Oh Boy: The Boy is Back by Meg Cabot

From New York Times bestselling author Meg Cabot comes the sweetly humorous story of a man who has to face his past in order to find his future.

Sometimes to move forward, you have to go back…

One post. That’s all it took to destroy the care free, glamorous life of pro golfer Reed Stewart. One tiny post on the Internet.

Then again, it’s not like Reed’s been winning many tournaments lately, and his uncle isn’t the only one who says it’s because of the unfinished business he left behind back home in Bloomville, Indiana—namely Reed’s father, the Honorable Judge Richard P. Stewart, and the only girl Reed ever loved, Becky Flowers.

But Reed hasn’t spoken to either his father or Becky in over a decade.

Until that post on the Internet. Suddenly, Reed’s family has become a national laughingstock, his publicist won’t stop calling, his siblings are begging for help, and Reed realizes he has no other choice: He’s got to go home to face his past . . . the Judge and the girl he left behind.

Becky’s worked hard to build her successful senior relocation business, but she’s worked even harder to forget Reed Stewart ever existed—which hasn’t been easy, considering he’s their hometown’s golden boy, and all anyone ever talks about. It was fine while they were thousands of miles apart, but now he’s back in Bloomville. She has absolutely no intention of seeing him—until his family hires her to help save his parents.

Now Reed and Becky can’t avoid one another…or the memories of that one fateful night.

Can the quirky residents of Bloomville bring these two young people back together, or will Reed and Becky continue to allow their pasts to deny them the future they deserve?

This warm, thought-provoking book, told entirely in texts, emails, and journal entries, is as much about the enduring bond of families as it is about second chances at love, and will delight as much as it entertains.

Source: GoodReads

I have an addiction to Meg Cabot books. I’ll be the first to admit it. I think it’s in part because it was her books that really got me back into reading after going through a Harry Potter draught period—the wait between Goblet of Fire and Order of the Phoenix was a little ridiculous. So, thanks Meg. Thank you for giving me the joy of having my first book boyfriend in Jesse de Silva, and for opening me up to the world of feminism.  Even though there are some of her books and series I like better than others, I always end up picking up her new stuff save for maybe her kiddie series that aren’t related to any of her YA and adult series.   That’s quite a commitment if you think about it, considering that I have been reading her stuff for over a decade and have read several others books in between. Anyway, one of the favorite series I read by her was her Boy books and I recently did a recap of them in order to prepare for The Boy is Back.

This is an old photo that I took with Meg way back when Princess Diaries 10 was a new book.

This is an old photo that I took with Meg way back when Princess Diaries 10 was a new book.

Note, you really don’t have to do the reread if you don’t want too. There are a couple of Easter eggs for people who loved those books, but it’s not like crucial. Like those books, this one isn’t in traditional pose and is written in phone conversations, Amazon reviews, Facebook posts, and e-mails. Which means it’s totally hilarious—well, sort of.

The book actually deals with a sort of painful subject: aging, hoarding, and elder abuse. It’s actually something I can really relate to at the moment since I just lost my grandma this weekend and we’re in the process of going through her stuff—she had a penchant for collecting or should I say hoarding valueless figurines and other clutter that she thought were collectibles so it really hit home for me. I did like how Meg made this subject matter seem a little less depressing than it actually was, and how during family emergency there are often glimpses and moments of humor there.

Like in most of the boy books, the romance really plays a secondary role to a degree. I would say that in the series Becky and Reed aren’t my favorite couple but they are interesting and cute enough. Although, I did think they got together fairly easy despite all the crap that went down between them. However, I think that’s just me having binged too many Judith McNaught books earlier this year and being full of four hundred pages of angst before getting the fucking happy ending. Oh, angst.

Another issue I have with this book, and note they were minimum, is I was easily able to see the Cabot tropes throughout this book. Tropes that were similar to other Boy books. Like the evil lawyer sibling who uses the fact that she’s the executrix (yes, executrix editors—it’s the feminine form of executor and some lawyers/judges get pissy if you use the wrong form, at least that’s what Barbri told me when I submitted my Wills practice essay when I was studying for the bar) of her parents will throughout the book. The parents aren’t even dead yet and it’s not like the executrix would have that much power since a will has really no value until the parents are dead. And having a joint will…

Yeah, I know. I’m going off on a tangent like I do whenever I watch Law and Order. And I get it, not all writers are lawyers—thank God— but the fact that this is used as a threat by an attorney throughout the book made me laugh. At least Reed eventually called her out on it. And honestly, it’s not this that annoyed me it’s the fact that we had to go the evil lawyer sibling route again when Cabot had already done that in a previous book in the series (Boy Meets Girl). But least in that book we had Mitch to balance out the Fucker.

Unrelated side note, if Stewart and Amy got a divorce in the interim I think he and the evil lawyer sibling in this book would hit it off big time. I’m just saying.

Another similar trope was the cool siblings with lots of kids that having a Granger-Weasley bicker like relationship. Again, seen that before in two books of the series (Boy Meets Girl and The Boy Next Door). It’s not that repeating these tropes is necessary a bad thing, but I don’t know could we have the evil lawyer sister at least be smart enough not to use the executrix threat.

Because seriously.

That aside, I really loved this book. Again, it was very (scary and sadly) relatable given my current situation and I did enjoy the romance and characters for the most part. If you haven’t picked up the Boy series you should. Yes, there are some issues here and there, but for the most part it is a very well done and cute series.

Overall Rating: A B+ again the executrix threat and repeated tropes were really my only points of annoyance.

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