And here’s another book I got as an ARC and finished reading quite some time ago, this one way back in December. I absolutely loved To Best the Boys by Mary Weber, so much so that I still cite it as the best book I read in 2018. I felt exceedingly lucky to have gotten a chance to read this early and I simply cannot imagine having waited this long to realize what a fantastic book this truly was. I’m sure, if you’ve been around this blog long enough that you’ve heard me raving about this book at some point, but if you haven’t you can definitely feel free to check out my review to see if this is the sort of book that you’d be interested in reading. A story about a maze competition for a scholarship to the university that only boys have been invited to enter for a great many years, and the girl who spins the world on its head when she dresses as a boy in order to enter, determining that education should not be something only provided to men. Will she win? You’ll have to read to find out.
I had so much fun reading this book and I really hope that many of you will, too. And Weber’s To Best the Boys is definitely a hidden gem, since it’s only gotten 304 ratings at the time of me writing this and 255 reviews. I promise you, picking up this book will not be something you’ll regret. And if you’d like someone else’s perspective on this amazing novel, I’d definitely suggest reading C. G. Drews’ review as she does a fantastic job of laying out just what is so amazing about this 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.
What are your thoughts so far? Do you think this is a book you’ll want on your TBR? Will you pass? I can’t wait to hear from you so let me know why in the comments!