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The Boy Next Door Paperback – February 17, 2009

193 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In her debut adult novel, Cabot (known for her extremely successful young adult fiction series the Princess Diaries, published under the name Meg Cabot) relies entirely on highly amusing e-mails to tell a fetching meet-cute story. New York City gossip columnist Melissa Fuller is known for being obsessive about Winona Ryder, dating the wrong men and being tardy for work. Arriving particularly late one morning, she explains to her colleagues at the New York Journal that she was detained by the attempted murder of her elderly next-door neighbor, Mrs. Friedlander, who is in a coma. Always the good girl, Mel has volunteered to take care of Mrs. Friedlander's many pets until the neighbor's nephew Max, a famous fashion photographer, can be reached. Her co-workers warn her about Max, a notorious lady's man. Contrary to the gossip, when she meets Max he is down to earth, funny and kind. Despite the strange fact that he likes to be called John and appears to be between photo shoots, she begins to date him and learns that he shares her love for Stephen King novels and natural disasters. It doesn't take long for her to fall head over heels, or for Mel's mom to write, "Get a ring on your finger before you uncross those legs, sweetie." When a mysterious e-mail arrives explaining that there is more to her beau than meets the eye, she is duly upset and uses the power of her pen to get even. But when Mrs. Friedlander's attacker returns, will Mel and Max be able to put their differences aside to catch a killer? Full of clever e-mail banter and tongue-in-cheek humor, this cheeky novel should be enjoyed in one sitting.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

Adult/High School-An entertaining romp told entirely through e-mails. Melissa Fuller, celebrity-gossip columnist for the New York Journal, lives a relatively shallow existence until her elderly neighbor is attacked and sent to the hospital in a coma, leaving behind her Great Dane and two cats. Melissa gets help in caring for them from the man who is supposedly Mrs. Friedlander's playboy nephew Max, but who is actually his college buddy doing him a favor, and it all becomes a bit complicated when Melissa falls in love with "Max." Every loose plot thread comes into play in the highly satisfactory conclusion, with just enough twists on the way for a fun ride. The format fits perfectly with the gossipy nature of the book and moves the story along; readers are privy to all of the e-mails, but the characters only get the bits addressed to them. This book has the same breezy style as Cabot's "Princess Diaries" series (HarperCollins) for younger readers. Teens who enjoyed Helen Fielding's Bridget Jones's Diary (Viking, 1998) will flock just as quickly to this lighthearted romance.
Jamie Watson, Enoch Pratt Free Library, Baltimore
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Series: The Boy Series (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Avon Books; First Edition edition (January 1, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060096195
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060096199
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.9 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (193 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #177,577 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Meg Cabot is a #1 New York Times bestselling author of books for both adults and tweens/teens. There have been over 25 million copies of Meg's nearly 80 published books sold in 38 countries. Her last name rhymes with habit, as in "her books can be habit forming." She currently lives in Key West, Florida with her husband and various cats.

Meg's first ever adult book in the Princess Diaries series, "Royal Wedding", will be available in Summer 2015, along with an installment of the series for younger readers, "From the Notebook of a Middle School Princess". "Remembrance", a new book in the Mediator series will be available in February of 2016.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Elizabeth Hendry VINE VOICE on May 20, 2003
Format: Paperback
Meggin Cabot's The Boy Next Door is a triumph of light reading--an amusing breezy novel that thankfully does not take itself too seriously. I admit, I was a bit hesitant when I discovered the format--a novel told completely in email--would that work? Well, it works and it works very well. The novel concerns a young, single New York woman who falls in love with a man pretending to be her next door neighbor's nephew. Not the most original plot in the world, but so what. The Boy Next Door is a lot of fun to read, very entertaining, lots of fun. If you are looking for a light, chick-lit-ish read, this is the perfect candidate. Enjoy.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 3, 2002
Format: Paperback
but, maybe a bit too cute. I was surprised by how MC could write an entire book using only E-mail. I know I shouldn't have been surprised at all as I know what a good writer Patricia Cabot (aka Meggin Cabot) is and love most of her books. She has the sharp wit, humor, and intelligence that puts her at the top of my very short automatic buy list.
The only real problem I have with the book is that it was too tame. By using E-mails as the format for this book, MC does the reader a disservice. I could not really bond enough with the characters as I normally would, because the E-mail format limits how well you really get to know the characters, plot, and the entire story in general. E-mails cannot be as descriptive (even though MC did a good a job as anyone could) as regular novel formats.
Overall, this book is a light, fast, humorous read. I would recommend it to anyone who is looking for an easy read.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By laura joy on October 28, 2002
Format: Paperback
I am a long time fan of Meggin Cabot. The Princess Diaries series and her romance novels written as Patricia Cabot have all been wonderful. Her first contemporary adult novel was no disappointment.
First and foremost the all e-mail message format is fun and different. This format coupled with endearing characters and a screwball comedy plot makes this a great read.
Mell Fuller is a fun heroine. Interesting and strong but not perfect. The collection of her co-workers, family members, and friends who populate this book make it memorable.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Detra Fitch VINE VOICE on April 17, 2003
Format: Paperback
Melissa Fuller has managed to rack up dozens of tardies, but this time, her excuse is a really good one, albeit unique. She has discovered her elderly neighbor lying comatose, the apparent survivor of the city's current serial killer, the transvestite killer. Mel now feels responsible for taking care of the old lady's dog while she lies in the hospital, and walking the giant dog with a pea sized bladder is causing serious complications to her life. With the assistance of well meaning friends, she tracks down the woman's one living relative, Max, a nephew, and contacts him to come help with the dog, and see his dying aunt.
Max is, however, a selfish SOB, who had rather complete his vacation with a Victoria's Secret supermodel than come walk a great dane and visit an old, but rich relative. Thus, he calls in a favor and enlists John Trent to impersonate him so that should his aunt awaken, she won't think him the uncaring cad he really is. Reluctantly, John agrees, and immediately finds himself falling for Mel. The attraction is mutual, but the matter of his deception lies between them. What will happen should Mel find out that "Max" is John?
***** In this hilarious tale told via email messages, Ms. Cabot has created a GRIFFIN AND SABINE for the new generation. We get to see all sides of the story as Mel and John's friends and families communicate their varied opinions of the whole situation. From Mel's newly emailing parents, to her catty coworker who has inherited her exboyfriend, to the supermodel Max is dating, we are charmed by the situation that is so unbelieveable that it could be real. If this were a movie, Meg Ryan and Hugh Grant would be the ideal stars.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By booksforabuck VINE VOICE on March 17, 2003
Format: Paperback
Melissa (Mel) Fuller really cares about Wynona Rider and other celebrities, as well as her 80-something next door neighbor. When the neighbor gets hit on the head, Mel takes care of the pets, at least until the woman's nephew arrives. When the nephew finally shows up, it's definitely love. All of the stories about Max can't be true because Mel is sure that he's the nicest and most caring guy. After what she's been through with men, she really deserves someone who cares about animals and who won't cheat on her or lie to her. Even if he has maxed out his credit cards.
John Trent (of the billionaire Trents) is just doing his friend Max a favor. While Max vacations with a super-model, John can ride in, help out with the pets, and let the aunt know that Max really cared, assuming she ever recovers from her coma. When John realizes that he's falling for Mel, it's too late to just tell the truth. He starts looking for the perfect time and place, but that can be tricky with a woman who has been burned by men in the past.
Author Meggin Cabot delivers narative of THE BOY NEXT DOOR as a series of e-mails sent between Mel, Mel's co-workers, Max, John, and John's family. This device makes for fast reading with lots of white space and no need for introspection or dialogue. Surprisingly, it works. Cabot's light style and clever sense of humor keeps the reader going and laughing. I would have liked to see a little (okay, maybe a lot) more justification for the initial lie--I mean, couldn't John have simply told her, 'uh, listen, my friend Max didn't want to seem like a heel when he couldn't come so he put me up to this. But now that I've met you....' Some better justification for continuing the lie would definitely have helped.
THE BOY NEXT DOOR is pure chick-lit.
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