Thursday, 6 March 2014

Blog Tour for My Life with the Walter Boys by Ali Novak; Review + Author Interview + INT Giveaway

Posted by Donna
Release Date: March 1st, 2014
Finished Date: February 13th, 2014
Publishers: Sourcebooks Fire
Genre: YA, Contemporary Romance
Source: For Review
Format: eARC
Pages: 368
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.

The Review: Lovable and entertaining, My Life with the Walter Boys was so much fun to read.

My Life with the Walter Boys is a story about a sixteen-year-old girl called Jackie, who has no choice but to live with the Walters: a family she doesn’t know, but who have become her new guardians, after her own family were killed in a car accident. The problem is, Jackie has to up root her whole life, move to Colorado, start a new school, oh and, the Walter family is made up of twelve boys – well, really it’s eleven, but Parker – the only girl – acts like a boy. As Jackie starts to settle into living with the family, she soon realises it’s not going to be easy when the guys start pulling pranks on her. But one Walter – Cole, seems to want Jackie’s attention, in more ways than she’d like. Can Jackie really start thinking about relationships when her plan is to move back home as soon as the summer comes around? 

I’d never heard of My Life with the Walter Boys until I was asked to review it by Sourcebooks Fire, and I have to say, hearing about how many online readers Ali Novak has had from Wattpad, I went into it the story with some high expectations. I know I shouldn’t really do that in case I came away disappointed, but it really did live up to all the expectations I had. It kind of reminded me of the movie Cheaper by the Dozen because of the huge crazy family who are always pulling pranks on each other and running amuck. I loved that it was such a fun read.  It was crazy and had so many laughs out loud moments, but it was also emotional because of Jackie’s situation. The story really had a little bit of everything – and that’s including romance with two of the hot Walter boys. 

I really liked Jackie. Her situation wasn’t easy and at times, it was hard to read her going through all the different emotions she was experiencing. I liked how at the start of the story she was a little snobbish. It’s not her fault that she was from a high class family in New York, but as the story progresses, you see her lose that part of herself a little bit. I guess you could say she is opened up to more of the world around her, and she starts to realise that not everyone has everything, and starts to see things differently – especially living with the Walter boys who have share practically everything. 

The Walter boys were great; all of them are different ages and have their own unique personalities. I definitely loved Cole and Alex the most, it’s pretty hard not to, but all of them captivate you in some way. Cole was my favourite. He’s sexy and mysterious, he has a few issues but trying to unravel them was great – he really keeps you on your toes. I’m really rooting for him and Jackie and I can’t wait to read the sequel. Knowing that it’s his story, in his point of view, makes it all the more exciting – I can’t wait to read it. 

Thank you to Sourcebooks Fire for the opportunity to review this book in an exchange for an honest review!
Author Interview with Ali Novak.

1.Where did you get the inspiration to write My Life with the Walter Boys?
I found inspiration from all different types of sources. Here are a few examples in no particular order:
·         My obnoxiously large family—seriously, there are enough of us start our own country! 
·         Romance novels with swoony worthy love interests—who doesn’t love a good six-pack?
·         The movies Cheaper by the Dozen and Yours, Mine and Ours—two of my absolute favorites growing up. I watched them so many times that the tape in the VCR cassettes wore out (yes, I’m old enough to remember what a VCR is).
·         My inner girly side.
·         Country music—the twangy kind.
·         The outdoors.
·         My fascination/fear of horses—they’re so pretty, but also so big!
·         Blair Waldorf, my favorite Gossip Girl—Jackie’s personality is nothing like Blair’s, but she definitely has the Queen Bee’s sense of style.
·         An unexplainable desire to vacation in Colorado.
·         My guilty pleasure while reading—love triangles.

2. How long did it take to write? 
I wrote the first draft of My Life with the Walter Boys when I was fifteen, and today I’m twenty-two. Now that my story is officially being published, it’s weird to think that I’ll never edit the story again—especially considering I’ve been fiddling with the manuscript for almost seven years. But I can look back on my journey and know that writing this book made me the writer I am today.

3. Was your transition from writing on Wattpad to being published easy?
Publishing is a dream come true, but the process was a huge change for me. The transition from writing online to writing under a contract was challenging, mainly because of the deadlines. In the past, I always updated my stories whenever I had free time, which wasn’t often. Having a consistent writing schedule was a foreign concept to me, and suddenly I had to rewrite an entire novel in less than three months! Let’s just say I spent many long nights at my desk chugging coffee and cranking out new chapters.
Of course, there were plenty of perks too. The best part of my transition was the wonderful staff at Sourcebooks, mainly my editor Aubrey. I’ll be the first to admit I’m horrible at editing, so to have a pair of professional eyes look over the book really helped whip it into shape.

4. Did you always plan to write a sequel?
When I first started, I was writing purely for the fun of it. I was only a teenager—I never had anything more planned out than what I was going to eat for dinner or wear to school the next day. Plans for the sequel My Life as a Walter Boy didn’t start until my Wattpad fans suggested it.

5. Who is your favourite Walter Boy?
Hands down, Alex is my favorite. Out of all my characters, he most closely resembles myself.  I’m a bit of a geek or, as I call myself, a closet nerd. I love everything fantasy and science fiction, and I can spend hours playing videogames. Just like Alex, I’m a sensitive person and can sometimes be a bit naïve. For those reasons, Alex is very dear to my heart.

6. Do you have a favourite quote from the book? 

My favorite quote is from Jackie. It’s a realization she makes about herself near the end of the book. “I had been trying to fit my world into a small, safe box for so long. But life didn’t work like that. It could move in and out of the lines. You couldn’t control everything, because it wasn’t all meant to be perfect. Sometimes things needed to be messy” (295).
Ali Novak is twenty-two-year-old debut author and a recent graduate from 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 24 million reads and will be published by Sourcebooks Fire in March 2014.

When she isn't writing, Ali enjoys watching Food Network shows even though she can't cook, and reading any type of fantasy novel she can get her hands on. She is a Wisconsin native and hopes to make a career out of writing.


Alice Priday said...

got this book on my wishlist, it sounds really good. cant wait to read it :) great review

Yvonne ShadowRealm said...

I really like the sound of this book and from your review I'll think I'll like it. But from the blurb it sounds like there's a love triangle. Is there?

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