You know what’s better than watching a romantic comedy on TV? Reading THE BOY IS BACK by Meg Cabot. Told entirely through texts, emails, newspaper clippings, and “blessings” journal entries, this book brings back the unapologetic fun of Cabot’s previous Boy books.
Check out the back cover description below:
(Also, can we talk about what a pioneer Meg is? She has books across middle-grade, Young Adult, and Adult. She’s written fantasy, paranormal, sci-fi, contemporary, and straight romance. Bow down, people, bow down.)
OVERALL RATING: 3.9/5.0
“Characters or Caricatures?”
Somewhere in the middle. This is what I love about Meg Cabot and her Boy series. It’s completely silly and ridiculous and I can’t imagine meeting these people in real life…except that, somehow, I also can. Just like the most entertaining TV, all of the characters are heightened versions of what actual people are like. Reed, our main man, is such a hunk. He joins the ranks of our other wonderful imaginary boyfriends, with Cabot’s special mix of goofy, masculine, and absolutely endearing.
And the lead, Becky, is a strong, independent woman who don’t need no man, except, you know, that she wants one and that one is Reed.
The secondary characters nearly surpass our main characters as my favorites, with laugh out loud ridiculous antics. Special shout-out to Dolly Vargas (and Tim!), who reappears in this novel, and is the only connector I could find to previous Boy books. But I <3 Dolly so the cameo was much appreciated.
“The Plot Thickens”
As with most chick-lit, the majority of the plot revolves around why the two love interests can’t be together, and THE BOY IS BACK is no different. Only the things keeping Reed and Becky apart include a rocky shared history, a cheese-obsessed boyfriend, and a contract/professional ethics prohibiting it (depending which character you ask).
Past the relationship drama, this book deals with a plethora of issues facing women (and men!) today, including: aging parents, strained sibling relationships, and deciding when to follow your heart over your head.
The way Meg weaves and twists the story to its ultimate conclusion, pulling together the mystery of what-in-the-hell-is-happening with Reed’s parents, is a doozy, but so satisfying.
“Love Me Tender, Love Me Sweet,…”
Is it weird to say this relationship read like a hug feels? I thought so. But it’s true! It’s cozy, tender, familiar, and sweet. I personally found this relationship to be the least sexy across all the Boy books, but others may feel differently.
This relationship focuses less on the tension between the two characters and more on the friendship they shared previously and rebuilding that connection. There’s a cute playfulness between the two that was refreshing to read, so I appreciated that.
“Weird Wild World”
The book is set squarely in The Real World so you won’t find anything too crazy or abnormal. Expect small-town antics, but who doesn’t love those?
“The Danger Zone”
The entire format of the story – again, told almost exclusively through text or email chains – can be divisive. If you like it, you like it. If you don’t, well, you’ve been amply warned. If you’ve never tried a book in this format before, think of something witty and dialogue-heavy steering the story, as much of the important plot points are revealed to the reader through the characters discussing them.
A personal pet peeve: I’m a proud Disneyphile and the fact that no one researched if there actually was a Brazil pavilion in Epcot (there’s not) killed me a little inside. For shame!
Reread. I’ve reread the three other books in the Boy series many times over. Bad day? Grab one of these books. Instant mood changer! I was still grinning like an idiot a few hours after reading this book, just relishing what a light-hearted story it was. Definitely keep it around for a quick pick-me-up!
- “I never forgot you, Flowers. It took me ten years to feel worthy of you.”
- “He is killing me. Every time he says my name, or looks my way, every time he laughs, even if he’s only telling one of his stupid jokes about his parents idiotic World’s Greatest Grandparents mugs, he is taking my heart, pulling it from my chest, crumpling it into a little ball, and stuffing it into his pocket, as casually as if it were a napkin he’d used to wipe his mouth. And it’s killing me! He doesn’t even know it. But it’s true. And there’s not a blessed thing I can do about it.”
“IYLTRT (If You Like This, Read This)”
- The other books in the Boy series: The Boy Next Door, Boy Meets Girl, and Every Boy’s Got One.
- Any book by Sophie Kinsella.