To Best The Boys Readalong: Day 4

Lovely photo by @drawingandreading

Hello lovelies!

Welp, it is the last day of the March Readalong, I’m so sad that it’s over! But I genuinely have been loving this book. I really think it will be one of my top 2019 reads, and I’d love to know if you guys thing the same! It’s so fast paced. It’s funny, action packed, emotional. It ticks all the boxes. I also love that it’s very much a Fantasy world, but they have traditions like the real world would in the 1800’s. They say things that they would like to Court a lady. And they address people by their surnames. It’s all very proper and I love that about this book? I think it’s very unique to see in a book that’s got more of a Fantasy-esque setting.

You guys are absolutely ADORING Rhen and Seleni and a lot of you loved that Seleni was honest about what she wanted even though she knows it’s never in a million years what Rhen would want. We all loved when Beryll stood up for his girl too and we’re living for the romance between Lute and Rhen.

I think we can all mutually agree that Vincent is a big pain in the butt too! But a great Villain for the story.

Now, it’s time to finish our adventure.

Let’s do this!

Please be warned, the following will include spoilers for To Best The Boys chapters 23 – End inclusively. Read only if you’ve finished those chapters!


So, apparently the University were reluctant to let Rhen take the test, but Mr Holm must have a soft spot for her, because he says that if they refuse he will pull all financial aid from the University. Rhen does get accepted to take the University exam, but she has recently come to the realisation that attending the University will not be good or fast enough to save her mother from the illness that seems to be getting worse.

However, she’s suddenly had a theory that this illness started with the Rats. It’s a definite possibility and I hope she’s right!

Who else Awwwww’d out loud at her parents being ridiculously cute? I did. Multiple times.

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I had an inkling this would happen. Now that Rhen is infamous for besting the boys and is going to be going for the University exam, her aunt and uncle want to welcome Rhen and their family back into theirs. I CHEERED when Rhen’s father punched her uncle! So brilliantly done. Just when I thought I couldn’t love Rhen’s family more? Her father does that. They accept the offer of a clean slate though as it would be best for everyone.

It’s time for the exam.

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How in the hell Rhen manages to do a six hour exam, I will never know. I can barely handle a two hour exam. Rhen is an absolute Queen. a Scientist Queen!

After the exam, we learn that Vincent is the reason this illness started in the first place after he took part in some dangerous experimentation. I didn’t see that coming at all! But it makes sense from what his fear was back in the Labyrinth and his sudden change of character back when him and Rhen were friends. He was probably too scared to ever go back to science after creating a deadly disease!

Woooow. Just when I thought I couldn’t dislike Vincent more. I hope he gets punished for that. Honestly. Rhen’s mother is ill because of him.

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Rhen is now the talk of the town and at a Winning / Congratulations party her Aunt and Uncle throw for her, she is even signing autographs on napkins. Can I have an autograph please? I love her!

Beryll arrives with his family who Seleni has been eager to meet throughout the book and he announces that he is officially courting Seleni. I’m so happy for them and Seleni, that’s truly all she wanted. to be with Beryll and have acceptance from his family.

So, out of nowhere, Holm is…a woman? What a plot twist! Did anyone see this coming? It’s so random but I love it because this whole time the competition has been for “boys only” but the letter never specified gender if you look back on it so I wonder if he (or she?) was was awaiting a girl to break that status quo. And that’s why Ms Holm has taken such a liking to Rhen.

Rhen has tried to ask her father to defer her entrance to University for a year so she can help with the cure they are developing. It shows promise and she wants to help! He father is having none of that though and insists she goes to University if she is accepted. We also find out that the cure is doing well stalling the disease because Rhen’s mother is up and walking around. Only for a short time though before she gets tired. I’m so damn happy for Rhen! I bet she feels such relief!

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Lute and Rhen decide to go off to the Beach for a walk. Oh la la!

Rhen has trousers beneath her dress. Why am I not surprised? Lute makes a very nice proposal saying tha he’ll keep an eye on her parents whilst she is off to University. It’s the least he can do after her father has done so much for his little brother. They bicker for a moment before sharing a lovely kiss! And then…

“Mr Wilkes, have I ever explained the decomposition process of an animal corpse to you?”

Oh Rhen. Never change. <3

In the final chapter we discover Rhen was accepted to the University. Of course she was. Rhen is our Queen and she probably kicked that exam’s butt! Ms Holm is throwing a party for her. She has never done this for any of the other winners, again showing the liking she has taken to Rhen.

And finally, I couldn’t help but laugh at the final letter from Holm. She is sassy!

Guys, I truly thought this book was a fantastic, fun read and super quick too! This would be the perfect book to pick up if you were in the midst of a readalong.

Thank you so very much for reading with us, I have loved reading your thoughts and I’m sure the others did too! Reading with you always makes the experience that much more fun.

Remember you have until the end of Friday 26th April to enter our giveaway which you can find the rules for on our Day 3 post. It’s super easy to enter and you could win yourself a free box! The winner will be contacted this weekend!

Will you be joining our next readalong?

Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

With Love,





  • Sabrina

    I was so angry when we found out it was Vincent who started the human strain of the virus! He’s such a coward.

  • Johanna

    Vincent is the reason behind the disease, that’s horrible. I almost feel sorry for him but he tried to kill several people so no. And then we found out the truth behind Mr. Holm, that was interesting. A women that can change form.

    So what did I think about this book? I think it’s like a cosy blanket, warm and comfortable. I really like Rhen, she is strong and tough. She is the one who carries the story. Sadly I feel that many of the other characters are flat and clichés. And the labyrinth happend to fast. I hoped for more dephts in the story. But I still liked the book. Sometimes a cosy blanket is just what you need.

  • Emily

    I absolutely loved this book and it’s definitely going to be one of my favourites this year. I think it’s because I relate to Rhen a lot – I want to be a scientist and I can understand how it feels to experience things she has. I also loved the plot, the other characters and the romance!

  • Anne

    Such a fantastic read! It’s so intense, partly really funny.
    Did you get that Rhen was a total different person while the maze, never bringing up such weird stories or facts? I love how she goes back to her confident sassy way!

    I was actually a bit sorry for Vincent in that moment – he didn’t mean to create that disease and just, let’s say didn’t know how to help himself in that situation? Besides stepping back – I think he was trying everything to close this door and being an arse because he was desperate! But agree on he has chosen all wrong he could do.

    It kind of makes sense Mr. Holm is a woman – writing under Holm than Mr. Holm, never being in his own ‘body’ known. And it really is the right thing considering the storyline!

    (Taken part in your giveaway, @furandpaper)

  • Jenny

    I did love this book, I think rhen and Lute may be one of my fave couples this year, and Vincent is probably my favourite baddie. I think there were a couple issues with the story, I need to reread as I feel I missed things out. Still giving it 5*

  • Donna (@yorkshirebooknerd)

    What a fantastic book! I really loved it and Rhen is everything ?

  • Darcy Nelson

    I definitely liked this book and of course the readalongs are always fun! But it’s not going to be a top book of the year for me. While I definitly enjoyed it and will possibly reread it in the future I didn’t stay up late reading it or get ahead on the readalong because I had to find out what happened like I did with Storm Crow, Circle of Shadows or my absolute favorite A Curse so Dark and Lonely. It was full of twists and I like that all my questions about Vincent were answered. It was a good pick!

  • Melina

    I have to say that I kind of supposed that Mr Holm could at least change his appearance – not that he is actually a woman but that there is some kind of magic because how else could a person live amongst others without being recognized.
    In my opinion, the story felt a bit rushed after Rhen’s victory. However, I loved her realization that she doesn’t have to fully belong to someone else than herself ? it’s such an important mindset that is passed on to the young girls reading this book! ❤
    I am so glad that I received this book in the March Box and was able to take part in the Readalong because overall I absolutely loved it 🙂

  • Anisha

    I’m already reading next month’s book so I can’t wait for that one!! And the ending to this was perfect!!

  • Tina

    I love, love, love this book, and am so sad it’s over, but wow, what an ending! Perfect!

    I had a tear or two at the family scene with Rhen and her parents. Their love for each other is so real. And when Rhen’s dad hit Uncle Nicholae – yay, go da!!!

    I couldn’t believe that Vincent and his dad showed up to Rhen’s university testing. How arrogant. But I did not see it coming that Vincent created the illness! What a twist. But Rhen figured it out, and now he’s getting his comeuppance.

    I loved Beryll finally telling his parents that he IS going to court Seleni – finally, he’s standing up for himself, and I’m so happy the labyrinth helped him with that.

    Holm – MISS Holm!!! Another great, and unexpected, twist, that is just perfect for this story. And explains so much!

    Finally, Lute turned up – I wasnt sure if he would, or if Rhen was going to have to go look for him. The part on the beach where Rehn strips off down to her……boy trousers(!) made me laugh so much. Really sums up her character, as does the description of her being like the sea – wild and untameable.

    And finally, wrapping the whole thing up perfectly – the letter from Holm, celebrating Rhen’s acceptance to university. Perfect. Just perfect.

    I’m going to miss this book – until the next time….!

  • khaines13

    This book was just everything!

    Thank you for choosing this book 🙂

    I have nothing else to say…


  • Kristina

    I really loved reading this book. I gave it a four star rating, which means it’s fantastic.

    Thank you for including this book in your box. I felt it included a variety of characters and views that sometimes aren’t represented in other books. That was brilliant!

    This was my first readalong and I really enjoyed participating with you all ?

  • Lisa

    I knew Vincent had something sinister about his character since he was first introduced, and I’m glad my instincts didn’t fail me!
    Rhen and Seleni are girl power incarnate, loved them both so much!
    I’m glad Beryll got over his shyness and made his courting of Seleni official.
    Lute is perfect for Rhen, and I’m so happy he isn’t creeped out by her when she starts talking decomposition and corpses lol!
    I loved that Holm was, in fact, a woman, and that she was paving the way for other women to fight for their dreams and to never give up! I also love the magic she has to change her appearance (who wouldn’t want that as a special power now and again?!?)

    I thoroughly enjoyed this book!! A great book for my first fairyloot box and fairyloot readalong!

  • Ella

    I did not see that twist about the virus coming… loved it.

    Kinda sad this readalong went by so quick. Hope evryone had a great time.

    Also, I am dyslexic. This was the first time I have read a book with a dyslexic character in it. So this book will always be special to me.

  • TheLondonFaerie

    I loved this book! I loved the ending too, it was so amazing!
    Also I didn’t see Holm being a woman coming that was a really nice surprise!
    Rhen is such a strong brilliant character and I wish we had more from her!
    Also will be entering the giveaway tomorrow! (@thelondonfaerie)

  • Lucy

    Well, this part just confirmed that I love Vincent as a villain. To see that he could have turned out as a decent person if he had made a different choice after his mistake, that had to hurt! And Holm being a woman wasn’t something I expected, although I really should have guessed since ‘gentlepersons’ rather than ‘gentlemen’ and how eager they were for Rhen to compete.

    This was a light fantasy that lived up to its name, a really quick, fun read. It’s not going to be one of my favourite books of the year but it was enjoyable enough. I also really appreciate the fact that it’s standalone, it’s refreshing to see sometimes!

  • Jess (@bookwyrmbella)

    I Knew it! I was right about Vincent creating the disease. Although, it does seem like he mostly did it by accident and never meant for it to hurt anyone but it is hard to know for sure since he did try to kill people during the competition.

    I didn’t figure out that Holm was a woman but I have to say, I am not entirely surprised. In both letters she actually only signs it as Holms, not Mr. Holms. It mentions Mr. Holms in the letter but that could be a call back to the tradition from her father and ancestors. Either way I thought it was a nice twist that explains why a girl was given the opportunity to enter.

    I am so happy for Seleni and Beryll. They are a wonderful couple and now they can officially be together and they deserve all of the happiness that brings.

    I am also happy for Rhen and Lute. For a moment, like Rhen, I thought that Lute was saying he only wanted to be friends until she finished University and then they would rediscuss the courting issue. I am glad that is not the case and they are going to make it work now! I laughed when Rhen switched to talking about corpses. Such a Rhen thing to say.

    This was definitely a worthwhile pick for the book of the month and it turned out a lot better than I initially was expecting. I am already excited for next month’s book too!

  • Claire (@love.the.villain)

    I really didn’t see the twist with Vincent coming. I mean, he turned out to be the cause of the illness all along! How could he not tell anyone what happened? Maybe he could have worked on a cure or something, but instead he buried his head in the sand and wished it would all go away, which it didn’t! What a jerk!

    I’m so happy with how everything wrapped up, though. It’s a nice happy ending and there’s still so much that Rhen wants to do. I hope her and Lute actually get together properly at some point. He’s the sort you don’t want to let get away!?

    I loved reading this book, and reading everyone’s views has been amazing. I’m so glad you all seemed to enjoy it as much as I did! Definitely a five star book! ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
    Thanks for hosting the readalong again, Lauren.

  • Katrin

    I definitely thought Vincent is shady but I didn’t expect him to be SHADY.

    It was a serious moment, but when Rhen told Lute they should just be friends, I laughed because Lute was so appalled. So glad it all worked out, though and that they talked it through.

    I really enjoyed this readalong! Thank you so much!

  • Jenthebookishbakernz

    I really enjoyed this book. I NEED more standalones. I wasn’t at s surprised that Holm was a woman. I disliked Vincent more & more thought the book but didn’t expect that he had accidentally created the disease. It did explain so much of his behavior. I loved both couples in this book and Sam & Will were fun.

  • Sarah L

    This book was so good! I love that it was a fun quick read! I’m so glad we got to learn why Vincent suddenly changed career paths and started acting differently. I feel bad because it was clearly an accident and he was probably very scared of the consequences should it be found out that he created a horrible disease. But he acted so poorly and all of his behavior during the competition was dreadful. I loved that everyone else got a nice ending. Rhen’s mom got to attend the party and her father is now welcome. I loved when he punched the uncle! Beryll and Seleni are precious I’m so happy for them. Lute literally made me swoon when he was telling Rhen how much he loved her on the beach. That fisherman knows how to talk to a lady!

  • Abby A (bookish_princess)

    I love when Da decks the uncle! Justice! Loved seeing who Holm was and why there was support of women. Lute’s offer was SO pure hearted I feel in love. HIS MONOLOGUE SWOON! The ending was very sweet. One of my FAVORITE parts of the whole book was the point that women who have dreams to be mothers and homemakers are not lesser dreams than those who want uni and careers both are amazing dreams and goals meant for women. Solid book fully enjoyed it! Finished it in one day (Lots of reading on my flight) and on the 25th in my time zone! Can’t wait for the next readalong!

  • CarolineJ

    Somehow I saw the twist that Mr Holm was a woman coming – I think cause it seemed to fit well with both the theme of the novel, and the fact that Holm said “gentleperson” in the letter. though I did like the comment made by Ms Holm that she wants to help others get to University because she wasn’t able to.

    I did feel more sorry for Vincent though after finding out he had inadvertently created the disease – after all, he never intended to do that? And it did ruin his dreams and interest in science. Like, sure he reacted the wrong way by being a bit of an arse in the maze… but I dunno? It doesn’t feel right to punish him for an honest, yet terrifying, mistake. It also felt like this was added in as a way to make us hate Vincent more, which I don’t know if was needed really? I was more hoping for something to genuinely warm us to Vincent – it might have fit better with what we learn of his and Rhen’s friendship.

  • Tamara (@words_abound)

    This was such a fun fast-paced easy read , and perfect for my first readalong!

    I can’t believe it was Vincent that caused the disease! That made me so mad, when Rhen started to put two and two together I had an inkling that it would come back to that dream she had while in the Labyrinth, foreshadowing anyone? I’m glad he got caught, but I do wonder what will happen with him. I kind of feel bad for him, but not that bad, he is the villain after all.

    Beryll and Seleni, #Bereniforever! So cute how he stepped up and will officially be courting Seleni now. I love the formality of the courting, and calling everyone by their surnames, it’s adorable!

    Awww, Lute and Rhen! Lute’s proposal to look in on her family was the sweetest, and I had such a huge smile on my face. I’m so happy the two of them will be together and fight for what they want.

    I absolutely loved To Best the Boys way more than I would have imagined. Such a cute and fun story that swept me off my feet and into a new world. I can’t wait to join in on the next readalong!

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12th July 2024

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