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The Next Door Boys Paperback – October 8, 2011
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More About the Author
After living in Washington, Utah and Las Vegas, she now resides in Alaska with her husband, and two children. Aside from writing, Jolene sews, plays the guitar, sings when forced, and spends as much time outside as possible.
You can find Jolene on her website at www.jolenebettyperry.wordpress.com and on facebook at https://www.facebook.com/jolenebettyperry
Top Customer Reviews
It did. I really, really liked it.
The main character, Leigh, is a nineteen year old survivor of ovarian cancer that has left her family frightened and overprotective, while making Leigh determined to get back to normal life as soon as possible. For Leigh,normal life includes attending Brigham Young University and practicing her faith -- she is a devout Mormon.
I found Leigh an appealing character, one who I wanted to follow through a 287 page book. Her struggles with illness were very poignant and realistic to me. I have some experience with illness myself and very much related to her wish to be treated like everyone else, her efforts to maintain a normal schedule despite her exhaustion and weakness, her determination to move forward and claim her future.
I was also fascinated by the peek offered into the world of practicing Mormons -- I would have liked more of that in the book, in fact. Leigh embraces her faith as part of her daily life, and I enjoyed reading about it.
Even post-chemotherapy,Leigh is a bit of a femme fatale. Without trying or even wanting to, she attracts men like bees to honey. Accordingly, there's a love triangle of sorts, which also makes for a fun read.
A very nice book that I enjoyed the whole way through. Highly recommeded!
What first attracted me to "The Next Door Boys" was both the book's cover and synopsis. They left me intrigued.
But while I'd love to recommend this book to a number of people, I can't. It's simply too Mormon-centric to appeal to a large group of readers. Jolene writes with a Mormon audience in mind, using jargon and relating experiences that leave readers of other faiths in the dark. It's unfortunate, because the basic story is sound and Leigh is a relatable character. By adding a few explanations and minor tweaks, Jolene could have had much more marketable and overall enjoyable book.
Leigh struggles with the same things we all did at that age: finding our own self, transitioning from child to adult, learning that as much as we want to stand on our own, it's okay to need others. But she does it with the perspective of someone who has touched death, giving this book a sense of depth unlike so many other young adult books I've read.
Jolene does a fabulous job with characters. They feel entirely real and fully dimensional... there's not a flat cardboard character in this book, which is chock full of characters. especially Leigh, who wants her independence and normal life back so much that she puts her own health in peril. There are a lot of nice people in this book, which is, frankly, refreshing. The fact is, nice people can add complexities to a situation as well, and Jolene's cast of characters bring their own well-intentioned but nevertheless frustrating roadblocks to Leigh's desire for a normal life. Besides her own housemates, Leigh has to contend with the "next door boys": her watchful older brother, a handful of boys with crushes on her, and a tattoo-laden guy with a past and the secrets that go with it.
I liked that faith was also an integral part of Leigh's story. I think faith is important to a lot more people than books tend to show, and Jolene manages to make Leigh's faith so seamlessly a part of this story that it doesn't feel like an added element, but rather one the story could never have been written without.Read more ›
When I think of this book, the first word that always comes to mind is LONGING.
This book came out of nowhere for me. I started it on a sunny afternoon, looking for some escapist reading and not expecting the depth or powerful message of this story. I cried at least three times, something I rarely do while reading. I felt longing and empathy and oh-so-sweet butterflies. These characters BREATHE. Minor flaws with the writing or plot can be overlooked when there are characters like these--people you care so much about you just can't stop reading until you know their ending.
And what a refreshing romance. Watching love slowly blossom from friendship left my heart all aflutter. Jolene Perry knows the power of the build up and creates such palpable longing with her unrushed love story. So much YA today is filled with instalove--that I-saw-you-from-across-the-hall-and-now-we're-soulmates-forever-because-our-eyes-locked love--that Perry's quiet, beautifully drawn-out story creates this amazing depth to the romance. While I do appreciate at times when romance authors provides the love interest's POV, Perry's choice to stick solely to Leigh's POV makes the romantic tension that much more delicious--never knowing exactly what that next door boy is thinking.
Beyond the sweet romance is such a powerful message on overcoming adversity and how it shapes who we are. Leigh's attitude toward her cancer and accepting the aftereffects is inspiring. Her family's love and concern for her--especially her brother Jaron's--is touching, considering how YA families are too often depicted.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great potential, but I did not feel resolved with the end. I love the premise but I didn't like how the story unfolded.Published 3 months ago by K Beatie
This book too me to another place. It filled me with love and happiness. I hope for what she found one day.Published 8 months ago by Michelle Plasencia
I really liked this book. It's an easy read. I liked the story. There isn't anything that I disliked about it.Published 20 months ago by Erana Edwards
I read this series backwards because I didn't realize it was a series in the beginning. I really like the whole series. Very well written.Published on February 3, 2014 by Amazon Customer
This was an excellent book from start to finish in which I received from netGalley and the publisher. Read morePublished on February 2, 2014 by Jump Into Books
LOVED, loved, Loved this book. I found myself wanting to yell at some points in the book because of choices being made but I loved the sweet story and watching how love really... Read morePublished on December 26, 2013 by Nan
I loved everything about this book! It's filled with emotion and hope. A really uplifting read. One of my favourite series. And oh my gosh did Brian make me sigh.Published on November 9, 2013 by Jess
I love her writing. She has me in the first chapter. Sweet love stories for LDS girls. Nice and clean.Published on April 28, 2013 by Geeko for romance
good clean story. realistic how moms are over protective and it can be annoying but when a brother is protective it is ok. Read morePublished on January 20, 2013 by wend37red