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The Boy Is Back

The Boy Is Back

4.7 3
by Meg Cabot

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In this brand-new novel from #1 New York Times bestselling author Meg Cabot, a scandal brings a young man back home to the small town, crazy family, and first love he left behind.

Reed Stewart thought he’d left all his small town troubles—including a broken heart—behind when he ditched tiny Bloomville, Indiana, ten years ago to become


In this brand-new novel from #1 New York Times bestselling author Meg Cabot, a scandal brings a young man back home to the small town, crazy family, and first love he left behind.

Reed Stewart thought he’d left all his small town troubles—including a broken heart—behind when he ditched tiny Bloomville, Indiana, ten years ago to become rich and famous on the professional golf circuit.  Then one tiny post on the Internet causes all of those troubles to return . . . with a vengeance.

Becky Flowers has worked hard to build her successful senior relocation business, but she’s worked even harder to forget Reed Stewart ever existed. She has absolutely no intention of seeing him when he returns—until his family hires her to save his parents.

Now Reed and Becky can’t avoid one another—or the memories of that one fateful night.  And soon everything they thought they knew about themselves (and each other) has been turned upside down, and they—and the entire town of Bloomville—might never be the same, all because The Boy Is Back.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Bestseller Cabot’s novel, told entirely through documents such as emails and transcripts, concerns smalltown Indiana woman Becky Flowers, whose ex-boyfriend Reed Stewart returns to Bloomville after 10 years away as a famous pro golfer. Reed’s parents find themselves making headlines after news of their attempt to pay for a meal with a postage stamp. While Reed’s sister-in-law Carly insists that his parents are senile hoarders, Reed and his brother, Marshall, argue that they’re merely eccentric. Reed’s unpleasant and litigious sister, Trimble, appears to have sinister motives for enabling their parents’ issues, but almost everyone else agrees that they need to pare down and move to warmer climes. Cabot’s plot is driven by convenient coincidence: Becky happens to be a specialist in helping elderly people move. She and Reed still clearly have the hots for each other, and the presence of Becky’s current boyfriend, Graham, is essentially inconsequential. Another old chestnut, the inability for the would-be lovers to communicate their true feelings for one another, is also thrown into the mix and drags out the story. Cabot’s method of storytelling, though clever, runs into problems when it turns clunkily to inevitable exposition. The author does a good job of portraying the sixth-grade mean-girl mentality of living in the town where you grew up; the characters are almost 30 but still talk about high school like it was yesterday. (Oct.)
Lauren Graham
“I loved The Boy is Back. Wit, warmth, humor and romance, this book has all the elements of a Meg Cabot book.”
Kirkus Reviews
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.

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.20(w) x 7.90(h) x 1.10(d)

Meet the Author

Meg Cabot was born in Bloomington, Indiana. In addition to her adult contemporary fiction, she is the author of the bestselling young adult fiction The Princess Diaries and The Mediator series. Over 25 million copies of her novels for children and adults have sold worldwide. Meg lives in Key West, Florida, with her husband.

Brief Biography

New York, New York
Place of Birth:
Bloomington, Indiana
B.A. in fine arts, Indiana University, 1991

Customer Reviews

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The Boy Is Back 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Aditi-ATWAMB 5 months ago
There’s something so enchanting about reading Meg Cabot books… It’s like going back to the days you first started reading, and re-experiencing your first love all over again (because if you haven’t read The Princess Diaries, you haven’t truly experienced ANYTHING) and it is beautiful. While I wasn’t initially excited about The Boy Is Back, I’m only a mere bookworm with no self-restraint (as my bookshelf will clearly show you) and well, I definitely reached the excitement stage, and the MINUTE (okay, the day) after I got the book, I dove in. The Boy Is Back is a quirky and hilarious, a typical Meg Cabot book that will have you laughing, falling in love and, as always, wondering where your Michael Moscovitz/ Reed Stewart is. Becky Flowers is the only senior moving consultant in a hundred mile radius, and has stayed in her home town of Bloomville, Indiana when her dad passed away to take over the family business. There’s only one thing that still shadows her – a boy in high school, and a break-up and scandal that involved a pool, liquor, a golf cart, a prom and ten years of no phone calls. Reed Stewart used to be the number one golf player in the world, and he also used to be the son of a judge and in love with a quirky girl whose last name was flowers’, until he left it all behind. Ten years later, and a minor scandal involving stamps, major food chains and fraud, Reed Stewart is back in town, and nothing will ever be the same. There are so many things you that ALL Meg Cabot books contain, that you can’t help but love: 1. DRAMA 2. A TAD MORE DRAMA 3. FAMILY 4. BEAUTIFUL BOYS that make you want to scream at your love life 5. AWESOME Best Friends 6. Siblings (mostly) 7. Princesses and Genius Scientists that make you swoon 8. AWKWARDNESS 9. DRAMA (Wait. Did I say that?) 10. A WHOLE LOT OF AWESOME BOOKSIHNESS And with the exception of number 7, The Boy Is Back has all of them, which just means that you need to buy and start reading this NOW. Told in a text, email and diary format, this book is a fast paced read that will have you smiling, pining and rooting for a fairy-tale ending. Despite all the cuteness, the only thing I didn’t like was Becky and Reed together. Don’t get me wrong, they were GREAT on paper – cute, wronged lovers that fate threw together again – and their texts and email to and about each other were OH SO CHEMISTRY FILLED, but The Boy Is Back had about FOUR SCENES where they actually spoke to each other, and well, I NEEDED MORE. Reed, though he was portrayed as a ‘bad boy’ really just seemed like an enigmatic rich boy. I think I just needed MORE of Becky and Reed themselves, ALONG with all the secondary drama for it to have been a great, and not just a good read.
onemused 5 months ago
Meg Cabot has done it again! For fans of her "boy" series, this is a wonderful installment, filled with the laughs, giggles, and romance you expect from these fabulous books. In a series of electronic documents (articles, texts, emails, etc.), we learn about Becky Flowers and the one who got away, Reed Stewart. Following an embarrassing accident with a golf cart and alcohol on their prom night ten years ago, Reed and Becky stopped talking- although both holds a huge torch for the other which shows up in facebook stalking. Reed is a professional golfer and Becky took over her father's moving business, now concentrating on helping senior citizens move to the next step. Reed's parents are in financial trouble and facing arrest for paying for a meal with a postage stamp. Reed must go back to work with his siblings to help settle their matters and move them into a safer situation (they have become hoarders and their home is also no longer safe). As Becky specializes in this, Reed's sister-in-law hires her to help their parents- and to also set her and Reed up. As per past books in this series, I absolutely adore this style. It's a unique epistolary set-up that really allows for each of the characters to tell their own story in a different sort of way. It moves very fast and includes the usual Cabot comedic touches. I think I was smiling the whole way through reading this one. It was an easy afternoon read, which is good, because I definitely wasn't putting this one down. I absolutely loved the whole book and highly recommend to all (adult) fans of Cabot's!
Twink 6 months ago
Meg Cabot is the author of a number of series, but my favourite is the 'Boy' series. The fourth book, The Boy is Back, has just released - and I think it's the one I've enjoyed the most. All can be read as standalones though. Reed Stewart and Becky Flowers were high school sweethearts - everyone thought they were the perfect couple. Until prom night when something happened - and that was the last night they ever saw or spoke to each other. Fast forward ten years. Reed's elderly parents are in trouble and Reed's brother and sister have asked him to come home to help. A great set-up all round - with the main thread being will Becky and Reed rekindle their romance? As with any good chick-lit book, there's a whole lot of yes/no/maybe so. (A whole lot of no from Becky's side of the table!) Playing just as big a role in the plot are the family relationships amongst various members of both the Stewart and Flowers families. I found myself laughing out loud many times (Becky's mom's Blessie Sticks quite amused me). And just as often nodding my head at interactions and discussions I think every family has had. The supporting cast was fun, quirky and (mostly) lovable. What makes this book so much fun to read is the epistolary format Cabot has chosen to use. The entire tale is told in texts, chats, emails, online reviews, journal entries, newspaper stories, cell phone screen shots, photos, flyers, transcripts and more. I feel like I'm eavesdropping a bit, with insider knowledge of what's going on from numerous sources. But it's so easy to get drawn into this style of storytelling, just wondering what's on the next page. There's not much doubt as to how things will turn out, but I loved the journey to the final pages. If you're looking for an easy, fun read, The Boy is Back is perfect!
Honolulubelle 8 months ago
Favorite Quotes: Graham says the trick of wine tastings is to sip and spit. But I never spit because spitting is disgusting and wine is delicious. Who (besides Graham, and his wine-loving friends) is ever going to spit out something so lovely? Not me. He likes to go camping on weekends. I make sure to tell him I have to work. I don’t understand camping. It’s organized inconvenience. Do you know how long it’s been since I’ve been on a date? I’m half-Hoosier, half-Japanese. The only guys who ask me out here are the ones with fetishes. And not the sexy kind. My Review: The Boy is Back was a clever and amusing story told mainly through texts and emails between stressed family members while dealing with their elderly parents, as well as with their friends and co-workers. Poor Marshall was always at war with the autocorrect function on his phone, which much to his consternation would repeat the same over correction each time he attempted to express himself. There also highly humorous, rambling, and tangential review and sales ads placed by two of the more unusual family members that revealed more personal information about the family than the items they were attempting to sell or review online. And, as a reviewer, I couldn’t help noticing that the more bizarre and off topic the reviews and item descriptions were, the more helpful votes the reviews received – smirk. As the story unraveled, it quickly became clear that the family dynamic was a comical train wreck. Although the underlying plot of dealing with eccentric and elderly family members would seem a challenging topic, and the level of dysfunction throughout this family was serious yet the writing remained highly amusing and always entertaining. My favorite aspect was the cute and witty banter between the returning son and his old high school sweetheart, whom he had left behind ten years prior. The writing was insightful, clever, humorous, crisp, and well-paced. I kept a near-constant smirk on my face and remained engaged with the story from the page one to the sweet and satisfying conclusion.