Monday, March 3, 2014

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 1, 2014
Source: ARC from Publisher
Buy the Book: Amazon / Book Depository / Indigo
Jackie Howard 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)

Jackie is now 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?

I'm always on the hunt for a good, light and fun contemporary story. When I first read the description for Ali Novak's My Life With the Walter Boys, it sounded like just that. I got sucked into this story right from the start. My only wish is that the story wouldn't have ended because I was just that into it.

Jackie Howard never thought she would have to leave the comfort of New York City. But when her family dies in a freak car accident, she finds herself moving to Colorado to live one of her mom's childhood friend's family. Life with the Walters is nothing like Jackie thought it would be. For starters, she never thought she would be sharing a house with eleven boys. Sure, they might all be gorgeous, but that doesn't mean they aren't annoying, loud, messy and have no concept of personal space. But living with the Walters, Jackie starts to realize that it is possible for her to continue living her life, even while grieving her family's death. But navigating life with the Walters is more complicated than she could have ever thought.

I love contemporary stories that allow me to just get lost in a story and enjoy every moment of it. That's exactly what Ali Novak's My Life With the Walter Boys did for me. Right from the start, I found myself getting sucked in to the this story. I loved the idea of reading a story about a girl living in a house with 11 boys. I have one brother and that sometimes got intense so I can only imagine what it would have been like to live with 11 boys. But beyond just the measured chaos this brought to the story, My Life With the Walter Boys was just a fun story. Sure it has its sad moments, especially when Jackie has to deal with her grief, but more often than not, Ali Novak's story put a smile on my face, that's if it wasn't making me full on laugh. There were just so many humorous situations in this story, which is to be expected when you're dealing with 11 boys ages 21 to 5 crammed in one house. And that's really what made me love this story so much. Even though there were so many of them, each one of the characters was memorable and I loved reading their stories. My only concern is where the story ended. I loved the ending, but as soon as I flipped over the last page, I started wishing and hoping for a sequel. Because I need one. Badly.

I loved reading this story form Jackie's point of view. Jackie was someone who had never really interacted with boys before the start of this story. Often, this meant she had no idea how to navigate a lot of the situations she found herself in. And I loved her awkwardness around some of the boys, especially with a certain Walter boy. More generally though, I loved how she had completely different relationships with each one of the boys. As much as I loved seeing her intact with Nathan and Danny, the majority of the story focused on her interacting with Cole and Alex. I have to admit that this love triangle of sorts made parts of the story a little awkward. But even with the awkwardness, I loved reading about Alex and Cole. The two brothers couldn't have been more different and each one brought something to the table. Alex was more subdued, and if I'm being honest, he's probably the type of person I would gravitate to in real life. But there was just something about Cole that drew me in. I feel like I never really got to the bottom of who he really was. I can only hope that any sequel would revolve around him. I would read that in a heartbeat.

I really loved reading Ali Novak's My Life With the Walter Boys. This is the kind of fun and light-hearted story that makes me love contemporary so much. If you are looking for a fun story that will allow you to escape your own life for a few hours, then My Life With the Walter Boys is the book for you.

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