ARC Review: The Boy Next Door by Katie Van Ark

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

The Boy Next Door by Katie Van Ark
Published by: Swoon Reads on January 6th, 2015
Series: No
Pages: 368
Format: ARC Paperback
Genre: Contemporary
Source: For Review
Rating: 5/5

From Goodreads: 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 see 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 series 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?

My thoughts:

Dear The Boy Next Door,

Oh holy feels. You are full of the feel, The Boy Next Door. I'm still basking in the glow of all the Maddy & Gabe feels, and it's been months since I first read you. I already want to read you again, that is how much I love you and your epic swoony feels. I guess that's the major reason why you were pubbed by Swoon Reads, am I right? *crickets* Okay, I suck at jokes, but for realsies, you made me swoon hard.

You follow the story of Maddy and Gabe, alternating chapters between the two ice skaters who are partners. Of course, they live next door to each other, hence your title. Maddy has been in love with Gabe since the beginning, and has watched as Gabe has taken girl after girl into his bed. Yes, Gabe is quite the little player. However, he chooses to make Maddy off limits to his bed and to his heart, because feelings get in the way of competing in figure skating, and they can't have that if they are going to win big, until one day, their coach switches up their program from a fun carefree one to one that's a little bit (or a lot) on the romantic side. How is Gabe supposed to not care for Maddy that way if their coach is forcing them to act that way on the ice? Will Maddy finally have her dream come true of having Gabe fall into her arms the way she desperately desires?

It takes a lot for me to like a book with alternating chapters, especially when one is from a male perspective. I'm not sure what it is about reading from a guy, but most of the time, I don't really enjoy it. It bores me to tears, but that definitely wasn't the case with you, The Boy Next Door. Your boy, Gabe, was addictive to read from, as well as Maddy. They both had such diverse dialogue that I didn't even need to read the name at the beginning of each chapter to know who it was. That's a hard feat to accomplish, but your author, Katie Van Ark, nails it! Besides the major heavy swoonage inside your pages, I found myself loving you because of the humor! I was literally laughing out loud, which isn't something that happens very often with me. Sure, you were light-hearted at points, but you also had your deep points too. I fell for Maddy and Gabe equally and desperately wanted them to live happily ever after together, because hello! They are perfect for each other.

So far, I think you are my favorite of the three Swoon Reads books I've read so far. I enjoyed A Little Something Different, sure, but you, The Boy Next Door? I stayed up an entire night to read you. I. Could. Not. Stop. Flipping. Pages. Each chapter urged me on to the next fluidly. I've already gushed about how much I loved Maddy and Gabe, but your secondary characters were flawlessly executed as well. I adored their families and how they had a special night each week to hang out together, and Maddy and Gabe's friends that couple skate too. I really really really want a companion novel about them, so be sure to pass that on to your author, Katie, will ya? 

Honestly, The Boy Next Door, you were one of my favorite contemporaries that I read last year, and that's definitely saying something because I read a bajillion contemps last year. I was not expecting to love you as much as I did, and I'm definitely going to be pushing you into every single person's hand, or secretively sliding you into people's baskets at the bookstore, because hey, they deserve the heavy swoonage too! Top ten fave of the year? Easily! Amazing characters? Hells yes! Strong Family ties? Even better! SWOONS? Still sighing over them! Funny as get-out dialogue? Still giggling over some of those lines! You are one heck of a book, The Boy Next Door, and the fact that you are still stuck in my mind months later solidifies my five star rating! 

Wanting to go ice-skate now,


Have you read The Boy Next Door?
What did you think?
Wanna read it? 
Let's discuss!
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  1. Eeeek!!! SO happy to hear that you loved this one because I am dying to read it! I'm a big fan of alternating chapters with a guy's POV so I know I'll enjoy that :D I will definitely be using one of my precious gift cards to buy this one ;) Great review!

  2. I'm a little nervous about the dual perspective, it can be hit or miss for me.
    Paulina @ The Little Book Pixie

  3. Well, I've heard some good reviews for this one but NONE as enthusiastic as yours! I'm quite tempted to give it a try because I've been watching a lot of ice skating as of late! ;)
    Great review Becca!!

  4. I wish I had liked this one as much as you! I think it was a little too drama-filled for me, and I didn't find Gabe very swoon worthy. :/ So far I'm 1/3 on Swoon titles (I really liked A Little Something Different but hated Save Me).
    This is such a fun review though. :D

    Danielle @ Love at First Page


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