Also by this author: Obsidian
Genres: Romance, Young Adult
Release Date: May 17, 2016
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Purchase at: Amazon
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 book was one of the first Terrific Tuesday books that I wanted to read and I am finally getting to do just that. This novel was nothing like what I was expecting. This story deals with a tough subject, the effects of childhood neglect and abuse. I was not expecting such a thorough and heart touching story on this subject matter and was blown away by how spot-on her writing was having been a foster-mom to many hurting kids that came into our care over the years.
For me this book was just heart wrenching! I love that this story is balanced. Mallory has struggled over the years but she has had a great support system and is trying to achieve what she considers a normal life. Rider has never left the foster care system and although he has escaped his nightmare situation and is in a safe home now, he has deep scars. I love how the writing shows that the system can work but that there are situations that do fall into the cracks as well. As much as no one wants to admit that.
“I thought about the boy who made my chest hurt, the one who’d promised me forever. It had been years since I’d seem him or even heard him speak. Four years of trying to erase everything that had to do with that portion of my childhood, but I remembered him. I wondered about him. How could I not? I always would. He had been the sole reason I survived the house we’d grown up in.”
After a four-year separation you would think that the main characters would be written into an insta-love situation but that is not the case at all. In fact Mallory is completely clueless about how to read social cues regarding boys interest in her and I think that is realistically written. If she has been homeschooled, has social anxiety and her only friend is a chick then she is not going to know what to do with male attention. She is so brave and even though she has been given a new start it does not mean that her happily ever after is going to come easy. You will fall in love with her!
Sweet, endearing Rider. He took so much responsibility for Mallory during their childhood that he has carried such worry about what happened to her that seeing her in school is the last thing he expected and it really disrupted his entire life but as far as he is concerned it is only been for the better. With everything he has been through you would expect him to be hardened but he is not. He is respectful of Mallory, protective of her and he puts up with a lot of negativity from her family for her sake. He will truly find a place to your heart.
I love the relationship building between Mallory and Rider. I also truly enjoyed the supporting characters. They really add to the overall story! I loved this novel. It took me by complete surprise. I am usually not the person to fall in love with a YA high school romance story. If anything I think I try to avoid them but this book is about more than just two kids falling in love. It was about connection, overcoming great odds, believing in yourself and reaching for your dreams. I was truly engaged in this book and found the entire story endearing from beginning to end. I cannot recommend it enough.