The Boy Most Likely To (My Life Next Door, #2) by Huntley Fitzpatrick
Published: August 18, 2015 by Dial Books
Source: From the publisher
A surprising, utterly romantic companion to My Life Next Door—great for fans of Sarah Dessen and Jenny Han
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.
Told in Tim’s and Alice’s distinctive, disarming, entirely compelling voices, this novel is for readers of The Spectacular Now, Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist, and Paper Towns. [goodreads]
If you pick up this novel expecting a light summery romance, then you may be surprised to discover what an emotional, slow digesting, impressionable story these characters weave. The Boy Most Likely To definitely should be read after you've experience My Life Next Door. Though it is not a continuation of the previous story, themes from the first novel definitely carry over and its best, in my opinion, to have read that book first to better understand the basis for this one (and also to avoid spoilers).
Tim has always been labeled as the guy most likely to become a drop out and lose himself in the bottom of a bottle. He's been sentenced to six months to get his act together, by his father, or else his college funds will be cut off. Without a plan, or even a clue on how to rectify this situation he's found himself in, he moves in to the garage apartment of the Garrett's household. His best friend Jase is the only person he can rely on, but it's Jase's sister Alice that catches his eye and forces him to make a plan, whatever that may be.
Alice is the oldest daughter in a series of brothers and sisters. She's played secondhand to her mother and father her entire life; helping out with meals, carpooling, babysitting, and now managing the bills. It's a lot for a just out of high school girl to take on, but it's her family and they are who come first. When Tim moves into the one place she was suppose to find her own solitude in, sparks fly and resistance is tested. All signs point to staying away from Tim, yet Alice seems to be gravitating towards him more and more.
Without giving away a huge plot line, I will say that both Tim and Alice find obstacles stacked against them. Consequences from Tim's past come crashing into his already debilitating life. He finds solace and support in the most unexpected places, even when he thinks he may not deserve it. The relationship between Alice and Tim was definitely a slow, deep in the belly, sort of burn. Witnessing their struggles both individually, and together, plays a key role in propelling this story forward. I could not take my eyes away from the reality of what their worlds had become. The emotional depth that this novel surfaces is both engrossing and heartbreaking.
The Boy Most Likely To presents its characters with flaws and misshapen exteriors, yet beautiful and intriguing. It also puts forth a message of how family can be found in the most unexpected places. The Garrett tribe is one of my most favorites in all of the books I've read. Huntley Fitzpatrick's ability to write each character with such individuality, yet not abandoning the story, amazes me. These relationships are brutally honest and real, the type of family you want to find yourself in. Reading this novel was like coming home to a place so warm and familiar, yet unexpected and fulfilling. It is definitely one of my favorites of the year so far.