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March 05, 2014

Review: My Life with the Walter Boys by Ali Novak - One Girl. Twelve Boys. One Roof.

My Life with the Walter BoysTitle: My Life with the Walter Boys
Author: Ali Novak
Publisher: Raincoast
Publication date: March 1, 2014
Genre(s): Young Adult (Contemporary)
Source: Publisher
Format: ARC
Pages: 368
Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Indigo 
Sixteen-year-old Jackie Howard is devastated when her parents are killed in a car accident. She has no one to turn to except for her mom's best friend Katherine Walter. Jackie quickly discovers that Katherine is no stranger to being a mom-she's got twelve boys! And every single one is a handful...

Adjusting to life with the Walter boys is not going to be easy, especially when two of them start to show an interest that definitely goes beyond brotherly.
This book was exactly what I needed. A girl who ends up moving in a house of 12 boys? (11 boys and a tomboy to be exact). Does this remind anyone of Cheaper by the Dozen or Yours, Mine, and Ours? I at least was reminded of those two movies whenever the boys would pull pranks on each other and also Jackie.. which is most of the time. I really loved everything about this book, from how light hearted it was to managing to have some very emotional and tear inducing scenes that transitioned very well throughout the book. 
Jackie's family dies in a car accident. Jackie's dad is a billionaire, i.e.: the whole world heard of the news. What ends up happening is shipping Jackie across the country to live with her mother's college best friend's family, the Walters. Initially the book seriously hurt my heart. I was so sad for Jackie and her family. I felt the scenes were written wonderfully and seemed authentic. The worst thing a writer can do is writing a sad scene but coming off emotionless and fake, but Novak wrote all the heart wrenching scenes in a way that actually made my heart ache for the loss of her family and for Jackie. However this book isn't sad. Jackie's encounter with the 11 Walter boys (and sister) just had me cracking up. I loved how intimidating they all were to her and I especially love the younger boys, the twins in particular and their need to document everything using a camcorder. I have to admit that it took me a while to figure out who was who and the initial intro that was listed was very helpful. I flipped back to it multiple times until I got the hang of it. 
Two brothers in particular were the contenders for Jackie's empty boyfriend slot. It didn't really feel like a love triangle though. I think Novak did it in a way that haters of love triangles would still enjoy it. I liked both guys and didn't really know who to pick.. ok that's a  lie, I liked one guy better than the other but I was still happy with the ending. I think what really made the book though was the individuality and uniqueness of every Walter boy. Novak didn't gloss over them, mention them once, and that's it. I really got to know each one of them and some I even became invested in. I also loved seeing the brotherly love between them all. It was very heartwarming.  I recommend it to all contemporary fans, especially ones in need of a book that will hook them from the start. I can't wait for the sequel to be released. I'll definitely be stalking the author and publisher for any info on it! 


  1. Awh, what a cute idea! It's sad how she comes to live with the family, but imagine coming into a household with so many boys. That is quite different from her first situation. I'm glad to hear that the author knows how to write sad scenes. It's important that the emotions feel genuine :)

  2. This sounds like a really fun book but with a good range of emotions so that it's going to make you feel all sorts of things. I'll keep an eye out for it!

  3. I actually read some of this on Wattpad and I really liked it! I'm glad she got a book deal and your review is awesome!

  4. I haven't heard of this one! It sounds pretty unique for a book. I may have to have a look at this one. Great review :)

  5. I've never heard of this book before but it's sounding so good to me from your review. We all need such books once in a while. Great review, Juhina!

    Sarika @ The Readdicts

  6. One girl and TWELVE boys under one roof? That's crazy!!! The reason for Jackie's move is heartbreaking but the rest of it sounds fun. Love your review, Juhina :)

  7. Wonderful review and I agree totally. I just loved this book and your right, it seems like it came just at the right time.

  8. I don't know about this one. It sounds amazing but it also sounds exactly like Megan Meade's Guide to the McGowan Boys. I might still read it thought because I did love that book so maybe something similar would also work for me.

    Thanks for the great review!