Reviewed by Sally Kruger, aka "Readingjunky" for TeensReadToo.com
HOW YA LIKE ME NOW by Brendan Halpin is the story of opposites. One boy - his father dead and his mother entering rehab to kick her OxyContin habit. Another boy - two caring parents and anything he needs and wants.
Eddie and Alex are cousins. They haven't seen each other much over the years, but that's all about to change.
Eddie's lost his dad unexpectedly, and he has found himself taking over for his mother more and more lately. She found that using his dad's leftover prescriptions helped dull her pain. Eddie hasn't had time to socialize. His focus is on keeping their home together and not falling behind in school. Unfortunately, her life spiraling out of control has left Eddie with the options of foster care or moving to live with relatives he barely knows.
Alex hears his cousin will soon be sharing his room. Used to being the only child in a pretty comfortable home environment makes Alex doubtful that the experience will be a pleasant one. Sharing is not something he is very accustomed to, including girls. Alex is gifted in the area of women. They gravitate toward him, so he's always with someone and is filled with quirky advice about how to make the right move to attract the right girl.
His relocation takes Eddie not only into a new home, but also into a new school setting. The school is a special private school with a focus on professionalism in every aspect of the students' lives. Although it is not what he is used to, Eddie finds that with the help and friendship of Alex, he becomes quite comfortable. In fact so comfortable, that when there is news his mother is recovering and wants to get in touch with him, Eddie battles mixed feelings about returning to his former life.
Told from alternating points of view, HOW YA LIKE ME NOW relates the inner feelings of both boys. The reader learns the inner workings of these two opposite characters. There are both serious moments and lighthearted comic relief. Most readers will choose a favorite character and cheer him on until the end.