Mallory. It made caring about her or her story almost impossible, which in return made it a really boring read. Perhaps the way her background is doled out in bits and pieces throughout the novel made it difficult to connect to her. It wasn’t until the last 20% of the book that I finally felt something for her, and in return enjoyed the ending.
On top of my disconnect with the main character, I had a really hard time accepting the romance between Mallory and Rider. I honestly thought their romance was a little unhealthy considering they grew up together like brother and sister. They are not blood related, but they lived as foster siblings for over 10 years. They may have been separated for four years, but their history is still very much a part of the story. I suspect this is a small pet peeve of mine (same reason I have a hard time enjoying the romance between Barry and Iris on The Flash) and other people may not have the same peeve.
I did enjoy the multiple POC characters. I hope to see more main and secondary POC characters in YA literature in general.
tl;dr If you enjoy “issue” type books, character-driven novels, or inspirational survival stories of abuse/neglect, then you might enjoy this book.