While visiting my brother in sunny California this summer, I cheated on my assigned summer reading by sneaking in some advanced readers’ copies into my beach reading. I was craving a feel good, layered contemporary YA romance, and while it wasn’t my favorite of Huntley Fitzpatrick’s novels, the companion to My Life Next Door still delivered a satisfying read.
The Boy Most Likely To by Huntley Fitzpatrick
Published: August 18th 2015 by Dial Books/PenguinTeen
Source: ARC from publisher
Find: Goodreads | Amazon| Library
Genre: young adult contemporary, young adult romance
Synopsis: 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.
Huntley Fitzpatrick writes compelling characters and the conflicts they face are realistic. The story of Tim, a recovering alcoholic whose been kicked out of his wealthy parents house and moved into the apartment above the garage of his friend, Jase Garrett, and Alice Garrett, Jase’s responsible older sister, is no exception.
Tim is a natural flirt and Alice doesn’t suffer fools, so their interactions are playful and endearing. They clearly have chemistry but both are reluctant to act on it because of the context and family circumstances. Their budding romance is full of give and take, ups and downs, and is ultimately a very satisfying story.
But The Boy Most Likely To is as much about family dynamics as the love story. Tim is struggling to put his life back together, to take responsibility, and to reconcile with his disapproving family. As one of the older siblings of the large Garrett family, Alice has grown up more quickly than most. She’s trying to hold the family business together while her father recovers, and her mom is pregnant yet again.
I really related to both Tim and Alice’s personal struggles, and especially Alice’s. Fitzpatrick does a nice job portraying their challenges.
Fitzpatrick explores class differences really well, and it seems to be a theme that runs through all of her books. Fans of “opposite side of the tracks” romances should enjoy her this novel.
Though I did enjoy this book and recommend it, it wasn’t the ultimate reading experience. I wasn’t convinced that the perspective of both Alice and Tim were necessary. There were many plot threads, and while generally I’m a fan of subplots, but I thought that some were underdeveloped. Jase and Samantha only briefly made appearances, and George, my favorite Garrett, just wasn’t as cute in this story.
My main complaint is that it didn’t feel like a true companion. I don’t think it could be read on its own and enjoyed. Still, I’d recommend that fans of My Life Next Door pick up The Boy Most Likely To.
Confession of a Book Addict: “If you like contemporary fiction that has two unlikely characters who fall for each other while also dealing with the many ups and downs of life, definitely check out The Boy Most Likely To this summer. Fans of Fitzpatrick won’t be disappointed.”