Title: To Best the Boys
Author: Mary Weber
Every year for the past fifty-four years, the residents of Pinsbury Port receive a mysterious letter inviting all eligible-aged boys to compete for an esteemed scholarship to the all-male Stemwick University. Every year, the poorer residents look to see that their names are on the list. The wealthier look to see how likely their sons are to survive. And Rhen Tellur opens it to see if she can derive which substances the ink and parchment are created from, using her father’s microscope.
In the province of Caldon, where women are trained in wifely duties and men are encouraged into collegiate education, sixteen-year-old Rhen Tellur wants nothing more than to become a scientist. As the poor of her seaside town fall prey to a deadly disease, she and her father work desperately to find a cure. But when her Mum succumbs to it as well? Rhen decides to take the future into her own hands—through the annual all-male scholarship competition.
With her cousin, Seleni, by her side, the girls don disguises and enter Mr. Holm’s labyrinth, to best the boys and claim the scholarship prize. Except not everyone’s ready for a girl who doesn’t know her place. And not everyone survives the maze.
I loved this! Welcome to a world where The Maze Runner, Hunger Games, and Divergent are a reality. In order to get a chance to apply to an infamous college, children of a certain age are given the opportunity to compete for a chance in Holm’s maze. But this isn’t your typical maze…beasts and ghouls are around every corner, it is an exercise both physically and mentally, and death is an imminent threat.
Who are your real friends and who are your enemies? Struggling for survival and the hope of a better future, Rhen finds herself caught between finding a cure for her mother and fighting for her independence.
Did anyone else love Lute?!
In a story of women empowerment, justice, and the desire for equality, we find ourselves encountering two women want entirely different things, but on the same journey to happiness. What will happen if Rhen and Seleni are caught in this game historically created for male participants? Will Rhen be able to save her mother? How was this deadly disease created? And most importantly, who will win Holm’s maze?