Published by Macmillan, Swoon Reads on January 6, 2015
Genres: contemporary, Ice Skating, Love & Romance, Young Adult
Source: Paperback ARC from Publisher
Maddy Spier has been in love with the boy next door forever. As his figure skating partner she spends time in his arms every day. But she’s also seen his arms around other girls—lots of other girls.
Gabe can't imagine skating with anyone but Maddy, and together they have a real chance at winning some serious gold medals. So, he’s determined to keep thinking of her like a sister. After all, he’s never had a romantic relationship that lasted for more than two weeks.
But when their coach assigns a new romantic skating program, everything changes. Will this be the big break that Maddy’s been hoping for or the big breakup that Gabe has always feared?
The Boy Next Door is the first book I have had the pleasure of reading from the new crowd-sourced Macmillan imprint, Swoon Reads. I absolutely love the idea behind Swoon Reads. It is a community that anyone can join online for free, writers can upload their manuscripts and readers can read them and vote on their favorites and leave feedback. It’s great because teens and readers in the Swoon Reads Community are telling the writers and publishers what they like and what they don’t, and they are helping to pick the next books that are going to be published. It is such a great concept.
The Boy Next Door is an ice skating romance, that reminded me of Jennifer Comeaux’s Crossing the Ice– which I absolutely loved. So I was super excited to dive right into another pairs figure skating romance. And The Boy Next Door was a great one! There were some skating struggles, but there weren’t as many on ice problems as there were in Crossing the Ice, but rather, in the Boy Next Door, most of the problems centered on the pair off the ice.
The book is told is dual narrative between Gabe and Maddy and the font even changes when the chapters change point of view. I love little touches like that in books. I am a big fan of this narration style because I feel like it enables the reader to really get to know the characters very well. Especially in a romance like this one, where you could see how any given decision affected Maddy and Gabe differently. Their personality differences were accentuated throughout the story. But yet, in so many ways they were the perfect complements to one another. I really liked them together. I was rooting from them from the start, and even though I thought Gabe was making it much harder than it needed to be. I mean come on, his two week and i’m bored rule is such a lame excuse to not get in a relationship with a girl that he so obviously cares about.
While this was a fluffy, feel good romance, there were some serious things Maddy and Gabe had to deal with. I really liked that their family lives were a focus of the story as well. Katie Van Ark did a really good job of telling a well rounded and complete feeling story.The writing was witty, cute and felt very conversational. The pacing and story development was great and this book made me feel a whole spectrum of emotions. I’m not sure if there is going to be a second book or not, but I sure hope so. I could use another dose of Maddy and Gabe.
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