The Boy Most Likely To

The Boy Most Likely To – Huntley Fitzpatrick

Boy Most LikelyTim Mason was The Boy Most Likely To find the drinks 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 . .

I beg to differ – there was no hard crashing in this book.

This plot has several thin and unnecessary threads that were certainly not followed through in any meaningful way. They wasted space and diverted focus. The whole tangled web about Alice’s father, the accident, the medical bills, his business, Samantha’s mother – just a distraction that could have been handled more succinctly. Brad and the post breakup nonsense – why? Here was time and space that could have been put to better use. Why not build on the tension between Alice and Tim, as well as between Tim and Hester. (Talking of which, what’s with the girl and her grandfather’s unexplained weirdness?)

The difference between Alice’s and Samantha’s families seemed contrived. If they had been neighbours until very recently, and all the medical bills were being paid, how come the Garretts barely had food in the cupboard? I understand the drop in the family’s income, but the situation didn’t make a whole lot of sense to me. Equally, we have a single-parent-single-child family that is unhappy despite the wealth, and a family of numerous children with more on the way, lacking money but still essentially happy. Then Tim’s family with his strict, distant father, his head-in-the-sand mother, and his twin sister with her own problems.

Spot the tropes anyone?

I liked Tim. He may be or have been a total screwup; drinking, smoking, sleeping with anything in a skirt, but he had made the choice to turn his life around. When the surprise came along, I believed his positive attitude. His past behaviour may have been dreadful, outrageous even, but it didn’t mean he was a cold and callous brute. We discover he has always had a caring side, evidenced by the revelation regarding his sister’s schoolwork.

Alice is more problematic. There were times I liked her, and times I disliked her intensely. We can see how much she has burdened herself. She suffers from that teenage notion that they know it all, can do it all. What is she doing hiding the medical bill problem? Her mother may be pregnant, but really? You think she couldn’t cope?

What makes this book good for me is Tim. I would have liked less of the distracting unnecessary plot-lines, and more of him, his ‘battles’ to stay on the straight and narrow, and his dealings with the surprise.  In general terms, this is worth reading, I just feel that some of it could have been cut in order to make the main story about Tim, the surprise, and his growing relationship with Alice, better and stronger.

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