When I started reading it, I had no idea it was part of a series and I simply picked it up because I thought it was interesting. So, I read this book as a standalone novel and now I will probably read the first one. The Boy Most Likely To is the first book I have read by the author.
The main protagonists of the book are Tim Mason and Alice Garrett. Tim has a lot of emotional baggage and has made questionable decisions in the past but is trying really hard to change his life and it’s actually working. As you are reading, you know Tim has made mistakes in the past but his genuine efforts to change his life makes him such a sympathetic character. He believes the worst about himself because people around him, especially his family, have always pointed out his mistakes. They constantly think he is going to screw everything up even when he hasn’t done anything.
Alice has a lot of responsibility on her shoulders. She is taking care of her younger siblings, worrying about her parents and finances, and studying to be a nurse. I liked Alice’s character a lot. She is headstrong, confident and self-aware yet vulnerable; she doesn’t let anyway get away with anything and it is such a cool trait to possess. She is unsure about her feelings for Tim, who is younger than and her brother’s best friend. Even the secondary characters of the rest of the Garrets including Jase who is Tim’s best friend and his girlfriend Samantha are well-rounded characters.
The best part of the story for me was the characters. The development of the characters throughout the story seems natural and realistic. They don’t grow overnight and just trying their hardest to better themselves and that makes them incredibly relatable. All the characters seem genuine; their thoughts or emotions do not seem fabricated. I teared up a couple of times while reading. I liked the portrayal of the inner struggle these characters go through and both Tim and Alice have a different yet parallel approach to things. The list of The Boy Most Likely To which Tim keeps pinned on his fridge hits his struggle home.
The relationships in the book are my second favorite part. The relationship Tim has with his twin Nan is the only somewhat healthy relationship he has with his family. He thinks more of Garretts as his family, then his parents which is a little sad but the way his father treats him that is understandable. Tim and Jase are more like brothers than a best friend and the rapport between them is completely organic. Even the central romance of Tim and Alice takes a while to get off the road but it keeps you intrigued and they develop a good understanding between them as time passes.
As I said before, I read this book as a standalone novel yet I never felt that I missed anything because I didn’t read the first one. I liked this book a lot. The pace is good, it doesn’t slow down in between; its consistent throughout. I pretty much finished it in one sitting. It is genuine, funny, sweet and sad.
*Click on the book cover above to get a copy.