Book Review: The Boy Most Likely To – Huntley Fitzpatrick

Book-Review-The-Boy-Most-Likely-To-Huntley-Fitzpatrick

Title: The Boy Most Likely To (2015)
Author: Huntley Fitzpatrick
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Extent: 425 pages
Release Date: August 15, 2015
Rating: ★★★★☆

Goodreads Description

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.

Review

So I picked up The Boy Most Likely To almost directly after reading My Life Next Door, which I loved. This book picks up right after MLND and can be read as a stand-alone, but reading MLND first will definitely give more context to some of the problems the characters face here, whereas reading them the other way around might spoil The Boy Most Likely To.

The first thing about The Boy Most Likely To is that it’s an example of multiple perspectives done right. We get to hear from both the main characters, Tim and Alice, but both their parts actually add something to the story — they’re not just the same scenes told in different perspectives. Instead, they’re both fully-fledged characters with their own stories to tell.

“Everyone who makes a mistake isn’t doomed to be an asshole forever.”

Additionally, Fitzpatrick is the master of character development. Tim starts out completely unreliable and kind of irritating, but then we start seeing all these other sides of him. Alice was uptight, a bit of a hard-ass, but then we start recognising that she’s just a huge softie inside.

Alice’s story arc focuses on family. Alice is a Garrett—the second, I believe, of eight children, and this is a huge part of her personality. We see her struggle between balancing her love for her family and her love for herself. If my family is suffering, is it ‘okay’ for me to go chase after my own dreams? How far should I go for my family? What sacrifices should I make for my family?

Tim’s story arc, meanwhile, focuses on rebuilding himself from the inside-out. Here is a guy who’s incredibly cynical about himself, who’s used to people having extremely low expectations of him and who relishes in that—mostly because he, too, doesn’t trust himself. At least not in the beginning. At least not for now.

As characters, their growth is realistic, punctuated with ups and downs. As a couple, they make a lot of sense. It also doesn’t hurt, certainly, that they’re both insanely attracted to each other. Their flirtations were some of the more light-hearted parts of the story, and they’re definitely welcome among the serious issues they have to face.

Speaking of which, the Garretts are possibly one of the best families I’ve ever had the pleasure to read about in YA fiction. They’re definitely not perfect and they certainly have more than their fair share of problems, but it’s so heart-warming to see how much they love each other and the lengths they’ll go to. If ever there were model parents, the Garretts should be it.

“Maybe thinking any one person can show up and give you all you need is as much of a delusion as thinking you can find truth in a bottle. Maybe you can just find what you need in little pieces, in people who show up for one crucial moment—or a whole chain of them—even if they can’t solve it all. Maybe this is the secret of big families, like the Garretts… and like AA. People’s strengths can take their turn. There can be more of us than there is trouble.”

I won’t say too much about the plot to avoid spoiling the book, but know that I really, really enjoyed The Boy Most Likely To. Just as in MLND, these characters might just be teenagers but they behave in real, mature ways, and their obstacles are incredibly, objectively difficult to overcome, particularly for a YA book. There are issues of ethics here, of morality, of black-and-whiteness, that I wasn’t expecting to see—and boy, were they handled wonderfully.

Raw, unflinching and realistic, The Boy Most Likely To is recommended for those who love a more serious, more introspective contemporary YA novel!

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20 thoughts on “Book Review: The Boy Most Likely To – Huntley Fitzpatrick

  1. I didn’t know this involved the Garrett’s! Now I am definitely going to read this. For some reason I thought it wasn’t connected to MLND, serves me right for not reading the blurb. Great review Reg! 🙂

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  2. I haven’t read this series yet but I really want to. Hopefully I’ll get to it this year. Loved your review!

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  3. Of all the Huntley Fitzpatrick books, My Life Next Door appeals to me the most in terms of the blurbs but I do plan to read this one as well in the future. Thank you for mentioning that the events of this book follow MLND. I think I’ll read MLND first for sure now just so that it’ll be more cohesive. And I’m so glad to hear you enjoyed both immensely. Thanks for sharing this review, Reg! 🙂

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    • I recommend them both, but just so you have more context for TBMLT, reading MLND first would probably help a lot. 😛

      Thanks for your comment, Summer! Hope you get to this series eventually and like the books as much as I have.

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  4. Okay, so your review has basically made me feel a bit more optimistic about this book because sadly a few days ago I was spoiled about the “consequence” and my guess was right. However, the fact that the characters handle the situations they face in a mature manner has me feeling hopeful and I have a renewed excitement for this book now. 😀

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    • Eep, so sorry you were spoiled! It happened pretty early in the book, so hopefully it didn’t ruin everything for you as there’s still so much more going on.

      I reaaally hope you get to it and enjoy it as much as I have! I really liked this series, and it’s not too often that we see teenage characters in contemporaries behaving in super mature ways. 😛

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  5. I was the same as you I picking this book up right after I finished MLND, I didn’t even realise it was sequel at first I just needed to read more by Huntley Fitzpatrick. Honestly I think I liked this book over MLND, Tim was definitely my favourite character just because of his development, I completely agree with you when you say Huntley Fitzpatrick is the master of character development because both Tim’s and Alice’s development just in this book alone, both as individual characters and as a couple was so completely on point it made me love the story even more.
    And the Garrett’s were just as amazing in this book as they were in the previous one 😀 great review, and I’m glad you loved this book as well!

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    • Thanks, Beth! I actually own a copy of this book first before realising that there was a story that came before this, and I’m SO GLAD I ended up picking up MLND first because this one made so much more sense after. I’ve a soft spot for Tim too coming from MLND – I think he was more interesting a character than Jase, who was an all-around nice guy with no sharp edges. 😛

      And the Garretts! I hope there’ll be more books set in this universe… maybe for Nan? She seems like an important character.

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      • I’d heard so much about MLND but next to nothing about this book, possibly why I enjoyed TBMLT more because there was nothing influencing my opinion or overhyping it. Tim was amazing, but I think all of Huntley Fitzpatrick’s characters are amazing too, and oh I would love to read more books set in this universe!

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          • There are some books I’m just so excited for that I have to read as soon as they’re released, I guess I hype them up myself a little too! But a lot I just don’t get around to for another couple of weeks after their release date. I do avoid reviews until after I’ve read them though.
            No I haven’t read that one yet. It’s on my to-read list but when I saw it wasn’t really a companion novel (I don’t think anyway) I kind of pushed it back a bit. Have you read it yet?

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            • I actually read reviews before I read a book, mostly because sometimes it helps me decide whether to commit to it or not. Sometimes though I admit it might influence my opinion going into the book, which is just bad. 😛

              I’ve read What I Thought Was True, but I didn’t really like it. It’s not a companion novel and there were too many subplots, and I just couldn’t find that momentum where I want to keep reading, unfortunately. D:

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              • I find if I read any negative reviews they tend to influence my opinion too much, if it’s a book I’m really excited for I will probably avoid reviews until after I’ve read it but if I’m just looking for something new to start I will read some of the more positively rated reviews (if it’s a book with a load of negative ones I’ll give it a miss most likely.
                I’ll get around to it at some point but for me it’s not near the top of my to-read list, not like it would be if it was an actual companion novel to MLND and TBMLT.

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                • I actually really enjoy reading negative reviews in general, but they do tend to impact my opinion more than positive reviews! I wonder why – maybe because negative reviews tend to be more critical? The ones that I like usually have quotes to back up the reviewer’s opinion, and I really enjoy that. 😛

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