Monday, February 24, 2014

Book Review: My Life with the Walter Boys by Ali Novak

Pages: 368
Genre: YA Realistic Fiction
Pub. Date: March 1, 2014
Source: Publisher for review
My Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Goodreads says, "Sixteen-year-old Jackie Howard is devastated when her parents are killed in a car accident. She has no one to turn to except for her mom's best friend Katherine Walter. Jackie quickly discovers that Katherine is no stranger to being a mom-she's got twelve boys! And every single one is a handful… Adjusting to life with the Walter boys is not going to be easy, especially when two of them start to show an interest that definitely goes beyond brotherly."
Jackie was living the perfect life in New York City. She had a wealthy and successful father, a loving mother, and a sister that she looked up to.  Her life changed forever when her family got into a car accident and she's the only survivor.  Jackie is sent to live with her mother's best friend from boarding school, Katherine Walter.  Jackie has to get used to living on a ranch in Colorado; plus, the kicker is the fact that Katherine has eleven sons and one daughter (who's pretty much a boy!)  How can Jackie adjust to her new life living in a chaotic home with enough boys to make a basketball team? It also doesn't help that Jackie is a bit uptight, whereas the Walter boys are polar opposites.  Will she ever feel like she's part of the family and truly feel at home?  Ali Novak's  My Life with the Walter Boys is a light read that fans of contemporary fiction will enjoy.

How could you not feel for Jackie in My Life with the Walter Boys? She's trying to move on from her family's horrible tragedy and she is thrusted into the extremely busy and disorderly Walter household.  She finds herself gravitating towards Nathan, the musical son, who has been pretty nice to her.  She is hoping she can find a real friend in him.  There's also nerdy Alex, whom she finds herself spending more and more time with and might they have more than a friendship brewing? Lastly, there's bad boy, Cole.  Cole is the most popular guy at school, extremely good looking, and charming…when he wants to be.  Jackie knows that Cole shouldn't be the guy for her, but she can't deny her attraction.  This makes for life in the Walter household extremely interesting.

The whole love triangle with brothers reminded me a bit of The Boys Next Door, which is why I think My Life with the Walter Boys would make for a great summer read.  I am not a big fan of love triangles except when they are done very well, so this part of the novel sort of irritated me.  I mean Cole was hot, yes, but he was also arrogant and tried to sabotage things for Jackie. He infuriated me instead of inspiring me to swoon.  So, unfortunately, I wasn't feeling Cole. 

What I do find pretty great about My Life with the Walter Boys is the fact that Novak originally wrote it at fifteen and posted it on Wattpad. That's pretty impressive and I give her a lot of credit.  I'm sure it has been edited tremendously since then; however, at times, her young age sort of shows in her writing, if that makes sense.  Various parts of the novel and some of the dialogue felt really young to me, so a younger YA reader might enjoy this novel and appreciate that aspect a bit more than me.

My Life with the Walter Boys didn't blow me away by any means, but it was fun, light, and would be great to read on a hot summer day. You know when you read a book and you were thinking, well, that was fun once you've read the last page? That was My Life with the Walter Boys for me….pure fun. I'll definitely be keeping an eye out for Novak's work in the future.


  1. Well, shoot on Cole! I do love to swoon over a good bad boy, but I think I would likely find him infuriating rather than swoon-worthy as well Christina. I'm so impressed she wrote this at 15 as well, it's way beyond what I could do even now, but I completely understand what you're saying about it reading young. It will be fun to watch as she matures as an author though!

    1. Yes, he didn't entirely have me swooning. But 15 is quite impressive. I am definitely going to keep my eye on her and keep a look out for future work. Thanks for dropping by, Jenny!

  2. Replies
    1. I know, right?! I could barely do my homework w/o complaining at fifteen. ha. Thanks for visiting, Carrie!

  3. 12 boys? Yikes. Cole sounds a bit frustrating as a love interest, though. The novel does seem like a good book to check out from the library, though!

    Nice review :)

    1. I know, right?! Sort of a nightmare…12 sons. I don't envy their food bill. ha. Thanks for visiting, Lea!

  4. THis one sounds interesting, although sometimes love triangles irritate me as well.


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