Title: The Boy Most Likely To
Author: Huntley Fitzpatrick
Series: My Life Next Door #2
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary
Publisher: Egmont Publishing
Release Date: June 9th, 2016 (originally August 18th, 2015)
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.
Told in Tim’s and Alice’s distinctive, disarming, entirely compelling voices, this novel is for readers of The Spectacular Now, Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist, and Paper Towns.
It was the distant year of 2012 and I was just getting into YA literature and my contemporary reading was at its peak when I first found out about Huntley Fitzpatrick and her first book, My Life Next Door. But it wasn’t until two years later, in 2014, that I got the chance to finally read it. I do have a habit of forgetting 80% of a book’s contents after I’ve read it and as of now, I barely remember anything about My Life Next Door, but I do remember that I rather enjoyed it quite a lot. So the announcement for The Boy Lost Likely To came as a very pleasant surprise.
Tim Mason is exactly what everyone expects of him to be – a human disaster. But he’s ready to turn a new leaf and get his life in order. Meanwhile, Alice Garrett is struggling to keep her family together after her father is injured in a car accident. The two couldn’t be farther away on the Maturity spectrum, but, as people say, opposites attract. Alice didn’t expect to start a relationship with her brother’s disaster of a friend, while Tim never really expected to fall for a girl, period. But then, just as he is beginning to get his life together, something from Tim’s past comes back to threaten his future. Or shape it for the better.
This book took me way too long to finish, despite the fact that I enjoyed reading it. I knew I would, since I enjoyed Fitzpatrick’s other two books. Also, ever since I read My Life Next Door, I’ve always had a soft spot for Tim Mason – one of the few brighter spots in my memory of that book. So I knew I have to read this book when it came out. Fast forward a year after its publication, I finally did. Despite taking me more than two months to read, I found The Boy Most Likely To to be charming, witty and absolutely captivating.
Fitzpatrick’s writing is simple and easy to follow. Her narratives are engaging and filled with witticisms and memorable one-liners. While the prose is not the most complex thing in the world, it works perfectly for the story the author is trying to tell. (And fits the contemporary genre like a glove.) Both Tim’s and Alice’s parts were distinctive and didn’t blend into each other like many other books with dual perspectives that I’ve read in the past. Each character had their own story and their own thoughts to be heard. But they also merged and connected in all the right places. Somehow both narratives complement each other perfectly.
I already mentioned my soft spot for Tim, which this book only managed to enhance. He’s a delight to read about in the sense that his character is so well-developed that I felt like he could be my neighbor or my classmate. He’s just that realistic. I would admit that I remembered next to nothing about Alice, which was a cause of difficulty in the beginning because I felt lost reading about someone I’m expected to already know. But that changed after I pushed on and I really started to get to know Alice. I felt for her and what she’s going through, I could relate to her more than I could relate to Tim. She carries a burden that I feel a lot of us millenials carry, admittedly hers are multiplied by a solid number of siblings she has to take care of almost by herself. Usually whenever I read a book with more than one perspective, I end up favouring one character over the others, but it wasn’t the case here. I loved both Tim and Alice and looked forward to what both of them had to say.
The romance, however, did not reel me in. I don’t know whether because I read so few pages too far inbetween, even, at times, not reading at all for weeks, but it came off a but abrupt. It was also overshadowed by everything else that was going on in the novel. It wasn’t that Tim and Alice made a bad couple, because, honestly, I think they are the perfect balance for each other. I just found it hard to get invested in their more romance-y scenes. I admire the characters individually and I admit they’re good for each other, but I can’t get behind their relationship completely for reasons unknown.
What I absolutely really loved about this book was the family vibes, and the character growth. I’m a sucker for family relationships in books and the Garretts were like winning the literary lottery for me. I love how they stay strong and united even with all the hardships they face. That’s one family that has found true happiness, we all must admit that. Alice’s devotion to her siblings and the love she has for her parents is so admirable, and I have so much respect for her for putting her own needs second and taking care of her family first. While Tim’s situation arose as an inconvenience and a bump in his road to Manhood, it turned out to be such a heart-warming (as well as heart-wrenching) experience. Fitzpatrick handles it perfectly and gives Tim the perfect development one could ask for. I kept hoping It could last, but realistically, I knew it couldn’t. However, the author gave me an even better resolution that I could hope for.
Overall, The Boy Most Likely To is a great contemporary read that has so much to offer. The characters and the things they go through are incredibly realistic and handled with the exact right amount of care needed. It was a pleasure to see Tim grow and I’m very glad he got the good ending he deserves.