The Boy Most Likely To // A Book Which Has Fantastic Story, If Only I’d Liked The Romance Too

07 June 2016

Published: 2nd June 2016
Source: NetGalley
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
My Rating:
Surprises abound and sparks ignite in the highly anticipated, utterly romantic companion to My Life Next Door

Tim Mason was The Boy Most Likely To:
- find the liquor cabinet blindfolded
- need a liver transplant
- drive his car into a house

Alice Garrett was The Girl Most Likely To:
- well, not date her little brother’s baggage-burdened best friend, for starters.

For Tim, it wouldn’t be smart to fall for Alice. For Alice, nothing could be scarier than falling for Tim. But Tim has never been known for making the smart choice, and Alice is starting to wonder if the “smart” choice is always the right one. When these two crash into each other, they crash hard.

Then the unexpected consequences of Tim’s wild days come back to shock him. He finds himself in a situation that isn’t all it appears to be, that he never could have predicted . . . but maybe should have.

And Alice is caught in the middle.

Told in Tim’s and Alice’s distinctive, disarming, entirely compelling voices, this return to the world of My Life Next Door is a story about failing first, trying again, and having to decide whether to risk it all once more.
This is a book I was both excited and nervous to get reading. I was so completely blown away by The Boy Next Door that every Huntley Fitzpatrick book I’ve gone into since has had me holding my breath waiting for disappointment. It’s not exactly an easy book to follow up so to have a book which is a sequel to it is asking a lot of a book, at least with What I Thought Was True it was a story all of it’s own.

It’s Inevitably Being Compared To The Boy Next Door In My Head

Look, I can’t help but compare it to it’s predecessor as it is a sequel after all and we will began with an unavoidable truth. I can't get as excited about this book as I did The Boy Next Door and that upsets me a little bit.

I don’t want to keep comparing it in that way, but it’s true. Thankfully, I am able to think of the book on it’s own merits as well, and I will get to them. But let’s begin with my negatives and get them out of the way.

I didn’t like the romance. I loved the characters who part of our couple du jour in the book, but I just didn’t believe the romance. Does that make sense? I wasn’t fully convinced there was chemistry between the characters of Alice and Tim and that bothered me. How do you read a book which is marketed as a contemporary romance when you don’t believe said romance? I mean, I managed it, but it did bother me. I think I would have enjoyed the book far more without the romance which felt superfluous to me, why couldn’t the pair have just become friends instead?

Thankfully, I Loved The Characters And Their Stories, So It’s Ok

Despite the less than stellar romance and the fact I kept comparing it to another book and it kept falling short, I did really enjoy the story and the characters, though. It’s amazing how much a good story and strong characters can redeem a book in my eyes.

I knew I was going to at least like this book because Tim was in it. Tim was a favourite of mine The Boy Next Door for his turn around in character, and for how nice he was to his sister (even if she didn’t always deserve it). He may be a recovering alcoholic and former user of whatever drugs were available but he is such a nice character, which seems contradictory. This boy is fantastic, though. He has a less than stellar home life, various addictions to deal with and he has grown up too fast, and that’s what makes him great. He can be manipulative and selfish, but he is working to do better and he hides his flaws through charm and self-deprecation so you can’t help but like him.

He really does have terrible hand to deal with in this book, as well. I won’t reveal the story, but it’s safe to say I felt bad for him, especially by the end. It often feels like no matter how hard he tries things just don’t work out for him, and that doesn’t feel fair. He struggles a lot, but he has so many people there to support him (even if he doesn’t realise they are) that he has to succeed.

As for the character of Alice, you may I think I’m not going to like her since I didn’t like the romance and that has to be someone’s fault, right? Well, you’re wrong, Alice is a fantastic character. She is nineteen and feels like she has the world on her shoulders. She thought she was free to have fun and do what she wants when circumstances mean she feels she needs to pick up the slack in her family and play a parenting role. Any person who takes on that much responsibility without being asked is a fantastic character in my eyes. The more you learn about Alice (and it’s hard because she keeps things locked up tight) the more you like her. Her entire storyline was amazing, I wanted things to work out for her and for her to get what she wants because she deserves it. I get why there is a romance between her and Tim, she has spent far too long trying to be a grown up and Tim has grown up far too fast and the two deserve the chance to be young and enjoy themselves and just be in love, but sadly I just didn’t believe it.

What I did believe about the pair is that they had the perfect friendship. Before any kind of romance happened the interaction between the two was perfect. It was fun and they had a laugh but you knew they were both more serious than they let on. Together they relaxed a bit more and that was good. It’s sad that the book didn’t focus more on that (for me) but I still really enjoyed it.

In The End, It Doesn’t Even Matter

Look, I may not have loved the romance, but I did love the story. I enjoyed reading this book and would say don’t be put off because I happen to be one of those people making a fuss of a failed romantic storyline. This book is way more than a simple romance, this is a book about growing up, taking responsibility, overcoming struggles, making tough decisions, and most importantly family. This is a book which is all about family and how they are all different but you take what you can get and roll with it. It is a return to a story I loved focusing on different characters and is well worth a read, of that I am sure.

Have you read this book, what were your thoughts? And does a romance you don’t like ruin a book for you or can it be overcome when you like everything else in the book?
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