The Boy Next Door

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Book Information
Rating: Dependable
Reading/Interest Level: Young Adult
Author: Katie Van Ark
Publisher: Swoon Reads
Year: 2015
ISBN: 9781250061461
Pages: 347

Maddy and Gabe have been best friends and ice skating partners for as long as they can remember. Gabe has always been very platonic with his side of the relationship, never giving Maddy any reason to believe there is more than best friendship involved. Despite her best efforts, Maddy keeps falling "head over skates" for Gabe with each moment they are together. When Igor, their ice skating coach, assigns them music from the opera version of Romeo and Juliet, their relationship takes a turn. Their feelings grow as the two progress with their routine. Their relationship deepens, trust is threatened, and their partnership is tested in ways they never expected. In the end, Gabe and Maddy admit their feelings for each other and continue to strive for the gold.

This story follows the relationship of two best friends as they tackle the pressures of waiting, skating, and (finally) dating. The author does a phenomenal job of giving both Maddy and Gabe personalities that are unique, fun, and work well together. The book is written from the perspectives of both Maddy and Gabe, switching between the two with each chapter. The font changes with the perspective, giving the reader another clue as to whose perspective they are reading. Though the language and intense sexual scenes may make this book difficult for certain readers, following Maddy and Gabe through this book and watching the relationship develop will truly make readers swoon.

*Contains severe language and severe sexual content