January 18, 2015

The Boy Next Door - Katie Van Ark

The Boy Next Door book cover
The Boy Next Door by Katie Van Ark
Publisher: Swoon Reads
Publication Date: January 6, 2015
Source/Format: Publisher (Thanks!) || ARC
[I received this book from the publisher. This in no way affects the opinions expressed in my review.]

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?

You know that satisfying joy you get after watching a romantic comedy or a Disney Channel Original Movie where things fall perfectly into place by the end? That’s how readers will feel after reading The Boy Next Door. It’s a really cute story, involving two best friends, figure skating and a bunch of will they-won’t they-should they-could they moments all tied together with the potential for a sweet romance.

I liked driven, fearless Maddy, and I liked strong, thoughtful Gabe. I liked their budding romance, especially as someone who adores the idea of falling for the boy next door. I loved their friendship, the history they share, a mutual passion for skating (together) and just the easy way they can be there for each other during tough times. I enjoyed the familial aspect of the book, and how the friendship between their parents was a big part of the reason Maddy and Gabe had been friends since they were little. 

While all these things were definitely positive, personally, I don’t think they’re very memorable. So, while I liked it, it isn’t a story I’d reread. Plus, there are definitely moments where Maddy and Gabe push my levels of frustration to the limits with their choices and their reactions! That soured my reading experience the teensiest bit, since there were moments that felt too contrived or overly dramatic and I’m personally not a big fan of those things. 

Basically, if you’re hunting down a cute rom-com type read, then The Boy Next Door could be that book! The romance is cute, the banter and swoons pretty adorable and the couple is worth rooting for. While it’s not necessarily going to become a go-to recommendation, it was definitely a decent and entertaining read.


  1. I just started this book. I haven't read a cute romance in a while so I'm looking forward to breezing through it and chuckling. :)

  2. While I'm glad you enjoyed this one, I think I'm going to skip this one. I love cutesy Disney-type romances, but I think there are other adorable romances out there that are memorable. Lovely review though! <3

  3. I've been wanting to read this one, because: figure skating! I love cutesy romances so, I'll pick it up soon, I think.

  4. Great review, Alexa! Like you, this isn't a book I'll be re-reading and I was frustrated a lot with the characters (especially Gabe), but it does have its cute moments. Not sure I'd recommend it to everyone though. I was definitely expecting something better. :/


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