FAN-TAS-TIC.

The Boy Next Door was a perfect winter read (I happened to read it just before Christmas). At first, I was skeptical that this was going to turn out kind of….chintzy. But it starts with a sweet and short prologue (I’m not a huge fan of prologues, but this one was ok).

Then it heads off directly into the drama. But, not immediately to her relationship drama with Gabe. It starts with an ice dancing couple arguing. (this couple dates each other off the ice)

This other couple was an excellent touch for the book, because it brought the reader closer to Gabe’s fears. He fears that if he starts dating Maddy, that they’ll end up like this other couple. Bickering all the time, and with a dead career in skating.

I got engrossed, fast. Perhaps another reason for that was DUAL POV. YAS. I can’t resist male POV. It’s inexplicably refreshing

And here, we have the obligatory misunderstandings and physical chemistry. This is potentially one of the steamiest YA’s I’ve read.

There are secrets and overheard conversations…mistaken identity… It was all so well balanced.

There were only two points that made me rate this a four star instead of five.

Maddy.

I liked her well enough, but there was a lot of flaws and drama surrounding her, and yet none of it was her own.

I mean, there was drama that involved her. Like with her father and her Gabe and skating… but as far as personal, inner flaws went, there weren’t any. Not any real flaws. Not like Gabe’s fear of commitment or fear of losing control. No flaws that interfered with her life in an equally extreme sense.

The second, would be descriptions.

What made me dock the star, was because there was a lot of skating terms used, which weren’t described. It would have been better if there had been more descriptions of the moves.

I love watching ice skating, but I don’t get to do it that much. I couldn’t remember any of the moves names. Which meant that when the scene was playing out in my head, it was sparse due to lack of identification. I couldn’t picture exactly what was happening during their skates.

There were some fabulous descriptions elsewhere. (like describing the cold of the rink, which made me feel physically cold. Holy great writing batman!)

Some of my favorite parts were of course in Gabe’s POV. His POV was a bit sparser, coarser. It’s a texture of voice that I adore.

I’m keeping my copy and will be re-reading it every Christmas to feel the winter spirit. I’d absolutely recommend this to older YA readers.