My Life with the Walter Boys by Ali Novak
What would happen if a goody-goody girl from New York was suddenly forced to move to a Colorado ranch to live with a family with 12 boys? This is the premise of “My Life with the Walter Boys,” and as a girl who only has one sister, I was intrigued. However, after digging into the novel, I found that while writing was generally good, the plot had some issues. The main drama stemmed from the main character becoming caught in a love triangle between two of the brothers. I understand that with 13 kids in one house things are bound to fall through the cracks but I just can’t imagine that the Walter parents wouldn’t know something was up when two of their teenage sons start fighting over a girl under their own roof. And yet, in this story they remained conveniently ignorant throughout even though by all other accounts they were written as attentive and caring parents. I think that made the story feel a little immature, which made sense when I found out that Ms. Novak began writing it when she was 15 years old. Her age also explains her lack of parental perspective and the general absence of the Walter parents. Maybe it’s my own distance from my teenage years but I feel that this book would have turned out better if had been written by someone a little older.