Book Review: The Boy Next Door

The Boy Next Door (Boy, #1)The Boy Next Door by Meg Cabot
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The Boy Next Door is told entirely in emails between the characters. It's copy-written in 2002 so the characters all have dial-up and can't email and talk on the phone at the same time. It was pretty funny to realize how much technology has changed in just eight years. Anyway, having the story told entirely in emails made the story flow a little awkwardly at times. I definitely had to suspend reality when I found myself wondering if someone would really write an email with that much detail and just go with it.

The story is a combination romance and cozy mystery. Melissa Fuller is a single New York writer. The little old lady that lives next door to her is mysteriously attacked and a man claiming to be her nephew comes to live in his aunt's apartment to take care of her pets while she's in the hospital.

The mystery plot line of who attacked the aunt kept me guessing for most of the book. The romance plot line was lacking a little something for me. I think the email format kept the chemistry between Melissa and her boyfriend from coming across as well as it would have with a regular format.

I listened to the audio book version of this book. The format of this book made it awkward for an audio book because the narrator had to read the subject, sender's email address and recipient's email address for every email. Also, there is a gay character that the narrator voices in a completely over the top and very annoying manner. I think if I would have read the paper version of this book it would have gotten four stars.

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