The Boy Next Door by Meg Cabot


Book Name: The Boy Next Door

Author: Meg Cabot

Pages: 374

Genre: Adult Fiction

My Rating: 4 out of 5

Format: Paperback checked out from the local library

GoodReads’ Words: Gossip columnist and single New York City girl Mel lives lives in the most exciting place in the world, yet she’s bored with her lovelife. But things get interesting fast when the old lady next door is nearly murdered. Mel starts paying closer attention to her neighbors—what exactly is going on with the cute boy next door? Has Mel found the love of her life—or a killer?

My Words: The Boy Next Door is a story about surviving in a competitive world, finding love in unexpected places, meaningful relationships, the dangers and insecurities that life throws at you……Oh and also office gossip! Yes, the whole book is in email format and most of them are written by a newspaper staff from their office cubicles and not every email is about work 😉

I was going through a few blogs recently, and I came across a review for this book. The detail email format intrigued me enough to check it out from the local library. The central character, Mel is a gossip columnist for the NY Journal, who – lives in Brooklyn, wants to move up from Page 10 and yet cannot stop obsessing about Winona Ryder’s legal battles, has a now ex-boyfriend who cheated on her with Barbara something, has enough tardies for the Human Resources to send her nasty  warning emails. phew! And in the midst of all this her neighbour is found face down in her apartment with a pulse but no one to look after her two cats and a big Dane.

Well, there is someone related to Mrs. Friedlander – Max Friedlander, her nephew, who can look after her pets but he is a bigger jerk than Aaron Spender – Mel’s ex. Max Friedlander is a photographer who is known to sleep around with every model and currently wants to spend a vacation with Vivica, the model of the day in Key West. In comes John Trent, Max’s friend who owes Max for something absolutely stupid and agrees to pose as Max in order to make a false impression that Max cared for his aunt which might be taken into account when the Will of Mrs. Friedlander comes into picture.

John thinks it’s just to get the house keys from the neighbour and take care of the pets but he doesn’t imagine 1. the dog to be a great big Dane who weighs almost as much as Mel, 2. the Siamese cats’ names are Twiddledum and Mr. Peepers, and 3. the more bigger concern that he might fall for the red head neighbour! On the other hand, Mel finds Max just as opposite to the reputation floating around. John and Mel’s relationship progress is addressed be Meg through her friends and family who are just as unusual and quirky like the book itself.

I liked the storyline, the characters, the innovative way of writing the entire book in email format. The characters’ quirkiness added to the humour. The only thing that I couldn’t relate to was how the male characters seemed to write long emails pouring out their views, feelings and opinions about a topic which is not the level 1 or 2 priority for them. Eg. Tony writes long emails to Nadine discussing Mel and John’s situation. Somehow I have not seen guys writing such long emails or rather expressing themselves to such details that would satisfy a girl! Maybe back when the book was written, the novelty of emails made them write it. Maybe.

All in all it was a good read. I do recommend this book and am giving this book a rating of 4 out of 5 because of the reasons mentioned above. Also, John never writes back to his nieces who so sweetly wrote to him. And who is Barney?!


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