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My life with the Walter boys

Naperville, Illinois : Sourcebooks Fire, [2014]
Physical Description:
358 pages ; 21 cm
Devastated when her parents are killed in a car accident, sixteen-year old Jackie moves from New York City to Colorado to live with her mother's best friend, who has twelve children, including two boys who start to show an interest in Jackie that goes beyond brotherly.


Call Number

On Order



From a fresh new voice on the contemporary YA scene, My Life with the Walter Boyscenters on the prim, proper, and always perfect Jackie Howard. When her world is turned upside down by tragedy, Jackie must learn to cut loose and be part of a family again.

Jackie does not like surprises. Chaos is the enemy! The best way to get her successful, busy parents to notice her is to be perfect. The perfect look, the perfect grades-the perfectdaughter. And then...

Surprise #1: Jackie's family dies in a freak car accident.

Surprise #2: Jackie has to move cross-country to live with the Walters-her new guardians.

Surprise #3: The Walters have twelve sons. (Well, eleven, but Parker acts like a boy anyway)

Now Jackie must trade in her Type A personality and New York City apartment for a Colorado ranch and all the wild Walter boys who come with it. Jackie is surrounded by theenemy-loud, dirty, annoying boys who have no concept of personal space. Okay, several of the oldest guys are flat-out gorgeous. But still annoying. She's not stuck-up or boring-no matter what they say. But proving it is another matter. How can she fit in and move on when she needs to keep her parents' memory alive by living up to the promise of perfect?

Ali Novak wrote My Life with the Walter Boyswhen she was just 15 years old. First a hit on the online community Wattpad, this debut novel has already been read over 33 million times and is loved by readers around the world.

Author Notes

Ali Novak writes contemporary young adult romance and is a recent graduate of the University of Madison Wisconsin's creative writing program. She wrote her first full length novel, My Life with the Walter Boys, at the age of fifteen. Since posting the story online, it has received more than 33 million reads and is now published by Sourcebooks Fire.

Reviews 2

School Library Journal Review

Gr 9 Up-When Jackie's parents and sister are killed, Jackie is relocated from her trendy New York City high-rise to the Walter ranch in Colorado. There she meets the 11 boys (and one girl) being raised by the Walter parents. There is no "cheaper by the dozen" charm here, and the norm seems to be wandering around in boxer shorts, making out in bedrooms, jealous fights, and general dysfunction. The sexual tension feels icky; when Jackie arrives, one boy steals her clothes, a video camera is set up, and bets are placed whether she'll come out of the bathroom naked. Jackie and several boys drink to drunkenness, including openly at a family wedding when both parents are present. It's hard to like, or care about, any of the flat, stereotyped characters, including Jackie. Narrator Renée Chambliss tries to differentiate between Cole, Alex, Nathan, Lee, and the rest, but Jackie has no hint of New York City in her voice. Most libraries could pass on this audiobook, but don't write off Novak permanently. This book was written when the author was 15, and with maturity, she may find a subtler, more authentic voice.-Maggie Knapp, Trinity Valley School, Fort Worth, TX (c) Copyright 2015. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Publisher's Weekly Review

Novak's first novel-which she wrote at age 15 and posted on social network Wattpad, where it gained a large fan base-is set just after 16-year-old Jackie's entire family dies in a car accident. She moves from New York City to Colorado with her mother's good friend, her new guardian. Now, Jackie will be living on a ranch with a family of 11 boys (including two sets of twins), their sole unfriendly sister, and a pet snake. The chaotic household's constant noise, sibling conflicts, and disarmingly laidback environment leave her disoriented, but also distract her from her recent tragedy. A compulsive organizer by nature, Jackie learns that not everything can be compartmentalized, and a messy romantic entanglement only throws her life into further disarray. Novak spreads the story thin, introducing multiple characters without developing them much. Prosaic descriptions at times undermine the story's emotional depth, and Jackie's response to her tremendous loss comes across as mechanical. Yet the themes of seizing rather than planning each moment and allowing for life's untidiness are explored with energy and humor. Ages 12-up. (Mar.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.