Review: The Cortlandt Boys

Hello wonderful people!

I have another book review for you guys! We were sent “The Cortlandt Boys” in return for an honest review, which was meant to be reviewed by the start of April (I promise I’m not this unreliable usually!) so it’s a tad late!! Therefore I apologise greatly and thank the author for being so patient!

Title: The Cortlandt Boys
Author: Laura Vanderkam
Publisher: Laura Vanderkam Books
Publication Date: December 16th 2014
Pages: 338

Monisah’s thoughts:

At first I was quite intimidated by the book because I’ve never really read sports fiction before, and the closest I’ve ever gotten to watching a basketball match is watching High School Musical… But, I gave it a try anyways! At first, I was slightly regretting my choices because I found the book so hard to get into. The book is split into four parts: The Prologue and Part One which are both in Max’s point of view, and Part Two and The Epilogue which was told in Janies point of view 20 years later. I found the Prologue overwhelming because we were introduced to so many characters and it was quite hard to get your head around. But, as the story progressed I started enjoying the book more.

Apart from the sports aspect, there were so many themes in the book: mystery, family and romance, which made the book so much more enjoyable for people like me who don’t know the slightest about basketball! However, I will admit I had to kind of skim read the basketball matches because I didn’t really know what was going on.


I’ve never read a book with the same layout as The Cortlandt Boys. It was interesting to read beyond High School as not many YA books explore life outside high school. Max was my favourite character and I thoroughly enjoyed reading her part of the book. She was the only character who made something out of her life outside of high school and I respected her charisma and optimism.

However, I did have some problems with the book. Firstly, the storyline didn’t really do it for me. I kept waiting for Vanderkam to wow me but that moment never happened. I felt like the storyline was building up to some crazy plot twist that would blow me away, but I finished the book without that happening.


As I mentioned before, I really enjoyed Max’s part of the book, but I can’t say the same for the second half of the book which was in Janie’s point of view. I didn’t like Janie as a character, I found her quite annoying and I couldn’t relate to her. It made the second half of the book really hard to read and I found I had no motivation to pick up the book when I wasn’t reading it.

Overall, the book was okay. It didn’t do much for me, but I didn’t hate it either. I’m not sure I will be running out to read sports fiction any time soon but I definitely don’t regret reading The Cortlandt Boys.

Rating: 3/5

Thank you for reading!

Stay beautiful,

Monisah xo


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