by Huntley Fitzpatrick
To be published by Dial Books
on August 18, 2015
Synopsis from Goodreads: Tim Mason was The Boy Most Likely To find the liquor cabinet blindfolded, need a liver transplant, and 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.My take: I've had a lot of discussions with fellow bloggers about reading expectations and how they can shape a reading experience. It's disconcerting to expect a certain kind of story and then get something different.
That's what happened to me with The Boy Most Likely To. And I'd like to say right off that my expectations were completely my fault. I expected The Boy Most Likely To to be a swoony romance in the same vein as My Life Next Door.
That's not entirely the case and again -- my fault. I think the synopsis (above) is an accurate representation of the story. But I guess I had built up certain expectations in my mind. So while I did like The Boy Most Likely To, it took me some time to shift my mental gears around and adjust to the loss of the story I thought I was getting and warm up to the one I got.
First off, while Tim and Alice do have the potential for fabulous odd couple chemistry (he's the recovering train wreck, she's the tightly-wound control freak) the Tim-Alice romance is really not the main focus of the story. Their relationship is so slow burn that ... is there a word for a notch below slow burn? Faint simmer? That's what this felt like.
I'd call The Boy Most Likely To more of a "finding yourself" story with romance as a subplot. For most of the story, both Tim and Alice are very distracted and their relationship is pretty much at a standstill. Things eventually do heat up between them but it does take a while. In theory, I think it's a good thing that Tim is getting himself together before getting together with Alice, but if you're expecting a super-swoony book, you won't get that until the very end.
The dual POV was also a bit jarring to me -- a lot of switching back and forth, sometimes a few times within the same chapter. I was saved by the fact that each POV had a different font. I think MLND was all from Sam's POV and I think I might have preferred this from Tim's POV only. I mean, both characters have a lot they're dealing with, and Alice is a fascinating, prickly character, but I think it was hard for her personal issues to compete with his.
Now to the elephant in the room: those Unexpected Consequences That Tim Has to Deal With. Yes, this did help Tim's character growth, but overall I was really on the fence about this aspect of the story. I thought some of the scenes in that plotline were funny and touching, but the whole thing took the story in an unexpected direction. If you want spoilers, you can read them under protection on my Goodreads review.
For the most part, I enjoyed The Boy Most Likely To. The storyline definitely wasn't what I expected but I'm always glad when a book can surprise me. I may re-read the two back to back now that I know what's to come.
Yeah, I understand where you're coming from. I haven't read this book yet, but with all the abysmal reviews, my expectations had taken a great fall, for sure. I'm not a fan of book covers that belie the actual contents of the book, and to be honest, this one looks like it promises a good, "swoony" romance. Ugh. So disappointing.ReplyDelete
I thought the book was good. I mean, if it had been a standalone with two new characters, I'd have liked it just fine. I'm guessing that, like me, a lot of people read MLND, fell in love with Tim, and then built up this great Tim-Alice romance in our minds. I did think that the story showed a lot of character development for Tim (imo Alice got a bit shortchanged in that department) and I'm not a fan of "love will solve all real life problems" plots, so the only explanation I have for some people's disappointment is that they expected a romance and got something a bit different.ReplyDelete
Too high expectations have effectively ruined many reads for me, unfortunately. In a way, I love it when authors bring something different every single time and not repeat themselves. But on the other, I expect the feelings to be same or similar, and when they're not, I'm always disappointed. Great review.ReplyDelete
Agree completely - I think when anticipating a companion book, it's fair to expect a similar kind of story. But maybe that's just me :)Delete
I haven't read My Life Next Door but it's on my TBR. I will keep in mind about this one though that my expectation might need to be different.ReplyDelete
If you like contemporary romance you should definitely try it. It was one of those great word-of-mouth books that really took off!Delete
Totally understand where you coming from when expecting a book to be one thing and then it turns out to be another, it's always a bit disconcerting and in some cases takes away from the book. I LOVED My life next door so I am really looking forward to reading this when it comes out. Lovely review :)ReplyDelete
I really hope you enjoy this one, Kristin!Delete
Really appreciate the warning - I was totally expecting a cute but dark romance - I will adjust my expectations. I definitely want to read it, but it's really good to know it's not much like MLND.ReplyDelete
It is cute (in parts) and dark (in parts) but I think what threw me was the unexpected plotine. Eager to see what you think!Delete
Well, at least you were surprised - even if it's not the kind of surprise you would've liked perhaps. Lovely review, Jen.ReplyDelete
Surprise is good!Delete
I loved My Life Next Door, so I really want to read this one. I'm happy that you enjoyed this at least.ReplyDelete
Thanks for the review, Jen!
I think she's a wonderful writer and I'm a huge Tim fan :)Delete
It's always disappointing when a book doesn't live up to my expectations...but sometimes I have really high expectations :). Great review.ReplyDelete
We can't help having high expectations, especially when it comes to sequel or companion to a book we love!Delete
Faint shimmer? I love that one :)ReplyDelete
The few reviews I've read from the bloggers I follow and trust have me worried as I had my expectations really high for this one too. Will be starting the audio soon, hopefully taht will help a bit.
It was faint :) But it did move to a boil at the very end :)Delete
Look forward to your take on the audio!!
I have been wanting to read this one, and will def try to adjust what I am thinking it will be.ReplyDelete
So glad for the warning, Jen! That's what I was expecting as well, so hopefully it will help knowing that swoony romance is not what this is. Great review!ReplyDelete
Tressa @ Wishful Endings
It's always disappointing when your expectations are too much for the book, but it sounds like you found parts of it that you ended up enjoying Jen. Lovely review!ReplyDelete
I completely feel you about expectations. There have been many times when I expected one thing from the book and got another. It's not that the book is at fault because sometimes even when expectations aren't met, you can enjoy a book.ReplyDelete
I've been curious about this book because I did enjoy MLND and now that I know that it isn't a very swoony or romantic book, I can lower my expectations for whenever I get around to reading it!
Lovely review, Jen! :)
Rashika @ The Social Potato
I've been hearing a lot about how different this one is from the first book but that is interesting to me and I've still heard it's good! Great review!!ReplyDelete