Review: To Best the Boys

Happy Monday, Reader Friends!

This lovely morning I’m sharing my thoughts on Mary Weber’s latest release, To Best the Boys. If you’ve never read Ms. Weber, she writes YA fantasy. That word alone isn’t enough to describe her writing since each series, each book is a little different in the fantasy realm. Suffice it to say, she’ll take your imagination to a different place each time. 🙂

About the Book

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.

Links: Amazon, B&N, Goodreads

My Thoughts

When I saw Ms. Weber was releasing a new book, I was excited. I loved her Storm Siren series and although I’ve

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never met her in person, she seems like a genuinely kind person (thank Goodness for social media posts 😉 ). When I saw the cover, I was intrigued. And since I don’t read blurbs, I requested to read this book based off the person and cover alone.

I was not disappointed.

To Best the Boys is a book all women should read. It’s uplifting, empowering, and emotional in all the right places. Rhen Tellur makes a fantastic heroine as she journeys through the questions of life and what it means to be a woman with dreams.

I also believe that men should read this book. It will show them the many facets women go through. Not to mention the monsters, illusions, and downright intriguing plot will hook you in.

Young or old, I believe this story will appeal to all. And I really, really think this should be a movie. I’d break my rule and watch it in IMAX. 🙂

All in all, this is a keeper and one I feel I would revisit and reread again.

*I received a complimentary from the publisher via NetGalley. This review was not required nor influenced.

**I would label this a clean read not CF.

About the Author

Mary Weber is the bestselling HarperCollins author of six books, including the Storm Siren Trilogy, The Evaporation of Sofi Snow series, and this year’s highly-acclaimed To Best the Boys. When not writing, Mary sings 80’s hairband songs to her three muggle children, and ogles her husband who looks strikingly like Wolverine. They live in California which is perfect for stalking aging superstars while wearing sweatpants and fannypacks.

Mary’s written for the Huffington Post, Hypable, and Hallmark, and her books have been endorsed by Marissa Meyer, Jonathan Maberry, and Shannon Messenger. You can also find Mary’s fun interview in the paperback of Marissa Meyer’s NYT bestselling, CRESS. To join in on her latest shenanigans or get writing and marketing tips, visit her Newsletter (, her IG (MaryWeberAuthor), or FB (MaryWeberAuthor).

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