Published by Sourcebooks, Inc. on March 1st 2014
Genres: Dating & Sex, Love & Romance, Social Issues, Young Adult
From a fresh new voice on the contemporary YA scene, My Life with the Walter Boys centers on the prim, proper, and always perfect Jackie Howard. When her world is turned upside down by tragedy, Jackie must learn to cut loose and be part of a family again. Jackie does not like surprises. Chaos is the enemy! The best way to get her successful, busy parents to notice her is to be perfect. The perfect look, the perfect grades-the perfect daughter. And then... Surprise #1: Jackie's family dies in a freak car accident. Surprise #2: Jackie has to move cross-country to live with the Walters-her new guardians. Surprise #3: The Walters have twelve sons. (Well, eleven, but Parker acts like a boy anyway) Now Jackie must trade in her Type A personality and New York City apartment for a Colorado ranch and all the wild Walter boys who come with it. Jackie is surrounded by the enemy-loud, dirty, annoying boys who have no concept of personal space. Okay, several of the oldest guys are flat-out gorgeous. But still annoying. She's not stuck-up or boring-no matter what they say. But proving it is another matter. How can she fit in and move on when she needs to keep her parents' memory alive by living up to the promise of perfect? Ali Novak wrote My Life with the Walter Boys when she was just 15 years old. First a hit on the online community Wattpad, this debut novel has already been read over 33 million times and is loved by readers around the world.
For Jackie Sullivan, one surprise is about all she can handle, and suddenly, she’s thrown three. Her family is killed in a freak accident, and now she has to move in with the Walters, but there’s a slight catch—the Walters have twelve children and eleven of them are boys. All her life she has struggled to fit her parents perfect picture of what she should be, but moving in with the rambunctious Colorado family may test her resolve in more ways than one.
This book caught my attention the second I picked it up. Twelve boys—eleven boys and one tomboy, technically—presented a lot to handle for a girl who grew up in New York where she didn’t even have a backyard to play in. Living with twelve boys wasn’t her problem, though, but living with twelve WALTER boys. The whole family’s attitude was contagious, and I couldn’t wait to learn something new about every single character. Even the character’s that played minor roles changed the feel of the big farm that Jackie moved to and enhanced the story. It wouldn’t have been the same without the smallest twins, Benny and Jack popping up at random moments and offering their playful personas to the mood, or Jack and Jordan following everyone around with a camera. Jackie developed relationships with all of the Walter children, some more cultivated than others, which added to how she would fit in with the family.
“Roadblocks, little unexpected bumps, they’re all part of living.”
I enjoyed reading about how Jackie learned to be a person that not everyone expected her to be—but the person she designed for herself. Even though her organized nature made her Jackie, the dashes of her unexpected behavior just enriched her already likeable behavior. Even though she had an affinity for living on the higher side of life, she did not have much difficultly adjusting to a new way of living. Her problems arose from dealing with the death of her entire family, whether or not she should have felt guilty about the infinitesimal amounts of happiness she allowed herself.
Part of her new behavior and changed nature resulted from living with the Walter brothers, obviously. As I learned more about each brother, I couldn’t decide which one I loved more. Each of them had their own personalities that intensified the new person that Jackie was becoming. The love triangle that developed—to know which dazzling Walter brothers are vying for her heart you’ll have to read the book—kept the story interesting all the way through.
When she finally made her decision, it took the entire novel to find out which brother she would pick, it made complete sense. However, I did not like the way that the novel ended, even though I had been rooting for the brother she chose. After Jackie had been living with the Walters for weeks and became so familiar with the entire family, Colorado felt like her home. The ending left me wondering what will happen next and dying for more about all of the characters—so much was left to the imagination! The what-if kept flying through my mind. I did learn that there will be a sequel, which puts all of my doubts about the ending aside and makes me extremely delighted!
“’Loving you just crept up on me, and before I knew it, I was head over heels for you.’”
This was one of those books that made it to my To-Be-Read pile as a reread.