The Backlog #2: My Life with the Walter Boys by Ali Novak


Title: My Life with the Walter Boys
Author: Ali Novak
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Release Date: March 1st 2014 

My Life with the Walter Boys centers on the prim, proper, and always perfect Jackie Howard. When her world is turned upside down by tragedy, Jackie must learn to cut loose and be part of a family again.

Jackie does not like surprises. Chaos is the enemy! The best way to get her successful, busy parents to notice her is to be perfect. The perfect look, the perfect grades-the perfect daughter. And then...

Surprise #1: Jackie's family dies in a freak car accident.

Surprise #2: Jackie has to move cross-country to live with the Walters-her new guardians.

Surprise #3: The Walters have twelve sons. (Well, eleven, but Parker acts like a boy anyway)

Now Jackie must trade in her Type A personality and New York City apartment for a Colorado ranch and all the wild Walter boys who come with it. Jackie is surrounded by the enemy-loud, dirty, annoying boys who have no concept of personal space. Okay, several of the oldest guys are flat-out gorgeous. But still annoying. She's not stuck-up or boring-no matter what they say. But proving it is another matter. How can she fit in and move on when she needs to keep her parents' memory alive by living up to the promise of perfect?

As a preface to this review, I actually read this novel ages ago. At least a year ago. This review has just been sitting in my drafts folder and when I opened it up, I just found this perfectly good, fully written review sitting there and collecting dust. Since this book did come out two years ago, it definitely fits into The Backlog's requirements and so I buffed up the review and here we are!

This book was really adorable. It's a coming of age story surrounding Jackie Howard, whose parents and older sister died in a car accident. She is taken in by her mother's best friend, who lives in Colorado with her twelve children: eleven boys and a girl (who acts like a boy). The story revolves around how Jackie, who went to an all-girls private school in Manhattan, deals with the situation at hand: living with "twelve" boys under one roof.

This story was actually a Wattpad sensation some years ago. Though I never read the original that was on Wattpad, I remember reading a Naruto fanfiction that was based off of Megan Meade's Guide to the McGowan Boys, which has a somewhat similar premise to this novel. That's what attracted me into picking it up. This book was really cute. I don't remember the last time I read a contemporary story and this was quite refreshing.

Jackie is used to being in control and accounting for every possible situation so that she retains that control. When she moves in with the Walter boys, it's a sure thing that she's going to lose that control. I think that this aspect of her is very relatable as there's a certain confidence that you can have if you're in control. She learns how to live her life without having to retain that rigid control over the minutia and to take things as they come.

However, Jackie suffers from a smidgen of the Mary Sue syndrome that I often see when reading fanfiction. She is suddenly attracting boys to her and she doesn't realize that she is pretty. She has all the attributes and skills that allow her to just instantly solve problems for the Walter boys. It really just bothered me how well she so easily solved the problems. 

The two main love interests in this book, because let's be real. She lives in a house with eleven other boys. She's bound to have love interests. There is Cole, the "golden boy" and the second oldest of the Walter Boys. It is said by some of the other girls in the high school that they go to, that he has a certain je ne sais quoi about him that attracts all the ladies. He's a player and he never dates. Then there's Alex, the shy geek type who also happens to be good at baseball. I wish there were a little more depth to Cole. I like the way Alex had a purpose to his actions, but I didn't really get Cole's?

I really like how the book ended and I'm glad that it ended that way even if I didn't expect it. Check this book out if you're looking for a light, fun read!

Don't forget I have a giveaway going on right now for some swag packs!

Happy Reading!
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