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THE BOY IS BACK by Meg Cabot


by Meg Cabot

Pub Date: Oct. 18th, 2016
ISBN: 978-0-06-237877-4
Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins

A humiliating internet post sends golf pro Reed Stewart home to help his parents out of a mess.

Cabot (Remembrance, 2016, etc.) tells the story of an estranged adult son returning home for the first time in a decade to assist his siblings with their aging parents. The once-prominent Judge Stewart and his wife have always been a little eccentric but have recently gone off the deep end in their Grey Gardens–style manor complete with a collection of antique gavels, old newspapers, and stray animals. They’ve also found themselves on the wrong side of the law by accidentally skipping out on their dinner bill at a local chain restaurant, ironically named Shenanigans. The judge thought he was leaving the waitress a generous tip when he placed a collectible postage stamp on the table; instead it was worth less than a fountain drink. Their foible finds its way online, leaving them laughingstocks facing prison time. Using the tired convention of telling a story entirely through emails, text messages, and diary entries, Cabot has created a family comedy that manages to be both meandering and frenetic but rarely funny. Reed and his siblings ping furious barbs that ring hollow and forced and seem to serve the sole function of filling pages, not engaging readers in a story they will care about. Will the Stewarts go to prison? Will Reed get back together with the ex-girlfriend he inexplicably abandoned after their high school prom ended with an accident that landed their golf cart in a pool? Getting the answers to these questions isn’t worth the time and energy it takes to read this sophomoric fluff.

Like the text thread you wish you’d never been included in, this one is best deleted.