Monday, August 17, 2015

The Boy Next Door by Katie Van Ark

The Boy Next Door by Katie Van Ark
Source: Library
Pages: 347
Publisher: Swoon Reads
Release Date: January 6th 2015
Series: Standalone
Verdict: Borrow

SummaryMaddy 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?

Review: I honestly still don't know how to feel about this book. I was looking forward to it for awhile, so maybe I set my expectations up way too high, but I don't think that's the main thing. This book fell a little flat in my opinion. Don't get me wrong, it's still an enjoyable book, but it's not one that really kept my full attention. 

The concept of friendship turned to relationship is a classic YA topic, and this one was quite unique since it deals with figure skating, which I love, but rarely see in books. Done right, it becomes a fantastic read, one worth shelving for future rereads. But done wrong, it becomes a pain to complete, a book that will not be revisited.

The characters were alright at first, but as I got to know them more, I found my attention waning. Maddy and Gabe are best friends. They're figure skating partners. They're neighbors. And they both like each other. So, what's the problem? Maddy wants more, but Gabe is scared to mess things up. But that's exactly what messes things up in this book.

Maddy goes and acts in ways I really didn't find necessary as the book progresses, while Gabe seems to be fighting all his instincts. Things get intense, but not the kind of intense that I enjoy. The content spirals out of a control a bit, becoming messy and hard to follow. 

I love that one of the main topics revolved around an athletic activity. I'm a big fan of books with sporty people and plot lines, and The Boy Next Door caught my attention because of that. Yet, I discovered that with all sporty kinds of books comes lots of drama. Sometimes it's good, even great. But other times, it's not so good and not so great. In this case, there was a situation of the not so good and not so great. The drama that occurred was sloppy and random, and I couldn't get my mind around much of what was happening. It got crazy, but not the good kind.

The Boy Next Door has its cute and memorable moments, but all in all, it wasn't really worth a read for me. It had all the potential, but unfortunately, it didn't quite play out the way it could have.

Could've been better


  1. Yikes! This was a book that I was initially interested in, but lost interest after reviews started to come in. To be fair, most of the reviews were very positive, but meh. Ice skating is pretty rare in YA! Too bad your interest dwindled, the more you read. Wish you had liked this one more! I doubt I will ever read it, and this solidifies that.

    Great review, Grace!

    Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!

    1. Yeah, this one was a huge a disappointment! I definitely want to see more ice skating in YA, though!

      -Grace :)