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.