Friday, July 10, 2015

Novel Review: My Life With the Walter Boys by Ali Novak

Rating (Out of 5): ~1
Genre: YA Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Release Date: March 2014
Spoilers?: Not really.

Goodreads Synopsis:

My Life with the Walter Boys centers on the prim, proper, and always perfect Jackie Howard. When her world is turned upside down by tragedy, Jackie must learn to cut loose and be part of a family again.

Jackie does not like surprises. Chaos is the enemy! The best way to get her successful, busy parents to notice her is to be perfect. The perfect look, the perfect grades-the perfect daughter. And then...

Surprise #1: Jackie's family dies in a freak car accident.

Surprise #2: Jackie has to move cross-country to live with the Walters-her new guardians.

Surprise #3: The Walters have twelve sons. (Well, eleven, but Parker acts like a boy anyway)

Now Jackie must trade in her Type A personality and New York City apartment for a Colorado ranch and all the wild Walter boys who come with it. Jackie is surrounded by the enemy-loud, dirty, annoying boys who have no concept of personal space. Okay, several of the oldest guys are flat-out gorgeous. But still annoying. She's not stuck-up or boring-no matter what they say. But proving it is another matter. How can she fit in and move on when she needs to keep her parents' memory alive by living up to the promise of perfect?

The Cover:

I don't mind the cover. I think it looks a little too amateur, or maybe the people a little too average, not as pretty or crisp as it could be. But I think the title and the cover go together well, give the feel that they wanted, and it works.


I am so overwhelmingly disappointed with this book, I can’t even believe it.
I’ve heard so much love for this book. It won Goodreads awards, it was so loved, it seemed to take off before it was even published. It sounded like a fun read, possibly with a little serious. I did not expect… this.
I don’t even know where to start.
Jackie’s family dies, and she’s forced to move in with a friend of her mothers, whom she’s never met. And she finds out that it’s a family with eleven boys and one girl who acts like a boy (don't even get me started on that "twelve boys" statement). And they are all horrible.
Jackie, having gone to a private girls school, is very uncultured, and prim and proper. And immediately upon arriving, all of the children are terrible to her. The younger kids push her in the pool, the teenage boys harass and hit on her, two of the younger twins decide to video-tape all of her humiliating moments.
The amount of sexual harassment in this book astounds me. The boys are all huge dicks, with no sympathy for thinking that women are objects. They bet on her humiliation, making her leave the bathroom in a shower curtain and recording it. And then blaming it on her, which Jackie’s goes along with.
I tried not to, but I couldn’t understand where the parenting was. I have to be sympathetic that the mother, and the father, were clearly frazzled with so many kids, they could only do so much. But at the same time, it sure felt like the kids never learned how to be decent or courteous or polite.
Then there was the “romance”. At least one other boy likes Jackie, but she quickly falls for Cole. And Cole is not only a douche, but Jackie hates on him, while at the same time admiring his looks and liking his attention. I did not feel any attraction there, and pretty much hated them both the entire time.
Most of the other characters I never really felt anything for. There was only one other boy that stood out to me, and I didn’t really care for Jackie’s new friends. They just kept fanning over the boys and pushing Jackie on Cole.
Jackie’s family died, but I never felt her sorrow, her depression. She would mention and cry about it, but I never felt her feelings for it, it always seemed one-dimensional or pushed to the background. Not to mention that she had a sister, who was only mentioned a few times, like an afterthought.
I expected to enjoy this book, and am so disappointed with how bad it was. I don’t even think I made it halfway through before just skimming the rest of it, and it never got any better. I’m just done.

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