To Best The Boys Readalong: Day 2

Lovely photo by @zoereadsx

Hello friends, and welcome back!

Yesterday we left off with Rhen eavesdropping on Germaine and his friends, when she is caught by a man named Kellan.

In the comments from yesterday, you all pretty much think Kellan is Mr Holm, which I agree with! It could definitely be him! Who else would be lurking about Seleni’s house, right? And all of you love Rhen which makes me very happy! We are all Rhen fans!

Are you guys ready to continue? I sure am.

Let’s find out what mischief Rhen gets up to next!

Please be warned, the following will include spoilers for To Best The Boys chapters 8-15 inclusively. Read only if you’ve finished those chapters!


So, Rhen has left the party in a rush. I would too! Sounds like a nightmare!

She arrives at a bar in the poor district, eager to warn Sam and Will about Germaine’s plans. However, her plans are cut short when she finds the bar is in an uproar. It turns out those rich pests are trying to shut down the port and limit the fishing done. This would effect many families badly, including Sam and Will’s, and Lute’s.

She’s nervous to be there in a nice dress in case anyone believes her to one of the rich folk. I bet at this moment Rhen feels utterly helpless and maybe like she doesn’t belong as Sam and Will advise her to get out of there before anyone sees her.

When a brawl breaks out, Lute helps Rhen get away from some men who mistake her for a rich person. They chase Lute and Rhen until they hear a Ghoul? Um, why is there a Ghoul?! That’s terrifying. Lute, being the gentleman that he is, walks Rhen home and they have a little moment which really makes me thing they have more of a history than is let on. Did they used to date? Perhaps they’ve always had a thing for each other?

Unfortunately, their moment is interrupted by the King family. Again, Lute shuts himself off from Rhen and walks off after wishing her a goodnight. There’s something definitely going on. What do you guys think?

When Rhen arrives home, she finds her mother appears worse. There’s blood on her pillow and when she checks on the cure, she finds the Rat that her father tests on, is dead. Poor Lady!

This is the last straw for Rhen. She decides to enter the Labyrinth in order to help her mother get cured. The University would be the only way for her to get the education and equipment she needs to help her father find the cure.

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In chapter 11, Seleni visits and Rhen fills her in on the night’s events after she left the party. Thanks to Seleni we now know that Rhen has had a thing for Lute since she was ten years old. I believe she’s around 17/18 years old now, so that’s a long time for a crush!

Seleni admits she is worried for Beryll, and I am too! Germaine wants to kill some people and Beryll will be there! Please be safe Beryll.

So, Rhen cut her hair the night before, and when Seleni sees it, she completely freaks out wondering why on earth her cousin would cut her lovely locks of hair. Rhen explains and Seleni decides she wants to come along. Honestly, if the synopsis hadn’t told us that Seleni comes along, I would have been really shocked by this. As it’s very clear that Seleni likes her rich lifestyle and her role in society as a woman. I presume she wants to come along for Beryll’s sake though. Which is very sweet!

Rhen goes to visit her mum before they leave and it turns out, she heard everything. And even though these Labyrinth games are infamously dangerous, she still supports Rhen. That really makes me happy and sad because she’s such a great mother! I hope Rhen succeeds and saves her mother above all else.

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We find out a bit more about Holm manor which sits above the town at the very top of the hill. Rhen tells us that it was deeded to Holm’s great great grandfather by King Francis himself. Which makes me wonder how big a deal this Holm guy is. Weber gives very beautiful grand descriptions of the manor, and it sounds friggin’ beautiful!

Rhen tells us the differences between how the Rich and the poor celebrate the Labyrinth day. The Rich have tents and whole buffet’s set up, waiters serving drinks and freshly cooked food. Whereas, the poor will just watch or maybe set up a little picnic. Vincent makes his presence known to Rhen and asks for a token of luck from her. I really hope Rhen gets to kick his butt at some point.

Rhen spots Lute with his family preparing for the events and we learn a little more about his brother, and how he’s living with a mental illness that Rhen’s father has been helping with when possible. Lute brings up their past for a moment and I think that shows that he may have a bit of a crush on her as well.

Please tell me I wasn’t the only one who laughed out loud when Rhen wanted to ask him on a date to see a corpse?! That’s bloody hilarious. She thinks it so casually. And you know, I bet Lute would say yes, regardless of how weird it sounds.

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Rhen’s definitely not like any of the other girls around their town and I truly love that about her. With every page, Rhen is becoming more and more of a favourite character for me. She’s fantastic so far!

Rhen and Lute have a little dance too, thanks to his mother. I love that Lute is such a gentleman. Of course, their moment is cut short AGAIN, by Vincent. Damn it, Vincent.

He tells Rhen that his parents are awaiting her to join them and he also tells Lute that she has graciously accepted his offer to court her. When she definitely say that. Lies Vincent, lies!

I’m going to assume Lute’s feelings are hurt whenever Vincent is around because he doesn’t want her to end up with someone who probably wouldn’t appreciate her. Let’s be honest, Vincent wouldn’t! What do you guys think?

In the last chapter of today’s readalong, the Labyrinth games are about to begin. This part reminds me of the Hunger Games, but with much lower stakes. Rhen and Seleni get into their boy’s clothes which they stole earlier and line up with the rest of the boys. This is when Rhen notices Lute at the end of the line. I wonder if he’s joining because of the fishing port fiasco? This is his chance to to make a life for himself and his family. Things just got intense.

This probably puts Rhen in a difficult position because she really likes Lute and his family needs this win as much as he does, but Rhen has to help her mother. She has to win this scholarship!

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The games have begun!

And the first task is underway, but out of nowhere, Kellan from the night before appears. Does this mean he is Mr Holm? Or does he just work for Mr Holm? What’s your thoughts on Kellan?

The first task seems to be them facing their fears and Lute’s is incredibly sad, and Rhen’s shows her married to Vincent. The thing is, they can see each other’s fears Rhen sees Vincent’s, Beryll’s, Lute’s. And Lute see’s Rhen’s fear. Has he figured out that she’s in disguise already? I bet he has. He’s a smart cookie.

Somehow they manage to find their way out the first task by using the stars and Math? Which basically confirms that if I were in the Labyrinth? I’d be lost already, because I suck at Math. Good on Rhen for figuring it out though! You go girl!

What do you guys think of chapters 8 – 15? Quite a lot happened! We found out a lot of information and the Labyrinth games have already begun!

Please be mindful of spoilers if you decide to continue reading. If you do read on, I don’t blame you! This book is a really easy, fun read so far.

I truly hope you all enjoyed today’s chapters!

We will be back tomorrow and we’ll be reading chapters 16 – 22, and announcing the giveaway!

With Love,



38 thoughts on “To Best The Boys Readalong: Day 2

  1. I am really enjoying this book. Rhen’s interest in science is right up my street,and I love how she interacts with the different boys she’s grown up around.
    I’m excited to see how the labyrinth runs and how long she can keep her identity secret!

  2. I loved the dance! Everything about it is amazing and OMG Vincent ? why must you interrupt and lieeee!? I love science and maths but physics… nope… I can’t handle that even if it is a science ? and the illness gave me serious plague vibes? I know those are not the symptoms that were there during the Black Death but we have rats, we have an unexplainable illness and no cure that works YET!

  3. I really don’t like the Uppers. They only think about themselves and now people will be starving because they don’t care about how much fish the people need. So frustrating.

    I really enjoyed the moment Rhen has with Lute when they hide from the ghoul. And the comment she makes when she tells him that gouls don´t eat people. ”They just cut open their chest cavities in search of souls.” Well, that sounds alot better… I want to get to know Lute better, he is a bit flat right now but I still like him. And I like that we got to meet his family and the dance scene was so nice.

    I wish that Rhen could just say to Vincent that she’s not interested in him. I don’t like that she has him on a sting. Just cut him loose already.

    Anyway finally Rhen decides to dress up as a boy to enter the competition and I like that Selini is joining her. It really feels that anything could happen. Did anyone see Rhens or Selinis fear because it feels like they should have been discovered here?!? It will be interesting to see what happens when the others realize who they are.

  4. @Johanna I agree, it’s a bit frustrating that Rhen hasn’t turned Vincent down more explicitly yet, though I suppose it also has to do with the fact that her mind is occupied with her mother’s illness, and technically she could benefit from being connected to a wealthy family like Victor’s in terms of resources for her research.

    I love Rhen and Lute, and I love that Seleni decided to help and join the competition – especially if you consider that she probably has way more to lose than Rhen does?!

    I can’t really say much more here because I accidentally read past today’s chapters xD But let me just say it keeps getting better! I’m starting to wish this book had more pages, because at this point I feel like I’m just soaring through it 😮

  5. Really enjoying the book, and planning to re ahead later this evening 😀

    I love Rhen as a character, and really enjoyed seeing her interact more with Lute – think they have a really cute dynamic, but also her feelings don’t stop her from standing up for herself when needed! (Although she wisely considers Ben instead).

    Guessed that Lute would almost certainly be in the game – especially with the fishing laws being introduced… little heart-broken that only one of them can win?

    I’m intrigued by Kellen, and glad he has shown up again. I did originally think he might be the mysterious Mr Holm, but now not so certain?
    Though I do believe that Mr Holm never intended his games to be just boys – just the wording of “gentleperson” seems a little too precise, when it’s so much easier to have said “gentlemen” if that’s what he meant.
    Also wondering… wouldn’t it be a cool plot twist if Mr Holm is a Mrs Holm? Not seen any evidence for that as of yet though….

    1. I love that idea for a Mrs Holm twist! I’m gonna be disappointed now if it doesn’t happen XD

  6. This was definitely the breaking point for me from liking to loving this book.
    I love how casually Weber contrast Vincent and Lute here: Vincent full focus on career and the marriage he pursues not likely because he doesn’t not like Rhen but more because of other benefits? But all in all selfcentered, overgoing completely Rhens character he should know for a long time. And then Lute, a totally families man, decides to do everything for them, totally sweets especially to his brother, but also looking for his mum. I definitely thought by then those two are a thing – he’s always turning cold when thinking about her being pulled away from him! Considering the created timeline I don’t think Rhen and Lute dated, but I think they had some sort of connection her dad being doc to his brother and her playing with him. Think it impressed Lute a lot when Rhen searches for a healing for not only her mother but also other people befor then – and hadn’t a problem with those special needs of his brother. Considering the time line I think Lute stepped back from Rhen because he could barely give her what she needs to fulfill her mission and be a healer/scientist; taking it from her – but also needs everything he has for his brother and mother. He’s a Lower nonetheless. Even Rhens mum encourages her towards Vincent – but also encourages her to try the maze.
    Those fears shown up – wow, such a great idea! And it’s getting more important later on, because everything mentioned is so well implemented I think! There isn’t a motive unlinked!

  7. So I hate Germaine and Vincent, like I thought maybe they had hidden depths but now I’m pretty sure they don’t.

    I love Rhen, Selini, and Lute! Rhen is such an amazing, strong character and shes way smarter than the guys! I love that Selini went into the labyrinth too (I had forgotten that part). I’m not too keen on Beryll though, like shes lovely and why won’t her make a move on her already?
    Lute is just ???, also I live his name! He’s so sweet and I’m loving his and Rhen’s scenes together.

  8. I am really enjoying the book so far. I’ve even shed a few tears, which highlights just how good it is! The illness that is deteriorating Rhen’s mother is what I’m finding heartbreaking, and also the desperation to find a cure. I love her determination, and her unwavering surety that she can do exactly what a boy can do, and more.

    I can’t wait to read about what is ahead of them in the labyrinth.

    One more thing, I’m absolutely loving the relationship between cousins. Sel is amazing!!

  9. I love Rhen, I love Lute, I love Seleni, I LOVE EVERYONEEEEE (except, ofc, the idiots a.k.a Germaine and his stupid friends)!! Seriously, Rhen is too awesome for this town. She is just AHHHHHHH BEAUTIFUL! I love how Seleni actually is both girly BUT STILL DARING.. because you don’t have to be “boyish” to be brave or daring or just overall amazing.
    But honestly though, I LOVE THIS STORY (and I could not stop reading so ahaha, see y’all when you are finished). The scene where Rhen just kinda broke… that was so sad 🙁 This was a good choice of book fairyloot!! ❤

  10. I really love the way the Labyrinth works and I am very very curious what comes next. Pretty sure Lute figured out that Rhen is there.
    Don’t like Vincent… even though he doesn’t seem that bad if you think about it…
    But I am here for Rhen an Lute 😉
    Also I fell that would be so perfectly me. Whenever Rhen an Lute get closer and they start showing some emotions she brings up Ghouls or dead bodies. So me. I love it
    But I really love her. How she stands up for herself and for the people she cares about and strives to do what’s right. And I love how her mother encourages her.

  11. Soooo – it came sooner than I expected – I shed a tear or two. Rhen’s relationship with her mother is just the best, and I’m really hoping that Rhen gets to find a cure for her.

    Once again, the obvious differences between the Uppers and the Lowers is just awful.

    As much as I don’t like Vincent, I kind of understand why he lied to Lute about Rhen accepting his courtship – he doesn’t want to lose face in front of his family and friends by being rejected by a Lower, for a Lower. I can only imagine how he will react if and when he’s beaten in the labyrinth by a GIRL!!

    I love the fears coming to life in front of the group once inside the labyrinth. I wouldn’t be surprised if Lute has already figured out that its Rhen – I think apart from her parents and Seleni, Lute probably understands and knows her better than anyone. I cant wait to see how this plays out.

    Still think the mysterious Kellan could be Mr Holm….

  12. I am so surpried at how much I am likeing this book! Love Rhen, the writing is super flowy and now that the games have started, I am all in.

    Hope everyone enjod today chapters <3

  13. I had to use some serious restraint to stop myself from reading further. I love the characters, how they’re written, and their relationships. Vincent needs to do what he wants to do, not what his father wants, and leave Rhen alone!
    But, who is Killian to Holm? And is the importance of the ghouls? I guess we’ll find out.

  14. I’m really enjoying this book (and my first Fairyloot readalong)!
    I really like Rhen, Lute, Seleni and Beryll (I’m shipping Rhen/Lute so much).
    I really dislike Germaine and Vincent, so full of themselves!
    I’m intrigued by Mr Kellan, very mysterious…
    I’d definitely suck at the first task, maths is so not my strong suit, and I dont think I’d be brave enough to face my darkest fears.
    I think Lute definitely knows that Rhen is in there, even when disguised. He seems to be an observant guy, so I think he noticed straight away, even before he saw her fears.
    Looking forward to reading tomorrow’s chapters after work, I’m excited to see what’s coming up in the Labyrinth

  15. I’m really loving Rhen and Seleni’s relationship. I mean how great is Seleni? ‘What have you done to your hair?! Oh WE’RE going into the labyrinth, cool’. She barely even takes a beat. I love how they’re both daring, smart, and strong willed, but so different.

    Every encounter with Lute and Rhen, just makes me love them more. Lute is so much more of a gentleman than Vincent (ugh), how many times will that guy sush her?! The way Lute is with his mum and Ben is just beautiful. And he’s definitely on to Rhen after seeing those fears, I wonder how he felt about life with Vincent being one of her fears?

    Vincent I can’t stand, clearly Germaine is not a nice guy, pompous, cold and calculating, but Vincent just seems to have no backbone. To have gone from being someone Rhen actually liked to who he is now over the space of a year. Get a spine man, be your own person and not daddy’s puppet child.

    I did think Kellen was Holm, but now I’m wondering if it’s a little too obvious. It’s definitely got me thinking anyway. What is going on up in that Manor all year long?

    I soooo didn’t want to put the book down when I finished today’s chapters. Bring on tomorrow!

  16. I just loved that scene with the ghoul! I think it’s amazing that this story seems so normal in parts and then suddenly there’s this ghoul wandering around the town and everyone is just so blasé about it. Like, yeah there’s a ghoul running about, but what are you gonna do? Probably best to avoid it, but these things happen. Que sera sera. It’s just such a cool addition to the story! I loved it! ?

    Seleni’s character continues to surprise me. First, she comes across super rich and sort of posh, but she’s just so likable! She really cares about Beryll, which I didn’t expect. I thought she’d think of him as kind of a drag, but she’s totally protective of him which is awesome. She’s also an amazingly supportive friend to Rhen, which is cool too. I’m used to the strong heroine types doing everything themselves in spite of people, it makes a change to have some serious support from a friend. ❤️

    Rhen’s chat up lines are the highlight of my day, to be honest. She needs some polishing in repertoire, but at least Lute seems to take them in his stride. He’s a nice guy. I like him already.

    1. When she was like “I can show you a dead body sometime” I just cracked up XD

  17. I loved the labyrinth scenes since it reminds me of Hunger Games. I also enjoyed the fact that Seleni is there to support Rhen and participated with her in the Labyrith.

  18. I had to play some catch up as I missed day one but I’m loving this book so far! I really like Rhen and Seleni and Beryll and Lute! They’re all such good characters. I also like that there are mystical creatures just hanging around in the world. Basilisks and ghouls make everything more fun. I loved the scene where Rhen’s mom tells her to be brave and supports her in joining in the competition. It was really sweet. I’m not convinced Vincent is totally bad. I think he’s had a lot of family expectations forced upon him to act a certain way and that’s why he’s behaving the way he is. Clearly, he’s still interested in science as he brings it up with Rhen quite a lot. I think he’s just stuck between family expectations and who he wants to be and the family expectations are winning out. Now I don’t think he would be as supportive of Rhen as Lute seems to be but that’s more of a societal thing that he’s grown up with and Lute is a little more free thinking when it comes to what women can do. I’m so excited to see what happens next in the Labrinth! Lute cleared the door first I wonder if that will mean anything.

  19. Today’s chapters made me fall in love with Seleni. I admire how she’s willing to accompany Rhen and pretend as a boy even though she really doesn’t have to. We all need a Seleni in our lives.

    Lute is just absolutely charming. I could see why Rhen likes him.

    Most memorable part of today’s chapter is definitely Rhen’s dating tip: if you like someone, ask him to go see a corpse you

    1. Absolutely agree!
      Seleni needs to be in all our lives.

  20. I had to catch up with day 1 as well so I read them both together. I was a little bit confused at first by the setting – I can’t quite peg it to a time period, some of the way they speak & the narration sounds quite modern and some of the science and technology too, but then there’s carriages and so on. Maybe sort of Victorian? I like the way it’s not always clear what’s magic and what’s technology – I guess things like electricity (like the lights at Holm Manor) really would have seemed like magic to people who didn’t know much about the science at first.

    Rhen is a great main character, so determined and likeable. You can tell she’s got a really strong moral code too -I’m curious to see what will happen if (when?) the Labyrinth puts her in a position where she has to choose between winning and her conscience. I’m glad we’re in to the Labyrinth now, I was expecting it to happen sooner into the book, and it’s definitely upped the pace and the interest. Rhen is already coming into her own in here and I’m enjoying the way she’s struggling to find logical explanations for the way it’s behaving!

    Also, I am with the rest of you on Team Seleni!

  21. This book is a lot funnier than I was expecting. Every time Rhen says something awkward relating to dead bodies/thinks about how people probably don’t want to hear about dead bodies it makes me giggle because I study dead people and animals at university!

    I’m also really enjoying the lack of competitiveness and strong genuine love between the two major female characters <3 The boys are also fun to read and are depicted in varying shades of likability which makes it interesting. Initially I thought Beryll was a bit whiny (when he was first introduced I thought he was a toddler and not actually a teen HAHA) but he's actually cool. (Hope he survives.)

    1. I genuinely thought Beryll was a little kid as well till it was revealed that him and Seleni were an item! xD

  22. I completely forgot that Seleni was going into the Labyrinth too so when she said she was going, I was surprised and delighted because more Rhen and Seleni! The first task of the maze was terrifying and I like how Lute has joined their little gang in the maze.

    Kellen is very intriguing too.

    1. I was so happy when Lute joined. Yay for more Lute!

  23. I really enjoyed this section because now things are happening! I loved getting more history about Lute and his family as well as the fact Rhen’s mom knew she was going into the maze and basically told Rhen to just kill it. Thanks Mom! Oh and I love how when Seleni finds out what Rhen is up to her response is to join Rhen so she can help. Seleni is definitely my favorite. And now I’m just interested to see what the next obstacles in the Labyrinth will be.

    1. Rhen’s mother is so sweet! I hope she is healed!

  24. I had a hard time getting into this during day one’s chapters but found these chapters much more interesting.

    I definitely agree that Kellen is either Mr. Holm or he knows more than he is letting on. I love that Seleni is supporting Rhen even thought it is not something she would normally be interesting in participating in.

    I think Lute has feelings for Rhen but hasn’t ever acted on them because he doesn’t think he is good enough for her, because of his background. I also think there is more to his hatred of Vincent than just the fact that Vincent is interested in Rhen too. They have to have some kind of history.

    Rhen and Lute are both so smart! Lute figured out the stars and Rhen figured out the math! I also think he realized who she is when he saw her fear. I hope nothing bad happens to Lute, Rhen, Seleni, Will, Sam or Beryll.

    1. I’m so glad you’re getting more into it!

  25. Yay, we are finally in the maze!! I already think I would suck at this maze, I’m not good at these kind of puzzles or maths…or like clambering over thing. I also wonder if Holm will turn out to be a woman?? Or maybe they will be like the Dread Pirate Robert’s & have been a number of different people over the years? In which case maybe Kellen was the previous Holm?? I Really dislike Germaine & Rubin (obviously this is how we are all supposed to feel about them). I don’t think Vincent is as awful as them but he’s definitely not made of boyfriend material. Love Lute of course. I keep picturing Sam and Will as the Weasley twins. I really hope both Beryll & Seleni make it & continue to be adorable together. And of course I want Rhen & Lute to get their “I could show you a dead body” date.

    1. Sam and Will as the Weasley twins!
      This has made my day!

  26. yaaaaaay! this is getting soooo interesting !! I loved the Ghoul part! I’m loving also the maze!!

    1. I was so scared at that part!

  27. I gotta say I fell in love with Lute in this section and totally dislike Vincent what a snob and bossy boy! The first labyrinth challenge was totally epic I can’t wait to read more!

  28. I am seriously enjoying this book the more I read! I must have totally missed that Seleni joins in on the Labyrinth because I was so surprised, and her mom heard everything! Oh my goodness! We learned so much in these chapters, it was so hard to stop I just had to keep going!

    All I can say is I need more Lute! He is such a gentleman! I can’t wait to see where the Labyrinth takes us and the challenges they face.

    I definitely think Kellen is Holme, and Lute for sure knows it’s Rhen and not another boy.

    I think my favorite part was when Seleni responded to Beryll looking for her, and she almost gave them away! I was giggling so hard at that, it just shows how much she adores Beryll. I really hope nothing happens to him in the Labyrinth.

  29. That dance was EVERYTHING!! Rhen and Lute are so precious I just need more scenes with them. I don’t know what’s going on with Vincent and what delusional world he’s living in but he needs to take a hint. Rhen isn’t interested!

    When Rhen’s mom says she’s heard everything and told Rhen to be safe and brave, I almost cried. I hope Rhen can do something to help her mom 🙂

    On to day 3!

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