Friday, August 21, 2015

Novel Review: Megan Meade's Guide to the McGowan Boys by Kate Brian

Rating (Out of 5): ~3-3.5
Genre: YA Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Simon Pulse (Simon & Schuster)
Release Date: 2005
Spoilers?: No.

Goodreads Synopsis:

When she was nine, Megan Meade met a group of terrible, mean, Popsicle-goo-covered boys, the sons of her father's friend -- the McGowan boys. Now, seven years later, Megan's army doctor parents are shipping off to Korea and Megan is being sent to live with the little monsters, who are older now and quite different than she remembered them.
Living in a house with seven boys will give Megan, who has never even been kissed, the perfect opportunity to learn everything there is to know about boys. And she'll send all her notes to her best friend, Tracy, in...
Megan Meade's Guide to the McGowan Boys

Observation #1: Being an army brat sucks. Except that this is definitely a better alternative to moving to Korea. Observation #2: Forget evil, laughing, little monsters. These guys have been touched by the Abercrombie gods. They are a blur of toned, suntanned perfection.
Observation #3: I need a lock on my door. STAT.
Observation #4: Three words: six-pack abs.
Observation #5: Do not even get me started on the state of the bathroom. I'm thinking of calling in a hazmat team. Seriously.
Observation #6: These boys know how to make enemies. Big time.
Megan Meade will have to juggle a new school, a new family, a new crush -- on the boy next door, as in next bedroom door -- and a new life. Will she survive the McGowan boys?

The Cover:

This cover is just average. It's very plain, an older style and not as modern for today. But it's not terrible, and it does work for the book.


I can’t help but compare this to My Life With the Walter Boys, so I’m starting with that.  And this is a vastly superior book.  Whereas I couldn’t even finish the Walter Boys, what with the terrible boys and their sexual harassment, there’s none of that in this.  And I’m so happy about that.
To be fair, there are seven boys.  That’s a lot to handle, and so of course there’s going to be chaos, noise, the boys will be a little uncontrollable.  The parents can only do so much.  But here, I believe that the parents are actually trying.  They do discipline the kids, and the kids do listen to their parents.  The parents are also present relatively often, with personalities.  The mom in particular, tries to get close to Megan, and is understanding when Megan turns out to be different than she thought.
The boy that it seems Megan is going to end up with, Evan, isn’t too much of a jerk, either.  He’s just an average boy—trying to be happy with his girlfriend, even when she makes it extremely hard.  And when drama comes up, he’s a clueless boy, not knowing who to believe.  He’s a bit rude, but not terrible, and understandable at least some of the time.
And then there’s Finn.  Finn is the artistic, funny guy.  I’m a fan of him, and really like that Megan and him got together.  He’s the better guy, in my opinion.  The ending left it more open, though, to which I’m not very happy about.  Especially since I was over Evan by that point.
But there’s also a few more characters.  There’s Miller, who’s autistic, but a sweetheart.  Megan learns how to communicate with him, what to do to make it easier for him.  I was really impressed and happy about that.  There’s Doug, who’s frustrating, but has potential to grow.  Megan makes some friends at school, along with her friend back home, and I do think some of those relationships were worthwhile.  The drama got to be a little frustrating, but okay.  There was also a cliché moment at the end where Megan tried to leave, but whatever. 
Aside from the open-ended ending, I was happy with this book.  It was better than I thought it would be, and I’m happy with it.

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