Book Review | The Boy Next Door by Katie Van Ark

Katie Van Ark
Advance Reader Copy, 347 pages
Publication date:
January 6th 2015
Swoon Reads
Received from publisher in exchange for an honest review.

When it comes to contemporary YA, I’m a bit of a sucker for the whole friends-to-more romances. Maybe it has to do with the fact that I watched all my friends fall in and out of love with each other throughout high school, who knows? Anyways The Boy Next Door is your typical story of a girl who has been in love with the same boy since she was a kid, and yes he does live in the house beside to hers. In addition to being friends from a young age in addition to neighbours, Maddy and Gabe are also figure skating partners. Things are suddenly set into motion when one day when their skating coach approaches them with the idea of performing Romeo and Juliet for their next skating program.

On top of the endearing way Gabe and Maddy’s relationship progressively changed into something more, there were numerous aspects of this book that made it such an enjoyable read. For instance I loved how Maddy’s parents were portrayed in this book; they were definitely not faultless however they were supportive and loving towards her. This was also in spite of Maddy’s dad being an extremely busy politician. Oh and it was pleasant to see a portrayal of a politician who was not a shady or sleazy person or neglectful of his family instead he was just a regular person whose job just happens to be that he’s a politician. This was a refreshing change from reading YA novels where parents were missing, dead, neglectful and/or abusive. Additionally, I enjoyed seeing how Maddy gradually learns to seize control and fight for what she wants, in addition to the character development that Gabe undergoes as he shifts from a being a bit of jerk to somebody who is a decent person and somebody who even Maddy’s father can approve of dating his daughter. Finally while I am not a major fan of skating (probably due to the fact that I was never able to learn how to skate), The Boy Next Door made the world of figure skating feel incredibly magical in that it was clearly evident that the authour has a passion for the sport too.

The Boy Next Door is an excellent choice for fans of addicting, sweet romance with a dash of drama. It definitely is one of the few, rare books that had me rooting for the couple to get together from the introduction of the book.

Regardless of how this book came into my possession, the above review consists of my honest opinion of the book and my opinion only.