Most Likely to Succeed is the final book in the Superlatives trilogy by Jennifer Echols. Having read the first two, I was most excited for this book for one reason – Sawyer. Sawyer has been a character who has been present since the first book, Biggest Flirts. As such, the series feels as if it has been building towards this book from the get-go. I’m not going to lie, knowing that a book was going to be about him had my interest from day one. He’s just such a great character.
In Most Likely to Succeed, we get Kaye’s point-of-view for the first time. Kaye is the student council vice president and overall super-driven good-girl of the Superlatives girl trio. Kaye has always obeyed her mom’s severe parenting style and followed the path of least resistance, throwing herself into studies and school activities alike to make her college applications better rounded. Her only point of rebellion is in joining the cheerleaders, which her mother views as an extreme waste of her time. If only her mother knew that Kaye’s heart is drifting away from her three-year-long-ivy-school-bound-student-council-presidential boyfriend, Aidan, and towards the school’s bad boy, Sawyer, then her mother might have more to worry about. If cheerleading is a waste of time than what is Sawyer, the man voted most likely to go to jail just like his no-good Father?
Kaye has a troubled relationship with Aidan from which she cannot escape. That Sawyer is the school mascot means that she spends even more time with him during cheerleading practice and games. They spend so much time together, with the council meetings and the advanced classes, that she doesn’t know how to deal with her burgeoning feelings. When it becomes obvious that Sawyer may be reciprocating her own desires, it’s all Kaye can do to concentrate on school and remember that she has a relationship of her own without him.
Something that I have noticed with this book, and the previous title Perfect Couple, is Echols ability to capture the day-to-day drudgery of realistic relationships that are going to hell. She has this knack for writing long-term domestic enmity with a polish that I envy. To see her characters brewing with such scathing hatred is a real knack. It takes a subtlety that really speaks of her skills to create realistic characterization that springs from very little; gestures, sentiments, and well-developed scorn. There is a fine line between love and hate and Echols captures it magically.
On the other side of the coin is a sweet and sentimental relationship that is everything that I wanted from Sawyer. He’s complex, he’s complicated, and he’s entirely captivating. He’s exactly what I want for a book boyfriend. To watch him and Kay go through everything that they go through, to see the sparks and the fizzles… well, it’s pretty damned good. There is a bit of predictability that goes along with the romance formula but the characters are so engaging that I can overlook that. It’s fantastic to see the ups and downs of this book. It was exactly what and how I wanted this series to end.
Fun books. 4 out of 5 stars.
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