Thursday, 9 April 2015

Review: The Boy Next Door by Katie Van Ark


Title: The Boy Next Door
Author: Katie Van Ark
Author Info: Website|Blog|Facebook|Twitter
Genre: Young Adult
Source: NetGalley
Publisher: Macmillan Children's Books
Publication Date: 15th January 2015
Rating: 3 stars

Tell Me About It
In this intensely romantic novel, Maddy falls in love with her skating partner - who is also the boy next door.
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 break-up that Gabe has always feared?
My Thoughts
I first heard about The Boy Next Door at a blogger event last year, not only did I fall in love with the cover, but I am also slightly obsessed with anything related to ice skating. I live vicariously through reading and watching anything to do with ice skating, even ice hockey.

What happens when the boy next door is everything you want, is perfect for you, but you can't do anything about it or you run the risk of losing the connection you have with them, as your team mate, as your partner. Maddy and Gabe have been neighbours forever, and skating partners for years, however their coach's new idea to dance to Romeo and Juliet is starting to put a strain on their relationship. They have to have the extra oomph in rehearsals, pretend that there is a chemistry between them, but switch it off when the rehearsal is over. But Maddy and Gabe are finding it hard, hard to pretend they don't feel anything for each other, and hard to pretend the chemistry they feel when skating together is nothing between them.

The Boy Next Door was a mixed bag for me. I enjoyed reading it, and getting the chance to look up the technical terms online and watch a video or ten to see these moves in action, but I also felt there were some parts that felt too dragged out for me, my enjoyment factor also didn't help when the formatting was slightly off, and I had to go back a page or two to get the paragraph complete, instead of a mix up of two different scenes.
For me the most enjoyable parts about The Boy Next Door were the dancing, the costumes, and reading about what they do. Seeing this duo interact with each other, dance and be as one with so much perfection, I can only imagine how much hard work and dedication it takes to dance the way they do. The story itself did keep me entertained. I needed to know if they would make the finals, what would happen to their friendship that is constantly put to the test, and will they finally see the truth in front of them and ignore influence from others. But the moments between the dancing, occasionally felt like a filler for me, I felt like it was added but didn't really do anything for the story itself, however, I may have been too eager to get back to the skating so my dislike of these parts could have been my eagerness to get back to the good bits.

Final Verdict
The Boy Next Door was an enjoyable read that did keep me wanting more, despite the few little niggles I had with it.

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