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To Best the Boys

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4.11  ·  Rating details ·  318 ratings  ·  267 reviews
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 i ...more
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published March 19th 2019 by Thomas Nelson
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4.11  · 
Rating details
 ·  318 ratings  ·  267 reviews


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Mary Weber
Sep 18, 2018 added it  ·  (Review from the author)
I clicked "Read" on my Goodreads bar and it promptly nudged me to (1) rate my own book, and (2) answer the question, "What did you think?"

Well... to the first part - I won't rate it other than to say...you know, my mom and I kind of like it.

To the second -
What I think is that I wrote To Best the Boys for the girl I've been and still often am. I wrote it for the daughters I have who've lived so much of this book, and for my sister who recently returned to school and earned a bio-chem degree. I w
...more
شيماء ✨
I swear trying to keep up with all these 2019 releases is basically like having a second job. But this sounds so insanely good! girl scientists refusing to fit the small space the world leaves for them and competing for an esteemed scholarship against the boys? WHERE DO I SIGN UP?
C.G. Drews
Mar 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
If you thought getting into university was stressful, w o a h, take a step back and read this book. This is basically a maze competition where the winner gets a scholarship and PTSD. #Kind And I really enjoyed myself with this one! The author is so lovely on instagram and has reached out and said kind things to me during my debut year (writing is hard, folks) so I was super excited to read my first book from her. It definitely didn't disappoint!

➸ it's a very apt discussion of today's world too
L
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Ivana - Diary of Difference
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I love Mary Weber as much as her food recipes she shares with us every single month! I don’t usually decide whether to read a certain book by its cover, but this cover made me want to find out more about it. When I read the synopsis, I had to read it, as it captures women fighting for their rights in a young-adult format, and it simply was something I couldn’t miss.

I will be honest with you and say that this book didn’t deliver. Maybe it was my
...more
Tucker (TuckerTheReader)

Many thanks to Thomas Nelson for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review

| Goodreads | Blog | Twitch | Pinterest |
Carrie
Jan 15, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
To Best the Boys by Mary Weber is a young adult fantasy that I couldn’t help but think was a bit like taking The Handmaid’s Tale and mixing with The Hunger Games. This is a lighter read than either mentioned but it does take place in a male dominated society which runs an annual competition.

Rhen Tellur is unlike other girls her own age who only train to run a household and please a husband. Rhen instead is out surveying corpses and trying to come up with a cure to her mother’s disease working al
...more
Nadine Brandes
I. NEED. THIS. NOW.
Maya
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Thomas Nelson through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

Got to say that I'm pleasantly surprised by this book. It was quite good actually and I really liked the heroine, Rhen and the whole concept of the story. When I first read the blurb my first though was that the story was going to be something similar to The Hunger Games and there was some resemblance to it, with the game and the oppression, but not as much a
...more
Lilian
Mar 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
WOWWWWWW. WHAT?? *mindblown*

Review @ the blog!

--

I read To Best the Boys in pretty much one sitting and absolutely loved it. It’s about a girl who enters a maze and competes against boys to receive a scholarship to the all-male Stemwick University–doesn’t that give you the Hunger Games vibes?

It certainly did for me, at least for the first one-third of the book (it’s even in present tense!). And then it kind of steered off into its own thing, which I loved! I wasn’t quite expecting the maze to be
...more
Arielle ⭐ Cursebreaker ⭐
Happy book birthday, To Best the Boys! Go check this one out, guys. It's definitely worth the read!
4.5

What do you want?
I want my mum to live.
I want the right to earn an education.
I want to be the first female scientist.
I want to create my own happiness.
I want . . .


Okay this was a really interestingly good book. Like I almost don’t even know how to begin this review???? This is another case of me starting an ARC, being interrupted and reading a million other books, and then finally finishing it.
...more
Nicki Chapelway
Sep 25, 2018 marked it as to-read
WHY AM I ONLY JUST NOW HEARING ABOUT THIS??? A NEW BOOK BY ONE OF MY FAVORITE AUTHORS! I. NEED. THIS. NOW.
Maddy
Mar 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Oh my goodness, THIS BOOK. I had high expectations for this story and it completely lived up to them. This book is literally amazing and definitely one of the best books I’ve ever read. Yep, it was that good.

To Best the Boys follows a character named Rhen. Wanting to be able to get a higher education, she disguises herself as a boy and enters an all male contest in a maze, hoping that she’ll win the scholarship. If that’s not the coolest story line I don’t know what is. ;)

The first 100+ pages
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Ellie (faerieontheshelf)
"Holm's castle sits on the tallest hill in Pinsbury Port, on an estate gracing the far side of the Upper end that stretches all the way down to touch the sea a full mile from the wharf."

> 3.5 stars

Sooo . . . I have a lot of thoughts about this one. It looked really promising and I love the cover/was really taken with the blurb, but at the end of the day I really liked some bits, but not others.

.:The Good:.

- I love the cover

- Rhen is a really enjoyable heroine. She's smart and opinionated
...more
Jane Maree
Mar 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was so inspiring. I finished it and I was just so overwhelmed by how encouraged, how uplifted, and how motivated I was. It was beautiful.

The characters were so dynamic. From the first moment they stepped onto the page, they were absolutely bursting with life.

First of all the ladies: Rhen was so untameable and bold, and in the best way possible. Seleni was equally inspiring but in a totally different way. This book really encompassed how women are called to different things. There's no
...more
Aneela ♒the_mystique_reader♒

Review to Come
Jill Williamson
Feb 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I love anything that Mary Weber writes, so I was giddy about reading To Best the Boys. It’s fabulous, guys. I so enjoyed all her characters Rhen, Lute, Mr. Holm, Seleni, and Beryll. (I loved Seleni and Beryll SO MUCH! ♥💕) The storyworld was wonderful. And I love the depth that the events in the circumstances of the story bring too. This book is releasing next month. You all must read it!. Go. Order it. You’re going to want it on your shelf. ...more
Gabrielle
Nov 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, fantasy
This book was absolutely amazing, and I loved every minute of it. This book has come the closest to matching the feel/tone of one of my all-time favorites--The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater. Fans of that masterpiece and Mary Weber's previous work should adore this book.

Some highlights:
- Girl Power (without being ragingly feminist). While the story did feature platonic and romantic relationships, the heart of the story was the message that it's okay just to be you. Not someone's friend, girl
...more
Shannon (It Starts At Midnight)
You can find the full review and all the fancy and/or randomness that accompanies it at It Starts at Midnight

To Best the Boys 
is my first Mary Weber book, but definitely won't be my last! (Seriously guys, how have I not read Sofi Snow yet? This is a fail that needs to be remedied immediately!) Anyway, let's talk about this one, shall we?

The Stuff I Liked:

•I love a competition. Especially when people can legit lose their lives, not just a contest. (Does this make me seem like an awful person
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Merie Shen
Mar 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
oh. my. heart.

rtc
Galaxy Adventurer
Before reading:
*grabby hands*
I needs the precious


Review:

I've been a Mary Weber fan since Storm Siren.
I remember putting it on hold at the library, and getting excited once I was finally able to read it.
I instantly fell in love with the characters, the world, the story, and the writing.
And I remember feeling crushed after I experienced my first cliffhanger ending.
No cliffhanger I will ever read will crush me as much as that one did(*bows to Mary the Queen of Cliffhangers*)
And since Storm Siren, I
...more
Divine
“His full lips still have that pucker the girls liked to swoon over. The same one I wondered more than a few times if the tissue was actually formed that way, or if he was just perpetually in the mood to kiss things. I once imagined dissecting his face to find out.”
I love this excerpt so much.

This may just be a light fantasy novel that skirts over most of the predictable tropes and plot devices, but it’s the message it conveys which makes this book quite a compelling read. The first chapter
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Cindy ✩☽ Savage Queen ♔
"Those who never risk are doomed never to risk."

To Best the Boys is tale of a young girl determined to defy the societal expectations forced upon her. Rhen wants nothing more than to use her wits to change the world, and she's willing to risk it all to make that happen.

It's a story of determining one's own future. And what I especially enjoyed about it was that it though settling down and having kids was never Rhen's aspiration, they also made sure no to lessen the importance of that path. Beca
...more
- ̗̀ DANY  ̖́- (danyreads)
Mar 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc, 2019-reads
. : ☾⋆ — 4 ★

READ THIS REVIEW ON MY BLOG!!!
https://bit.ly/2NG8VFb

ARC provided from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review (thank you Thomas Nelson!!)

in all honesty, To Best the Boys is a top-tier title that exudes female positivity and for that alone this book deserves all the stars in the world. the literal words “to best the boys” FUEL me like nothing has in years, and don’t even get me started on the actual words on the INSIDE of this book. let’s talk about the quotabili
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J.C.
Jan 17, 2019 rated it it was ok
**I received a free copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.**

First Thoughts: I really wanted to like this book. Unfortunately, I was not a fan. While I was able to follow the plotline better compared to other works of the author, I still found myself confused for the majority of the story. I disliked the characters, finding them stereotypical and predictable, and while the story contained beautiful sentences at times, it didn’t ultimately compare to t
...more
R.F. Gammon
Dec 31, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is a 3.5 star book, but I'm rounding to 4 stars because I can.

This is actually my first book by Mary Weber (shameful, right? For shame, Faith!), and so I had no expectations whatsoever going in. I have a lot of friends who like this author, and I thought she was--okay? Pretty good? (Please don't kill me for not instantly jumping on the bandwagon! I need time to think! XD)

But anyway...let's review this thing.

LIKES:
-BERYLL. At first when he started screaming I was like "Is it a banshee or so
...more
Alaina
POSSIBLE SPOILERS BELOW!

I have received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

To Best the Boys was so freaking good! I honestly couldn't put it down! It definitely reminded me of previous books or movies that I've seen before. Plus, it kind of reminded me of like an escape room? Sort of? Mostly because of the questions/riddles they solve throughout the labyrinth.

In it, you will meet Rhen Tellur. She's a 16 year old who dreams of nothing but becoming a scientist. It took me a w
...more
《 sofia 》
check out this and other reviews on my blog

actual rating: 4.5 stars

when the deadly disease that has been spreading across the poorer part of town affects her mother, rhen desperately tries to find a cure for it along with her dad. the problem is that they don’t have access to the equipment necessary to do so, and her mother is getting worse as the days go by.

when the annual invitation for the competition to win a scholarship to the all-male stemwick university arrives, rhen and her cousin, selen
...more
Nicole (FearYourEx)
Dec 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arcs
I read a lot, I read around 10 books per month. And yet there are books that have me absolutely enamoured with them, that I cannot put down. This book was one of them.

In a time when boys are the only ones to attend university and girls are expected to do cross stitch and be wives, Rhen wants more. She wants to help her father cure a disease killing off men and women in the poor part of town, a disease that is affecting her mother. Rhen decides to attend the Labyrinth, to win a scholarship, and a
...more
Amanda
Mar 10, 2019 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2019
The premise for this book sounded very interesting and I absolutely love the cover so I was very excited to pick it up. Unfortunately, this was a big disappointment to me.

The first half of the book was just leading up to the labyrinth and felt like a lot of setup and it seemed to drag. The writing was choppy at times and a bit hard to follow. The labyrinth scenes were enjoyable but sometimes felt a bit rushed. I would have liked more of the book to be focused on that.

My biggest issue with this b
...more
Heidi
Oct 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
It’s no secret how much I love Mary’s books, but this one just blew them all out of the water (yes, all of them, even Reclaiming Shilo Snow). It may actually be my favorite book, OF. ALL. TIME.
To Best The Boys is a story set in a (delightfully creepy at times) world where girls are denied higher education, the poor are denied proper healthcare, and the wealthy live in blissful (or willful) ignorance of the issues of those they consider beneath them. A young woman named Rhen Tellur disguises her
...more
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1,148 followers
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 sta
...more
“You take this world and make it what it should be. And don’t let the beliefs of a backward system define you. You are the one who has to live with the future, baby girl. So you live it. You understand?” 1 likes
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