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Friday, July 14, 2006

The Boy Next Door by Meg Cabot

Dylan Says

Hero: John Trent
Heroine: Melissa Fuller
Grade: B+

Using the clever medium of email transmissions from character to character, Meggin Cabot -- author of the popular young-adult Princess Diaries series -- crafts a hilarious story of a New York gossip columnist with journalistic aspirations, romantic complications, and one very large problem: what to do with her comatose neighbor's Great Dane. For Melissa Fuller, the path to true love is riddled with a pretentious ex-boyfriend, a best friend who's marrying into a crazy Italian family, nosy coworkers, and a boss who might fire her at any minute. If that's not enough, there's the mystery of who bonked her elderly neighbor on the head, and whether the neighbor's nephew is the man of her dreams or just a bad nightmare. This zany romantic caper is truly a novel for the 21st century!

I read a fantastic book last night, I started and finished it in just under four and a half hours. I was so proud of myself, I felt like one of the great speed readers of all time, Holly. LOL. This book was so different from any other book I've read because the entire story was written through emails and so you know my nosy ass was all over this one. It totally reminded me of our group work day emails throughout the day, EVERYDAY, the ones between Izzy, Holly, Grace, Jazz and myself. We have a group email usually sent out by Izzy since she's the first to arrive to work each day before anyone else or maybe now that Jazz has her computer back, we'll be hearing from her first like today, since she's a full 3 hours ahead of us and usually if we're talking about something about the blog, I'll call Grace all the way in Australia at odd hours of the early morning to wake her ass up to get her input on everything, it's hilarious how many times I've called Grace and woken her up, gotta love the torture older sisters get to play on the younger ones....hehe.

But anyway, I digress (as usual)...back to the review for The Boy Next Door. It was such a cute read, it wasn't some drawn out drama with an emotional train the size of the United States, although I did think that Mel went a little overboard with her retribution for John's little fib about just who he was, I mean I seriously thought she crossed the line with her revenge but that's just me, it didn't take away from the greatness of the book though, because I still enjoyed the heck out of the book, although I thought that John was too easy on forgiving her.

You see, it's like this. Mel is a gossip columnist for The New York Journal, her 80 year old neighbor gets knocked on the head by someone and is left to die in her house all alone, on Mel's way to work she notices that her creature of habit neighbor hasn't picked up her newspaper, which is NOT the paper that Mel writes for, but her rival newspaper, The New York Chronicle. So wanting to see if everything is alright, because not only did she not pick up her newspaper but her dog is barking something fierce up in that apartment, so being the caring neighbor that Melissa is, she goes to check on her elderly neighbor to find her laying face down on the floor, so she takes it upon herself to call 911 and take care of the old lady as best she could, which I thought was really cool of her.

While all of this is happening, the emails at work are running wild, her HR department is writing her up for excessive tardiness, her boss is yelling at her to hurry up and get to work to get her article in, her best friend is wondering where the hell she is and giving her a heads up that their boss is on a warpath because she hasn't called and isn't in at work, her coworker is writing her to tell her that she saw her at the restaurant last night with yet another coworker, who also happens to be Mel's boyfriend and she saw her bean the boyfriend over the head with her Kate Spade clutch (I was so jealous that Mel has a Kate Spade clutch, I want one so bad) and wants to know if it's over so she can make her move.

It's a whirlwind of activity going on and it's just hilarious to read how fast the story goes and even though the story is moving at a fast pace, it doesn't leave you confused, I think Meg Cabot did a great job bring life to these emails and she did an excellent job telling a story and making it work with the kind of format she used, I absolutely loved it.

We meet John Trent because he owes Max Friedlander (the 80 year old's last living relative, her nephew) a fovor and Max is cashing in on it, he's going out of town with a super hot model and he wants John to pose as him since his Aunt is in the hospital and since Max stands to inherit a crap load of money, he has to be there to help the old lady so that the old lady doesn't disinherit him and leave him with no money. So Max instructs John to go and walk his Aunts dog and feed her pets until he gets back, a thoroughly disgusted John does it because Max DID save his butt back when they were in college so he agrees to do it, shouldn't be so hard, right? Just go over to the aunts house, feed the pets and walk the dog? No problem...

Melissa isn't expecting to like "Max" so much and John isn't expecting to like the neighbor near as much as he is, so something that was supposed to be so easy turns into something so hysterical to read about, it's funny, it's sweet and it has a happy ending, so I was one happy camper.

As a whole, the book was great. Nadine, Mel's best friend and her fiance', Tony were too cute and too funny. They were a great addition to the story, but I have to say that my most favorite addition to this story was the emails from John's family. His brother, Jason had me crackin' up at flippin' 2 o'clock this morning, the constant ribbing between brothers was such a joy to read about and then the hormonal emails from John's sister in law, Stacy had me laughing out loud, plenty of times. Even, his emails from Jason and Stacy's two girls, were fun to read. The work emails between Mel and everyone else was a riot.

This book was just a fun read, ya'll should definitely read this.

Isabel Says:

Awwww, I like this book. It was a very fast read. Once I got into it, it was hard to put down. I felt like I was spying on everyone's emails.

I loved Dolly, oh she cracked me up. ha ha. I thought it was funny when Mel came into work all glowing after the first time they had sex. John's email to his brother: "we did it." Ha ha. So funny.

Then he wrote emailed her "I love you- Han Solo" Mel replied, "I know- Princess Leia" I just thought it was soooooo cute. The roses he gave her, the short story he wrote after they had sex. It was just sooo cute.

Max was a jerk. Ugh, glad he got his.

Yup, I really enjoyed this one. I loved John. Will agree with Dylan, Mel took her revenge a little too far.

Grade: A-/B+

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