Review! My Life with the Walter Boys

CoverAuthor: Ali Novak

368 Pages–Ages 12-17 (and up)

Published by: Sourcebooks Fire on March 1, 2014

Summary (from amazon.com):

From a fresh new voice on the contemporary YA scene, 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?

Ali Novak wrote My Life with the Walter Boys when she was just 15 years old. First a hit on the online community Wattpad, this debut novel has already been read over 33 million times and is loved by readers around the world.

My Thoughts:

***HEAVY SPOILERS AHEAD***

I have a theory about how this is going to work out. Jackie will end up with Cole, eventually (if not in this book) when she realizes that she only chose Alex because he was “available.” Kim has a crush on Alex, and I think that Kim and Alex are going to get together when they realize that they are perfect for each other because they share the same interests (maybe also not in this book).

I had quite a few peeves with this book, which I will rant about below. In all honesty, this post is more of a rant than a review. You can just skip to the last paragraph if you want a summary of my rant. Be warned!

First, Somehow Jackie could control her feelings about her entire family’s death, but she couldn’t control her feelings toward Cole?? That doesn’t make sense to me. Of course, I wasn’t sure why she had feelings for Cole in the first place; I didn’t see any redeeming qualities in him. Frankly, to me Jackie just seemed like a pawn in Alex’s and Cole’s war. I’m surprised she didn’t realize it or mention it or anything. Maybe she’s just too idealistic.

The author, Ali Novak

The author, Ali Novak

Second, NOT a fan of the underage drinking. Yes I was in high school once and yes, I know that teenagers drink, but I still don’t like reading about it. Especially the wedding where somehow all these underage kids are drinking…in public…with their parents there???? What reasonable bartender would give the underage boys a bunch of drinks (I’m assuming there’s a bartender because they got some mixed drinks).

Third, in romances like this it’s really the ending that makes or breaks the story and boy did the ending break this book for me. I actually cringed; it was awful (in my humble opinion). I knew she was going to end up with Cole, but I was still holding onto the tiny hope that she would have better sense than that. I was unrealistically hoping she would realize that she was physically attracted to Cole but didn’t like his personality therefore starting a relationship with him would (probably) not work out.  Nope. Not even close. I should have stopped the book two chapters before it ended; at least I was semi-okay with the current situation, not necessarily satisfied though.

Fourth, my feelings toward the characters were…hard to place. To be honest, I liked Alex way more at the start of this book. As we got to know him more his personality seemed less grand to me. I didn’t really like Cole even from the beginning–back to that whole “no redeeming qualities thing”. And eventually I was hoping that Jackie would just fall in love with one of the other boys, like Isaac (I grew more to like his character as the story progressed) or something just so I could be so surprised I wouldn’t realize that it’s a stupid situation to begin with.

There was one thing about this book that I was satisfied with though: the fact that not every boy (excluding the one’s under 15) fell in love with Jackie. That wouldn’t have worked for me AT ALL. There was this one show that was produced in Japan called Brothers Conflict. I never watched the show, but from my understanding a girl’s father remarries a women with 13 sons  and all of the sons (seriously ALL of them…except maybe the one that was 10 I think) fall in love with her and they all fight one another for her attention/affection. Boy that must have been an intense show and I’m glad the book wasn’t like that (though there were so many other problems I’m not sure it would have made a difference).

I’m not sure that I would recommend this book. To say I didn’t like it would be too harsh because I thought it was fine except for the ending which I didn’t like. I wouldn’t say I loathed it, but it was very disappointing to me. I bet to other people they would love that she ended up with Cole, but I wasn’t one of those people. There didn’t seem to be anything other than a physical attraction between the two. I don’t want to discount it because I’m sure that other more romance oriented people will love the story. Nonetheless, I will probably read the sequel (if there is one, which according to Goodreads there will be).

A trailer for the book made by the author, Ali Novak. Pretty sure it’s all un-official, but the author made it so it’s sort of fun to watch.

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