Sunday, November 20, 2011

Review: Megan Meade's Guide to the McGowan Boys (Brian)

AUTHOR: Kate Brian
SERIES: none
PUBLISHER: Simon Pulse
ISBN: 9781416900313
PAGES: 272
SOURCE: public library
GENRE: Chick lit
GIVE IT TO: MS, HS girls
SUMMARY: When her enlisted parents get transferred to South Korea during her junior year, Megan Meade puts her foot down. Megan cannot bear to move yet again, so her parents arrange for Megan to live with family friends in Boston. It's a new school, but at least it is still in the U.S. Having no siblings of her own, Megan has much to learn about living with a large family with seven boys.

MOVIE COMPARISONS: Cheaper By The Dozen meets The New Girl (TV show) meets She's the Man

  • Overall: 3/5 stars; recommended for MS, HS libraries
  • Creativity: 3/5 stars--Not the first time I've seen a girl infiltrating "boy world"
  • Characters: 2/5--Several stereotypes; some characters infuriatingly clueless
  • Engrossing: 4/5 stars--I was pulled in immediately and mostly stayed engaged throughout the story
  • Writing: 3/5 stars--Nothing special or memorable
  • Appeal to teens: 5/5 stars--This will be very easy to "sell" to my middle school chick lit readers
  • Appropriate length to tell the story: 5/5 stars--Never got boring and relatively short


  • Language: mild; I only remember reading one "a**"
  • Sexuality: medium; some kissing, a one-night stand (not described)
  • Violence: very mild; two brothers fight
  • Drugs/Alcohol: medium; teens get drunk at a party

STATUS IN MY LIBRARY: We have it, and I can easily recommend it to my girls.

WARNING: The reviews on this site are intended for librarians who need thorough book reviews in order to make informed purchasing decisions. As such, anything below this warning may contain mild spoilers. I try not to give away too much, but I do review the entire book.

WHAT I LIKED: Megan Meade's Guide to the McGowan Boys is an easy-sell. The storyline is simple (teen girl moves in with large family of all boys, chaos ensues). A cute, fun, easy read that will appeal to many teen girls. Despite its flaws, I enjoyed it and will recommend it to my library girls.

WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE: I have a hard time believing that Megan's parents would move out of the country and leave their only daughter with a family of seven boys, five of whom are not only close to their daughter's age but also incredibly hot.

Megan irritates me. I like that she learns to stand up for herself, but she comes off as a bossy and controlling to me. She is too selfless to be real--what teenage girl would reach out to an autistic boy, give up her soccer captain-ship to a very bitchy sworn enemy, risk getting herself into trouble by providing a false-alibi for a boy who is mean to her...? I work with teens every day, and I know many, many fantastic kids who do nice things for each other. But no one is as perfectly altruistic as Megan Meade. Megan's steady stream of selfless deeds are unrealistic and, honestly, seem a bit desperate and pitiful. Why would she stick her neck out for people who are so mean to her?

And what on earth does she see in Evan? After over a year of dating Hailey, he still cannot see past her good looks? Hailey is mean and has always been mean. Insecure, jealous, selfish, spoiled, drama-queen, liar. Why would Megan, who is none of these things, want to be with a boy who is so clueless about someone he's dated for so long? Oh yeah, because he's hot. UGH.

And the "Well, that's interesting" at the end? I guess we can now add "fickle" and "clueless" to Megan's annoying character. Maybe she deserves Evan after all.

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