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Howdy YAL!

I used to be the blogger called YAL Book Briefs, but I grew bored of the handle and changed my name to Howdy YAL. I also respond to MJ. I like to read, write, eat truffles, and watch bad Lifetime movies. 


By Katie Van Ark The Boy Next Door [Paperback] - Katie Van Ark



Yeah, I shared that same look that Ashley Wagner had on her face during Sochi when I read this book.


I expected lots more toe picks than I got.  And a love interest that didn’t make me want to barf.


Because yes, Gabe, you didn’t make me swoon you made me sick to my stomach.

That’s not a talking point.  But never in 2015, have I seen a love interest that’s jut so ew inducing.


Grant it, 2015 is only nine days old and I’m sure I’ll see just as gross or grosser love interests in the near future, but Gabe is just an annoying dick.



He starts off having a reputation of a player.


Which is fine, I guess.  I’m really not that big of a fan of that particular trope, but it can work. Here, I saw no growth with Gabe.  Oh yeah, once he was with Maddie he wasn’t as big as a man whore as he was twenty pages before, but the change was too instant.  And I just hate how wishy washy and weak the character was.


He honestly read, to me, like the guy that would get dumped by our fair heroine after she realizes that the geeky guy who rents out skates at the rink she rains at is really a better catch and can actually do a triple and other jumps that you’re required to do to be on the senior circuit.


But nope, it’s all about Gabe.


Maddie, herself, wasn’t horrible.  The character could’ve been interesting.  There were moments, here and there, where I liked her but skating partner and circumstances made her annoying.  I really hated how nonchalant she was about everything.  While she did get occasionally mad at Wishy Washy Gabe, she didn’t get mad at him the way she should’ve been mad at him.  The same goes with reactions in other parts of her life.  Since I don’t want to get too spoiler heavy, I’ll just say that there are a couple of revelations at the end that should’ve been dealt with more than an shrug okay and that’s pretty much it.


The end…


Oh, baby.


It was painful.


So painful.


I knew I was going to get cheese with this book.  I wanted cheese. But I wanted high class sharp cheddar, not Cheese Whiz.


And that’s what this book is, Cheese Whiz.


Every moment was cringe worth.


Which is a shame because it had a lot of potential.


The skating, the part that made me want to read the book played a minuscule role.  When it was included in the book, it just seemed more like it was thrown in there to get people to buy the book.


It was really about Maddie and Gabe.




Other than those two, there really wasn’t a large plot.  There were a couple of side plots, but they weren’t really fleshed out that well.


To be honest, this book really reminded me of a Disney Chanel movie.  The writing was about on par as one.  And the depth in relationships was pretty akin to it as well.

I think I would’ve given the book a slightly higher rating than it did had it not been for the ending.  It reeked of melodrama that was only used to—well, make the book feel like it had an actual plot when it didn’t.


I probably really won’t remember The Boy Next Door in about two weeks.  It really was unremarkable. While  I might’ve gotten annoyed with Gabe and he was a drip, he was a pretty unremarkable drip.  I knew that he was going to be an idiot and he was.  No surprise there.


Overall Rating: C- while not worst thing ever this book is not getting a gold medal (or any medal) anytime soon.



Source: http://howdyyal.wordpress.com/2015/01/09/splat-the-boy-next-door-by-katie-van-ark