The Boy is Back by Meg Cabot is the most recent novel in her The Boy series.
From the back of the book:
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.
I love reading Meg Cabot. Her books always make me feel happy. This book is no exception. Halfway through the book I realized that Jane Austen’s Persuasion may have been a little bit of inspiration for the plot. Or maybe I’m reading too much into it? Either way, it makes for a heartwarming touch.
Reed left town because he thought he was not worthy of love and not good enough for his father. He wanted to make something of himself before returning. When his parents’ legal troubles force him to return home, he runs into his first and only love, Becky. This is where the story introduces the romantic conflict.
What I love
The book is written in the format of emails, text messages, Facebook chats, newspaper sections, audio transcripts and the occasional online review. The format worked well because the reader has insight into each character and the book is lengthy enough for full character development. A modern epistolary novel!
The epistolary style makes it easy to figure out what type of person Becky is. Spoiler: she is a super sweet person! You want to root for her. Reed is also a likable guy and I definitely found myself hoping they would get back together again. There is a villain in this story but I have to keep mum on that or else it will spoil the plot.
I also love that Persuasion quotes are liberally thrown in and quoted by Reed and Becky.
What I don’t love
Sometimes I felt like I was slogging through the book because the format mentally exhausted me.
Also, the conflict between Reed and Becky wasn’t very strong. If this was real life, all they needed to do was have a quick conversation and then they’d be back together again.
Instead, the reader is subjected to (albeit, incredibly funny) texts, chats and emails to draw out the weak conflict. I don’t mean to sound harsh because I truly enjoyed reading this book. I think it’s the perfect beach read for this summer. It’s light, frothy and laugh-out-loud funny.
Have you read it? Am I right about the Persuasion link or am I reading too much into it? xoxo, Jane
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