Reviewed by May
When I saw this book announced I squealed aloud like the twenty something I was when the first of Cabot’s “Boy” series was released over a decade ago. Every Boy’s Got One was one of my first favorite books as an adult, and remains my favorite of all the Cabot books. A new book related to that? I don’t even need the premise I’m sold!
Sadly my excitement was short lived, as this story has none of the sparkle or charm of my beloved favorite- in fact it was lacking in all ways. This story is about Becky Flowers, a woman running her own business specializing in helping seniors clean out and move from their homes into more appropriate situations. Her high school boyfriend Reed Stewart (now PGA pro) dumped her on prom night and is now back in town trying to help his parents possibly move, and definitely figure out what all their problems are.
Before I go any further, you must understand this story is written in texts, emails, and transcripts. It is not a traditional type of story. In the right mood this style can be really fun – but I can also see how it could irritate some people. For example:
Becky F 11:07AM Right. I’m in a committed relationship, remember?
Nicole F 11:08AM I remember. With the lumbersexual.
Becky F 11:08AM Stop calling him that! And what happened with Reed was ages ago. Would you like to be constantly teased and reminded about the guys YOU dated in high school?
Cabot’s light and happy writing style makes a good match for this kind of story telling, and this story did have a few good moments. My main problems with this book were:
1. The boy has no excuse. When all is said and done the “big bad drama on prom night” was barely a blip, and he had no credible excuse for going off and never speaking to her again other than to be able to sew wild oats and play around before deciding to come back and settle down.
2. I found it really offensive the way that possible mental deterioration (of elderly) was handled by the characters. They make fun of it, are worried for their own reputations, and the handling of it felt insensitive at best as this is an issue many people face. It was a chance to handle with dignity and class instead of talking down to the older folks and treating them as if they were idiotic toddlers. What especially irritated me was how at the start it seems they are having issues (leaving chicken/turkey carcasses out in the yard to rot, living in unsafe conditions…) but then suddenly they are mentally healthy and competent nothing is wrong because the author no longer needed bumbling old folks for the plot.
3. There’s no story or conflict here. Oh there’s a ‘villain’ plot that can be seen from the start and is clunky at best and totally unrelated to the romance. But essentially the boy comes back. Wants his high school girlfriend back. She wants him back.
I think this was a series better left at two, and better left in the past. I had high hopes for some romantic comedy hijinks here as Cabot is known to deliver, but once again I was left longing for her backlist and the good ‘ol days of her writing.