Title: The Boy Next Door
Author: Meg Cabot
Original Date Started: May 7, 2013
Original Date Finished: May 8, 2013
Format: Paperback from my own shelf
Melissa Fuller is sort of faulty. She’s twenty-seven, working a puff job as The New York Journal’s Page 10 gossip columnist, she is frequently tardy and cares too much about people around her. But that she blames on her small town – Lansing, Illinois – roots. On the morning after she publicly breaks up with her boyfriend – world issues columnist Aaron – she’s MIA. Everyone she works with thinks it’s because of the breakup, but in reality it’s because her neighbor’s dog is barking. Mel knows something is wrong, because her next door neighbor Helen always walks the dog before she leaves for work in the morning, and the newspaper is still in front of her door. She checks in and finds Helen unconscious with blood everywhere. Someone ‘broke in’ and attacked the poor woman.
While Helen is recuperating, Mel contacts her next of kin who just happens to be the famous photographer Max Frielender to see if he can come by and take care of his aunt’s animals. Max assures her that he can, but really he isn’t as kind-hearted as he appears to be. He doesn’t want anything to do with his aunt, not when he has the world’s hottest supermodel waiting to go on vacation. But his aunt is a millionaire and he’s her only family member, so when she dies he gets everything. So he has to show up…not. He calls in a favor from his friend John Trent and asks him to pretend to be him so that way when his aunt wakes up everything will be fine. John agrees, but he doesn’t understand what he’s getting himself into, until he knocks on Mel’s door.
My contemporary binge of late is a real nice change of pace from the politics driven, angsty, dystopian I’ve been reading. I’ve read this book a few times and even though I just last read it three years ago, I had to reread it when I found out that Cabot was coming out with another book in the Boy’s series. I’d forgotten how much I loved this book. It’s another one of those weird books that isn’t told in your classic narrative. This one is told all in e-mails, which makes for a rather quick read. Mel is a fun, lovable character. Her best friend Nadine is actually a character that you sometimes hate, but at other times you love. John is just downright cute. Max is villainous. And all the other characters in this book just work so well together. I think what I like the most about this book was how easily it blended a contemporary romance into a little bit of mystery.
Final Rating: 4 out of 5 stars. A great story that ends a little bit too abruptly in my opinion. I want to know what happens next between Mel and John!
Bookshelf worthy? This edition makes me smile. Not only because it was before the cover redesign so the author’s name is Meggin Cabot, but also because on my edition I have a Kelly Reads (Kelly Ripa from Live! with Kelly) sticker on it.