Ava, CJ, Jordan and Martha have been inseparable since they were five and have come to rely on the close and supportive nature of their relationships to navigate the very different challenges of their lives. However, their high school days are ending and they are only too aware that their career choices will end the proximity with each other which underpins their lives.
Watson is adept at creating characters who come alive on the page but the situations in which she places them are so crowded with issues which need to be resolved that they feel at times more like a tick-list to be worked through than credible dilemmas. The narrative bowls along at a brisk pace-the girls have important decisions to make and there is much to consider in their emotional lives, too, but Watson tends to fall into the trap of cliché – particularly when high emotion is involved.
The book begins with a cliffhanger as one of the girls is sworn in as the first female President of the United States, but the girl’s identity is withheld until the end. Watson weaves expectation into the story’s set pieces, giving clues, hints and red herrings and these keep the mystery alive. I like the insistence that women can achieve at the highest levels but, again, this is wrapped up rather too neatly when all the girls get to the highest levels in their chosen careers.
Sarah Watson writes and produces for television and this, her first novel, often feels like a script for a sitcom, with its many emotional scenarios and rather implausible situations. However, in the end, it must be recognised that Most Likely will hook in young female readers who may well find answers to some of the problems which they are facing.