Ark, Katie Van. The Boy Next Door. Feiwel and Friends, 2015. ISBN 978-1250061461 pp. $11.99
In this solid story about lifetime best friends, neighbors and skating partners, Maddie wants more, but Gabe, who has never had a relationship lasting longer that two weeks, wants to keep their passion to the ice, until their skating instructor assigns them to up their game with the Love Theme from Romeo & Juliet for their long program that will (hopefully) get them on the radar as the youngest senior skating pair on the scene, positioning them for an Olympic bid.
There is a lot going on in this novel–Maddie’s dad is a senator and has his own issues. There’s a lot of information about figure skating, but no moves are ever defined, so if you aren’t familiar with it, you’re going to do a lot of Googling. The way Gabe treats Maddie is pretty appalling, agreeing to a secret relationship. The private school, Viper, and jetting off to skating competitions may be as unbelievable as the New Years Eve party that ranges out of control but has all guests exiting by 11:45pm.
Still, this was a compelling story and I kept reading half to find out if they’d get to together and half to find out if they’d win the big competition.
I got a free copy of this ARC from a colleague who attended ALA midwinter (who knows how much I adore YA books with couples on the cover).