Review | To Best the Boys by Mary Weber

“Mr. Holm and Holm Manor bear only slight responsibility, liability, and legal obligation for the future societal changes that may result from your female children believing it is within their power and right to become whomever and whatever they desire—and in doing so, to change the course of history.”3.75/5 stars!

Attention! This book contains: narrow passages, fishermen, labyrinth cakes, riddles, sirens, tents, glowing chemicals and boy’s clothes.

This is one of the books I was most excited to read and yet it was in my tbr pile for a very long time. Well… I grabbed, I read it, and I loved it!

What really caught my attention – besides the stunning cover – was the synopsis! A girl living in a man’s world, competing for a scholarship in a labyrinth against other boys? Sign me up!

What I wasn’t expecting was a full on feminist book. A big part of the book is about the female main character, Rhen, not having a say on what happens in her life. The boys study and rule the world and girls are meant for house shores, having kids and baking. She loves science, and she is a very intelligent girl that feels powerless with her reality. Her mother is sick and she can’t find a cure, a rich boy wants to court her even though she doesn’t want anything to do with him, and even though she is just as smart as the boys, the society doesn’t expect her – and girls for that matter – to enter the annual scholarship challenge. Well… except she decides to participate and compete, and everything changes!

My only complaint is that this should be written to be – at least – a duology. I confess I grabbed this book mostly because when I read the synopsis I thought it was great to have such a complex story in a single book. But then I reached the middle of the book and I thought it was weird that I still didn’t get to the labyrinth part. So I quickly concluded that everything would go very fast – and it did. The story was rushed to fit into the current amount of pages and unfortunately the story was left undeveloped. This had so much potential to be an incredible book, I just wish the author developed the story in a deeper way.

I also took more time to finish because the book is written in a formal format. I mean, I get it and it makes complete sense given the time that it’s portraying, but english is not my native language. So I had to take my time to read the book slowly to understand every sentence!

I’ll admit it’s not a perfect book, but I had a lot of fun reading it and I would do it again. I know it’s not going to happen, but I honestly think this story would make a great movie!

xoxo, Neide

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