Thursday, February 26, 2015

Review: The Boy Next Door

The Boy Next Door
Author: Katie Van Ark
Published: January 6th, 2015
Paperback, 368 pages
4 Gold Stars

(summary 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 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?

I'm a sucker for romantic stories and this one certainly delivered. Going in, I knew it would be adorable and very sappy at times, and I'm not going to lie when I say I love that about it. Other people may not like the super cute adorable story about two very good friends and skating partners who realize they are meant for each other once they are put into more romantic situations. Swoon Reads has pegged itself as the go-to romantic YA central and so far I've liked what I've seen.

Maddy and Gabe have been skating together since they were kids. They've done really well in competition together and have a pretty good shot at going to the World Championships. Up until now, Gabe has seen Maddy as his little sister but she has always been in love with him, even though he can't keep a girlfriend and has a different conquest every two weeks. But when they get a new romantic program, suddenly it's very hard just to stay friends, especially when these feelings have been lingering beneath the surface for so long.

What happens next is adorable and sweet and kept me turning the pages. I loved the tension between the two, especially since it was in duel perspectives and I knew exactly how each of them felt about the other. Their relationship advanced both on and off the ice, and as they get closer together, secrets and family get in the way. It's the perfect mix of love and reality, giving these two lovers a run for their money as they decide if it's all worth it to go for it together. My favourite parts were when they were skating. I loved the skating lingo and picturing their routines in my head. I was so proud of them when they won and disappointed when things didn't go their way. There were a lot of obstacles along the way and I loved how they handled each of them. This was a fast read and just the kind of book to read around Valentine's Day or on a day you just want a snuggly book that will leave you feeling good inside.

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