Review: My Life with the Walter Boys by Ali Novak

My Life With The Walter BoysMy Life with the Walter Boys
(My Life with the Walter Boys #1)
by Ali Novak
YA Contemporary
Paperback368 Pages
March 1st 2014 by Sourcebooks Fire                  


Sixteen-year-old Jackie Howard is devastated when her parents are killed in a car accident. She has no one to turn to except for her mom's best friend Katherine Walter. Jackie quickly discovers that Katherine is no stranger to being a mom-she's got twelve boys! And every single one is a handful...

Adjusting to life with the Walter boys is not going to be easy, especially when two of them start to show an interest that definitely goes beyond brotherly.


My Review

I was so excited to read My Life with the Walter Boys. I've been in the mood for a sweet and romantic Contemporary YA and the cover and blurb seemed like this might be that type of book. I was a little disappointed. This was why...

First and foremost, I didn't love the two main guys who are interested in Jackie, especially Cole. They both did things that I just really disagreed with, but especially Cole, who I felt was so hurtful and uncaring, especially knowing that Jackie's whole family just died. What was sad about that is that I could have loved them. Such great potential there. I also didn't like that the boys kissed the same girls, such as ex-girlfriends of their brothers. There is totally an unwritten law everywhere about that being wrong and so that just completely rubbed me the wrong way.

Some of the boys were so mean. Really. That made me a little mad, especially when it didn't seem like anyone would step in. The last thing I didn't like was all the content, such as all the swearing, even in front of the boys' mom. I was expecting some, but I've been around big families and guys and normally they'd get in trouble for that. I also prefer my books clean, so take that into consideration as I rate this book. Having listed what I didn't like, I do have to say that the story flowed really well and was a fairly quick read.

What else did I like? That the story was bittersweet. I really felt for Jackie even though I wanted her to have a stronger backbone. She was dealing with a lot already when she's thrown into this crazy house of mostly boys. Previously she had boarded at a girls' private school and only had a sister, so boys were almost an anomaly. Quite a shock for her to say the least. Then she isn't really welcomed and has a lot to deal with. Some of the boys have their own issues that they're also trying to deal with, so there are some different things going on.

I really loved Jackie's character. I liked how she developed such a strong friendship with Alex and that she was a good friend. The boys had their moments. I loved Nathan and I loved Alex before things changed. All the teenage boys are swoon worthy. I also liked Jackie's decision in the end. 

My favorite thing, though, about this story was the humor and sarcasm. These boys pull these crazy pranks, tease, place bets, totally create mischief and even when I didn't agree with their choices, I had to sometimes snicker (yes, snicker) and crack up about what was going on. There is so much sarcasm, and I did love that. Here's a good example from Katherine, the Walter boys' mom:
"No buts. Alex, you got an F on your history paper. Star Wars does not count as a valid topic for most significant war in history. Apologize to your teacher and tell him you'll rewrite it. Isaac, the women's volleyball coach called and said if she catches you trying to sneak into the girl's locker room one more time, she'll make sure you fail gym class. Now get going,"
(location 476 - eARC on Kindle) 
There is such potential for these characters and this story and it is a series, so we'll see. I think that if you're looking for a rowdy, sarcastic, bittersweet Contemporary YA, then this might be your book, if you don't mind the content.

Content: Lots of swearing, innuendo, underage drinking, and closed-door sex.

Source: From NetGalley, which did not affect my review in any way.

The author, Ali Novak, is stopping by today as part of Sourcebooks' tour. You can see what she had to say here.

Disclosure: This post contains a link to an affiliate program. If you make a purchase of any type using this link, I receive a small kickback.

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