Review: The Boy Is Back (Boy #4)

Published: October 18th 2016, 368 pages

Author: Meg Cabot

Overview from Goodreads:

In this brand-new novel from #1 New York Times bestselling author Meg Cabot, a scandal brings a young man back home to the small town, crazy family, and first love he left behind.

Reed Stewart thought he’d left all his small town troubles—including a broken heart—behind when he ditched tiny Bloomville, Indiana, ten years ago to become rich and famous on the professional golf circuit.  Then one tiny post on the Internet causes all of those troubles to return . . . with a vengeance.

Becky Flowers has worked hard to build her successful senior relocation business, but she’s worked even harder to forget Reed Stewart ever existed. She has absolutely no intention of seeing him when he returns—until his family hires her to save his parents.

Now Reed and Becky can’t avoid one another—or the memories of that one fateful night.  And soon everything they thought they knew about themselves (and each other) has been turned upside down, and they—and the entire town of Bloomville—might never be the same, all because The Boy Is Back.

Personal Review

I chose this book based on the description as a typical rom-com couple were together, an event happened to split them apart, then “fate” brings them back together again where they have to learn to have each other in the other’s life again. When I first picked up this book, I didn’t realize it was a series. That being said, you don’t need to read the first three to understand what’s going on.

This is my first Meg Cabot, I heard about her through the famous Princess Diaries series, but I unfortunately haven’t had the time to read them yet. I went into this novel thinking that it would be the typical paragraphs with maybe some texts/emails thrown in to add some conversational aspects to the story, so it was a surprise to me to see the story told entirely through texts, e-mails, instant messaging, newspaper articles, journals, and product reviews (this one felt out of place compared to the other types). It’s an extremely interesting concept as it gives a glimpse into the lives of each character and shows a lot of talent for the author as each character had a unique writing style.

One night is what tore this couple apart in the first place ending with Reed leaving town and cutting off contact with Carly. You read an overview of the event over and over again throughout the book, but you don’t actually learn the full details until the end. Although I liked Reed as a character overall (charming and witty), I honestly do not understand the concept that despite his feelings, he would not even try to contact Carly until they were brought back together in person. Once they were brought back together each of them just seemed to have zero conflict and just feel back into a semi-couple existence. This aspect is where the story lost some of my interest as it felt very rushed without the usual rom-com aspect of will they/won’t they story lines thrown in.

Reed’s family is extremely involved in each other’s business, which is typical for some families. First, we have Reed who is a pro-golfer and has moved away from his hometown. Next, you have the sister Trimble who works in the family business. She was just unbearable as she just seemed to be too controlling. She claims she did everything for the parents and decides she’s had enough. Although she was realistically written, she just wasn’t likable. On the other hand, you have the sister-in-law Carly who liked to control different pieces, but she at least seemed more caring. Her husband, Marshall, was especially relatable when it came to his nemesis auto-correct. (We’ve all been there.) Rounding out the family you have the parents who over time have become hoarders, hence how Becky ties in to the family as she helps seniors downsize. The characters worked well together and were interesting to read about, even with their flaws. Although it did seem at times that Becky and Reed were just a part of the cast, rather than the story being mostly about them.

I honestly wavered between a 3 and 4 rating (hence the 3.5 donuts rating) as I didn’t come away from reading completely satisfied with my experience, but there were still many concepts that I loved about this book.

Overall, the book was a fun quick read (honestly could get through it in less than an afternoon) and my curiosity for what the rest of the series is like has certainly be peaked! I will be adding this author to my to-read list.

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