Wednesday, February 18, 2015

REVIEW - THE BOY NEXT DOOR by Katie Van Ark

The Boy Next Door
by Katie Van Ark
Publisher - Macmillan Children's Books
Release Date - January 15th 2015
Buy - Amazon | Book Depository


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?
Ice skating. Romance. Two best friends destined to be with each other. Fear. Adrenaline. What could be better, I mean ice skating, c'mon that sounds like something you don't read every day. Am I hyping you up for this book, well this is what we were all like, including me for February's chosen book of The Reader's Lounge. It sparked interest, but sadly lacked potential. 

Gabe and Maddy have been best friends, ice-skating partners and neighbours for as long as they can remember. Maddy has been Gabe's friend but she also has much deeper feelings for him, however Gabe has a hard time acknowledging his feelings when he knows he can have a girlfriend for two weeks before he gets bored. So when Igor, their coach tells them to do a new routine,coincidentally named of the classic tragedy, Romeo and Juliet. When they they both have an opportunity to see, feel, touch what it's like to be in love through one of their sets and routines on the ice everything spirals out of control for the both of them. Whilst you had everything that creates a perfect winter romance, the potential was certainly there it just sadly lacked the follow through. I was disappointed, I really was, like I said before, the description, the cover sounded just what you needed, but I found myself very confuddled at the end of the book. It kept you wondering til the end but it wasn't necessarily a good wondering, it just left me feeling rather downhearted sadly.

Through a dual perspective, we see both Gabe and Maddy characters unfold. Gabe, how can you describe him, well has the red Viper, girls lining up to date him. He's the one night stand or the two-week relationship status. If I'm brutally honest, he's rather a plain and little boring in places, I hate to say. Gabe was quite an awkward to character to get to know, I felt that he way too literal and didn't really have that depth of character or emotion for us as readers to really get to know. Now Maddy, well, she is fearless, if she falls she gets back up, she is determined and passionate. I really liked Maddy in the beginning, she had potential, purpose on the ice, drive...but throughout the book, I felt her character was withering around edges, I felt she was changing and wasn't her true self and I don't know why I feel like that. I felt sorry for her.

As a relationship there were so many mixed messages from Gabe that I felt that their whole relationship or lack of during the book was so hot n' cold. It certainly felt like a reader whiplash of emotions as I wasn't sure what they were doing, or what Gabe was even thinking of. Everything a skater should be, on ice they are this perfect couple, off ice they really don't know what they are. I think what got me the most was the way Gabe was acting especially to their extra training, I felt that Maddy was totally being used and then the rest of the hours, Gabe brushes her off. I mean who does that if ultimately they really do feel for them. Whilst there was some great moments, I also felt that their were moments of YA bonded with NA, so in itself it's quite a unusual and trying novel to contend with. 

As one of my anticipated reads of this year, the cover, the description sounded almost perfect, and this certainly did remind me of one of my favourite Rom-com films, Chalet Girl. But the difference is, the film is a brilliant, funny, toe-curling romance film you can snuggle into. It's sad to see a book for your club being a disappointment, but it's nice to see what we thought and we alike felt the same away about the book. Whilst it was a cute read, I think it really needed to be developed a lot more and the characters to really be thought out and fulfilled more.

Rating - (Undecided) 2.5-3

24 comments:

  1. I don't like a guy who runs hot and cold, or one that seems like a user. Gabes sounds like he sort of ruined this romance. I doubt I'll be picking this one up. Great honest review, Emma.:) I'm sorry to hear this was disappointment.

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    1. I hate it being a disappointment too. But Gabe had his moments, but not very goo ones. Thanks for stopping by, Rachel! :)

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  2. Well, that's a disappointment, isn't it? I know I've been curious about this book since I'd seen it on blogs, but after reading your review and knowing Gabe's attitude might not be so hot, I don't think I'm going to pursue this one anymore.

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    1. I'm sorry your were looking forward to this. But you may be different than me. You may enjoy it. It certainly was a mix bag of reviews from our blog. :)

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  3. I've heard similar thoughts to yours on this novel so I think I'm better off watching Chalet Girl than picking this one up. I love ice skating romances but, like you said, perhaps they're better suited to the big screen than to written form. Lovely review, Emma! :)

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    1. I think they are more suited to big screen they have more feels than the book. Yay for Chalet Girl. :)

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  4. Damn damn damn :( Have been seeing a lot of bloggers saying the same thing about TBND. Sorry it's left you conflicted, Emma!

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    1. Me too Rebekah. It's really disappointing. :(

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  5. So sorry Gabe bored you and that this didn't turn out to be a better read for you.

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    1. Me too. I hate reading a book with so many issues, does make me sad. :(

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  6. It's sad that the film was better done than the book so I can understand you disappointment. Now I want to see the movie lol, more than to read this one.

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    1. Ice Skating movies are better than books. So definitely watch Chalet Girl if you want a great ice skating adventure/romance.

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  7. I really loved all the ice skating bits and how sex positive the book was, but as you know I felt like there was too much drama upon drama in there!
    Great review, Emma!

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    1. There were some parts that redeemed it slightly but the drama was overwhelming. Thank you, Pili! :)

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  8. I hate guys who think girls are just sex objects grrrr we are worth more than just a fling. Seriously! What is wrong with men right now. I'm still gonna try Boy Next door, it has such a pretty cover and I need something very light.

    www.lite-rate-ture.com

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    1. I hope you have more luck than me. :)

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  9. Yeah, Gabe is definitely a guy I wouldn't want to be with, ever. It's funny to see that he's supposed to be a playboy, but he comes off as really boring instead ^^ Sorry this was such a monumental disappointment, dear! Hope your next read is better :)

    Faye at The Social Potato

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    1. My next read was amazing, so I'm glad to have redeemed myself with that. But yes he was boring and a playboy, what could be worse. :/

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  10. This one seems like a colossal disappointment Emma! I'm sojrry this one didn't end up working for you. Gabe is a romantic interest i'd have some serious trouble with myself. Hopefully your next read knocks it out of the park!

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    1. Me too Lily. I wish for it to be so much better. It had potential without Gabe or with a personality transplant! Thank you. :)

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  11. Hmm, I don't think I really like the sound of this Gabe dude. I actually was just gifted this book by a friend--will be curious to see what I think of this one.

    Lovely honest review, hun <33

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    1. I hope you have more luck than me Melanie. :) Thank you!

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  12. This looks like it has a lot of potential just because of ice skating. I'm waiting for that great ice skating novel. Love your review!

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    1. That what I thought and still think if Gabe wasn't a total arse. Me too! Let me know if you find one. :)

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