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Thursday, February 13, 2014

My Thoughts: My Life with the Walter Boys by Ali Novak

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.

**Review Copy received from publisher.

Ali Novak's debut My Life with the Walter Boys was an incredibly fast read. I think I had in done in a day. Which is pretty quick for me- I am the slowest reader ever! When I first read the synopsis of the story, I thought it sounded like a lot of fun. But at the same time, I was pretty apprehensive. This was a story that I was pretty sure could get kind of corny. Having read it, and stewed over it some, I have to say, that I really liked it. It did get corny, and eye rolling at some points, but for the most part, it was enjoyable. However, there are a couple of things that I was unsure about.

The story begins with Jackie moving from her New York Home to a ranch in Colorado after the death of her family. She is off to live with a friend of her mother's who is mother to twelve of her own kids. My Life With the Walter Boys is essentially about Jackie adjusting to her new life. But wait... her new life now consists of eleven boys and a love triangle.

Let me just get this off my chest straight away. I hate love triangles. I have always hated love triangles. This is no exception. Specifically because this one is SO freaking stupid! I don't even think I am going to talk about it. Other than, it's dumb and shouldn't have even been part of the story. The whole romance aspect of this novel was little pathetic. Sorry to say. I think it all happened to fast. One second the boys were indifferent to Jackie, and the next they were in love with her. The same goes with her as well.

What also kind of bothered me about the romance love triangle was the circumstances. Jackie was living with the family, for all intents and purposes she was now part of said family. I know that there was no biological relationship between them at all, however, it felt weird to me that the first instinct for some of the boys was attraction, and that they felt it was appropriate, almost normal, to act on this attraction. What I guess I am trying to say is, there was no internal struggle, not fighting the lust, no guilt for the situation. If there had been some of that, I am pretty sure I would have appreciated this aspect of the book more.

In my last review of Something Real- another story about a large family, I mentioned that I was disappointed with how the author approached the relationships between the siblings. I am pleased to say that in the case of My Life with the Walter Boys, Ali Novak did a great job. I loved the relationship the brothers (and one sister) had with one another. They each had their own unique identities and personalities and they all got along (for the most part) with one another. I really loved seeing them all interact with each other and I could see the familial bond.

Overall, despite what I have said, I really did enjoy My Life with the Walter Boys. I just wanted more. I think, had the author hashed out some of the details more it would have been a stronger story. There were just a few things missing that kept the book from being great. Apparently Ali Novak was fifteen when she wrote this story, and posted it on Wattpad- now I have no idea what Wattpad is (well I sort of do) . Which explains a lot about the content of the story. I did like the book, and I will probably (most definitely) be reading the sequel, My Life as a Walter Boy.

~Happy Reading Everyone!


  1. I just read this one, too -- it was good, but not fabulous. I didn't feel like there was anything taboo about the romance(s), but I did expect the parents to make a fuss out of it or make more rules than they did. But yeah, either way the romance aspect was quite contrived -- without getting too spoilery for fellow commenters, the one guy totally changed after they got together, and the other one was just kind of a jerk, so I don't get why we were suppose to like him.

  2. This was an awesome review. I also judge stories by how many eye rolls I experience. I would have had the same problem with this story. Plus if she just lost her family and is in a brand new situation I would think she would be focusing more on that...and perhaps the boys in the family would be more sensitive. Without the inner conflict I think it loses a lot.

  3. I love stories of this kind. My Life with the Walter Boys does sound very good, but I get your points of concern and need more time for certain feelings to evolve. Very good that you are comparing this book with Something Real and talk about both slightly negative and positive aspects. Also, I'm impressed that the author wrote this book when she was only fifteen!

  4. I've got this one for review and am happy that you thought the familial bond was well done. I also like that each character had a different personality. It's too bad about the romance though because I don't like love triangles either and having them involve siblings is just weird.

  5. Haha love triangles! *le sigh* I don't ALWAYS hate them but almost always, and especially when it's stupid and pointless like it seems to be in this one. I find most are just added for the sake of drama and dumb conflict that is not even fun to read about. I also get what you mean about the family setting I mean it's like her what? Adoptive brothers? That's still weird to me. It sounds like this book had a lot of potential. I have been curious about it but I'm glad to be prepared for the romance in particular :)

  6. I like a certain amount of corn from time to time... but I freaking hate love triangles too! No more of them, I say!! Still, it's good to hear you liked this one overall and would read the sequel.


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