Review: To Best The Boys

Posted 12th May 2019 by Emma in Reviews / 0 Comments

I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: To Best The BoysTo Best the Boys by Mary Weber
Published by Thomas Nelson on 19th March 2019
Genres: Fantasy, YA Fantasy, Young Adult
Pages: 321
Format: eARC, Hardcover
Source: from Netgalley
Amazon Kindle

Every year for the past fifty-four years, the residents of Pinsbury Port receive a mysterious letter inviting all eligible-aged boys to compete for an esteemed scholarship to the all-male Stemwick University. Every year, the poorer residents look to see that their names are on the list. The wealthier look to see how likely their sons are to survive. And Rhen Tellur opens it to see if she can derive which substances the ink and parchment are created from, using her father’s microscope.

In the province of Caldon, where women are trained in wifely duties and men are encouraged into collegiate education, sixteen-year-old Rhen Tellur wants nothing more than to become a scientist. As the poor of her seaside town fall prey to a deadly disease, she and her father work desperately to find a cure. But when her Mum succumbs to it as well? Rhen decides to take the future into her own hands—through the annual all-male scholarship competition.

With her cousin, Seleni, by her side, the girls don disguises and enter Mr. Holm’s labyrinth, to best the boys and claim the scholarship prize. Except not everyone’s ready for a girl who doesn’t know her place. And not everyone survives the maze.

One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

Thank you to Thomas Nelson for my copy of this book via Netgalley. I also got a copy in the March Fairyloot box. I loved the premise of the book. A bit of magic and fantasy mixed with beating the boys. What more could a girl ask for?

This was a really fun book. I loved the challenges. It had a real Hunger Games vibe but, you know, without the deaths. Rhen was such a good character. She was smart and way beyond the times she lived in. I hope that Rhen is a real inspiration to young audiences. She is so determined and outwitted the boys at every turn.

The other characters I really loved was Sam, Seleni and Beryl. They were such good supporting characters to Rhen. She really has a good support system around her. I loved how different her and Seleni were yet they still respected each other’s life choices.

Mary did an excellent job of describing Pinsbury port. Not only the location but also the class divides. It was quite shocking to me how Rhen’s mum was treated by her family because of her choice of husband. I was quite disappointed with them.

One of my favourite scenes was the trip to the island. It was so clever! I won’t say any more than that though

My only complaint was it was too short and I have so many more questions. Mary, please write a sequel!

About Mary Weber

Hi. I write books. I eat things. I kiss things. I believe in mermaids.

I’m also the author of the Storm Siren Trilogy, The Evaporation of Sofi Snow series, and the March 2019 release, To Best the Boys. When not working, I sing 80’s hairband songs to my three muggle children, and ogle my husband who looks strikingly like Wolverine. We live in California, which is perfect for stalking aging movie stars while wearing fanny packs and sweatpants.

For those who like to know such things (mainly my mom), Storm Siren was featured in the Scholastic Book Fair and my novels have been endorsed by such nice humans as Marissa Meyer, CJ Redwine, Shannon Messenger, and Jonathan Maberry (in fact, Marissa Meyer and I have a fun interview in the paperback of her book, CRESS). Also, Boba tea & sweatpants are life. {We can chat about life (in sweatpants over tea, obviously) in my Newsletter.


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