The Boy Next Door by Meg Cabot

TheBoyNextDoorTitle: Queen of Babble Gets Hitched

Author: Meg Cabot (Princess Diaries seriesAll-American GirlAwaken, Heather Wells series, and Queen of Babble series)

Genre: Adult/Mystery

Publisher: Avon

Pages: 374

Rating: 4/5

Gossip columnist and single New York City girl Mel 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?

As was the case with each Meg Cabot adult series I’ve started over the past half a year or so, I didn’t know much about this book at all. I was surprised to learn that it was written entirely in email, but I’m one of those people who actually likes those types of books, so I didn’t mind at all, and as a result, this was another fluffy and fun Cabot book!

The Beginning

Since it’s written in email, it takes a little while to learn who everyone is and what type of people they are since you only get to know them through their emails or what other people say about them. Most of the emails involve the main character, Mel, but there are a lot of other characters as well, and there’s a big focus on the love interest, John, as well, so there are a lot of people to meet and keep track of, which is more difficult at the beginning.

The Mystery

I was surprised to find that there was actually a mystery in this book. It’s not the main focus – I’d say the romance is – but toward the end, it gets more attention. I accidentally saw who the culprit was when I was checking to see how many pages were in the book (this can be dangerous – you can see a lot of spoilers), so I can’t quite say how good the mystery is since I already knew who it was, but I still found it relatively interesting, in a “seeing how the characters are handling it” way.

The Characters

Some of the characters have more personality shining through in their emails than other. Mel’s best friend is in the midst of planning a wedding, but she spends a lot of time obsessing over various things with Mel. There are also some coworkers, like a relatively snobby and romance-obsessed woman and their exasperated boss, and there’s Mel’s stereotypical but kind of adorable parents who worry about their daughter in the big, bad city.

The Setting

Speaking of the big, bad city, this is another Cabot book that takes place in New York City. We don’t get as much of a sense of the city since the whole book takes place on email, but it feels similar to her other books. As usual, I’m not a NYC expert, though, so it’s difficult for me to say how accurate it is.

The “Adult” Aspect

Even though this book takes place via email, it’s at relatively the same level of adult elements as the rest of her books – there’s sex, and mention of it, but it’s not super-obvious. In fact, the most explicit part is a scene that the love interest writes for his book or something that is totally not inspired by real life of course not.

The Romance

The romance is quite adorable, mainly because the two people involved are adorable. Mel is this little redhead who is just trying to be helpful when it comes to the people around her, but she can also get in over her head. John definitely gets in over his head by moving in as the titular boy next door. I’m kind of sad that the next book is apparently a companion one that involves a new couple, but maybe they’ll pop back in.

The Ending

The ending is where the mystery really gets its attention, as well as everything else gets solved, like romantic drama. It’s been a little while since I finished this book, so all I really remember is that I was happy when I finished the book.

In Conclusion…

Another Cabot success! I’m really hopeful that I never meet a Cabot book I don’t at least mostly like, and this book definitely wasn’t that awful one that broke my record.

4stars

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