The Boy Next Door By Katie Van Ark

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 breakup that Gabe has always feared? -Goodreads
This is my first book review in about a month and of course it has to start on a negative note. Welp. Great way to get back into reviewing. Just fantastic.
Okay let’s start at the beginning. I read the summary and I was immediately drawn in. When I was 13 and 14, I did figure skating. Yup. I had a trainer and I went every Monday. I could do jumps and spins and it was great. Until it wasn’t. My workload from school made it such that keeping up with skating was impossible. So I stopped. But I’ve still always loved the sport. 
So when I heard that there was this book about figure skating partners who fall in love, I was like , ‘Hell yes. I need this in my life right now.”. I mean, you know how I feel about a good ‘ole romance where the pair are friends before and then they fall in love. Anyway, thankfully, Swoon Reads hooked me up and very soon the book was sitting in my lap.

I got into it and I really really really wanted to love it. But I didn’t.

So first of all, Maddie and Gabe are completely all over the damn place. One minute they were complaining about how they couldn’t be together and the next they were practically having sex in a theatre. Following the story was seriously so hard because they were everywhere. There was absolutely no proper chain of events or even a coherent flow of thinking. The way they handled their transition from friends to lovers was horrific. I would expect that kind of uncertainty and confusion from perhaps 15 year olds. Or maybe even 13 year olds. Certainly not young adults.

And then there was the fact that there was no proper reason why they couldn’t be together. Or maybe there was but it just wasn’t properly brought across. I get that they couldn’t be together because they didn’t want to jeopardise their skating and that Maddie didn’t like what a womaniser Gabe was. I get that. But again, one second they are crying about how much they want to be together and the next, Maddie is performing a freaking strip tease for him. I MEAN COME ON.


I gave this book 3 stars. Why would I do that when I only have bad things to say? Well that’s because I actually liked it. It was one of those weird books that really suck but that you kind of like anyway and you’re not sure what to do with it because you liked it but you also didn’t. I honestly don’t know. I guess certain parts were nice and it helped that it was a romance novel so the mushy parts helped to balance out the bad writing.


To conclude, it was just a very haphazard book. Half the time I didn’t know what was going on. One second they would be okay and the next they would just be not okay. It was like the author wrote the book in parts and just forgot where she left off so she decided to start from the top. The other characters, like the parents, were just as weird and pretentious. it would have been nice to see some conflict with the parents. I mean no one puts themselves so completely into the debt of someone and then doesn’t have the occasional flare up. It was so superficial. I really wanted to like it and I kind of did but I also didn’t which is sad because this book had so much potential.

My Rating: 3/5 stars
*A copy of this book was sent to me to read and review*
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