Series: My Life Next Door #2
Publisher: Dial Books
Publication Date: August 18, 2015
Source/Format: NetGalley || e-galley
[I received this from the publisher. This in no way affects my review.]
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.
Three years ago, I fell head over heels in love with My Life Next Door, a charming contemporary novel featuring a sweet, boy-next-door romance between Samantha and Jase, and the rest of the lovable Garrett clan adding even more reasons to love this written universe. When rumors of a novel about Tim began to circulate, I was simultaneously excited and hesitant. Tim had been a great secondary character, but I questioned how interesting his story would be, particularly when weighed against its predecessor.
I shouldn’t have been so nervous, because it turns out that I really enjoyed the opportunity to get to know Tim better in The Boy Most Likely To! The initial impression readers have of Tim is as the stereotypical bad boy, with a history of mistakes and unwise decisions. But there is more to him than meets the eye, as evidenced by his attempt to straighten his life out, take responsibility and his loyalty to the people he truly cares for. Fitzpatrick manages to showcase both the good things and bad things about Tim’s current position; she does it well enough that, while I don’t make excuses for what he’s done, I understand where he’s coming from. It was really great to be able to appreciate Tim as a main character, and to get really invested in his story.
Alice Garrett, one of Jase’s sisters, is also a narrator in this novel, telling the story of the sacrifices she needs to make and how life has changed for the Garretts after the tragedy in the previous novel. Now, I liked Alice as a character; she’s the kind of capable big sister I’d like to think I am in real life. It was also admittedly nice to spend more time with the Garrett clan, and get to see Tim through her eyes. But her story felt more like a “B” plot in this novel, not as necessary or as impressive as learning about Tim and his life and not nearly as well-developed.
Still, their two stories woven together are what make up the whole of The Boy Most Likely To, and I liked it well enough so I can’t complain. Even though a part of me wishes that it had been solely focused on Tim and his story, it was nice to see glimpses of him through someone else’s eyes every so often. And, of course, it was fun to see all the secondary characters (the other Garretts and Sam particularly) from both perspectives! Fitzpatrick has succeeded in fully engaging me in another one of her novels, and I can declare that The Boy Most Likely To is worth a read.