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4.4 out of 5 stars
The Boy Next Door
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
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
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
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
VINE VOICEon 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
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. Women complain among themselves that all of the men are married, gay, or dating supermodels, while living in New York and working in the literary scene (Mel is a gossip reporter for a New York journal). Fans of the genre will definitely enjoy THE BOY and those new to it will find a lot to like here.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on May 16, 2005
Format: School & Library Binding
Even though I am 13 I loved the book so much and I wish that every other person could read it to.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Format: Paperback
THE BOY NEXT DOOR by Meggin Cabot
Now THIS was a fun book! Told in email format, we are introduced to Melissa Fuller, a young woman who works for a newspaper called the NEW YORK JOURNAL, is always late getting in to work, and in the opening chapter she is late once again, but with a good excuse! Her neighbor was apparently knocked out cold by a would-be burglar, so Mel decides she needs to take care of the poor animals that were left behind while Mrs. Friedlander is being taken to the hospital (she is in a coma).
This sounds like a somewhat serious plot, but it's not. The book is one big gossip mill, with fellow employees and friends discussing Mel's problems, and as the book progresses, her adventures with "The Boy Next Door", John Trent, who she thinks is really Mrs. Friedlander's playboy nephew Max Friedlander.
Unfortunately (or fortunately), the two meet and fall in love. That is, John and Mel meet. But throughout their relationship, Mel thinks he's Max, as does everyone else, because no one has met the real Max, except for one of Mel's coworker's Dolly, and Dolly seems to miss out on the group gatherings where John (Max) are involved. The REAL Max is vacationing somewhere in the Keys with Victoria's Secret model VIVICA (who also gets into the act and starts writing emails from Max's computer, of course using ALL CAPS, not knowing about email etiquette).
I haven't laughed this hard while reading a book in ages! The plot itself was funny and twisted, but the email format makes the story that much more funny. For those of you in the working world and familiar with emails from co-workers, Human Resources and bosses, this book is for you! This is chicklit at it's finest but I don't think it should be relegated to just "chicks". This reader gives THE BOY NEXT DOOR 5 stars!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
I started reading this one while in the bathtub and I DID NOT get out until I'd gotten to the final page, even though I had to keep adding hot water to the tub when it grew tepid and my toes became so wrinkled that I could hardly bear to look at them when I finally stood up again.

This is a romance novel but it is also far more, suspenseful and funny as well. Basic plot - Young woman goes to check on her elderly neighbor, only to find her unconscious and bloody, face down on her floor. Young woman, having a heart of gold, steps in to take care of her neighbor's pets. Meanwhile, the neighbor's nephew, handsome but coldhearted, is off on a romantic fling and enlists the help of a buddy to take his place. This, of course, includes masquerading as the nephew.

Misunderstandings ensue, of course, along with romance....all under false pretenses (young woman knows nothing of the truth). The whole tale is told, charmingly, through a series of emails. I absolutely could NOT put down this book until the final delicious page.

Having said that, some of it is a bit predictable and a few stereotypes abound (brainless models, for instance). But, all in all, this is a fun read and far superior to most in the field. I confess I loved every single page of the book.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on October 8, 2002
Format: Paperback
Mel (Melissa) Fuller is a gossip columnist for The NY Journal. She is also late for work. Again. Which marks the fact that she has been late for work 37 times this year, exceeding 20 minutes. So now she has received an e-mail from the Human Resources division telling her that she is eligible to participate in the Staff Assistance Program. The only annoying thing is the fact that she has a great excuse this time. And it's not made-up. Mel found her 80-year-old neighbor lying face down in her apartment, and apparently she was struck by an intruder. Had it not been for Mel she could have died. But now she has the responsibility of taking care of her neighbors dog until the police find her only living relative. Not only that, Mel has just broken up with her boyfriend Aaron for finding out about his cheating on her, and she can't seem to get the chance to write an important editorial, because her boss is a jerk. I mean, how long can you write gossip about celebrities for Page Ten?
This is a hilarious book, much along the lines of "Bridget Jones's Diary" and an adult "Princess Diaries." Meggin Cabot has shown, yet again, that she can succeed in any genre of writing. A must read for everyone.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on May 11, 2003
Format: Paperback
This charming story is told entirely through Email correspondence between Mel and her friends, coworkers, parents, and her interesting and attractive new next-door neighbor, John. Though there are some character-insight hurdles inherent in an epistolary novel, Cabot overcomes them creatively and successfully, in my opinion, and creates a delightfully entertaining story.
Mel is the Page 10 gossip columnist for a modest New York newspaper. She's a smart and moderately successful midwest girl working in the big city with charming character quirks like habitual work tardiness, an obsession with weather anomalies, and a somewhat misplaced but profound sense of responsibility to her neighbor's pets after finding their elderly mistress unconscious on the floor. She's a loyal friend and a secret romantic with a wry sense of humor who enjoys simple things in life like drinking beer and wearing silly pajamas.
John is a criminal-investigation writer for a competing newspaper who reluctantly agrees to return a favor to Max, an old-college-buddy-cum-hollywood-photographer-playboy. Max wants John to assume his identity and temporarily move into his aunt's apartment in order to take care of her pets while she is in the hospital so that Max can romance his latest supermodel in Key West. John doesn't like the premise, but it seems relatively harmless, and Max did once save him from potential disaster. As far as paybacks go, it could be worse, right?
John happens to be from well-known wealthy family, but, to his Grandmother Mim's chagrin, he has opted to make it in the world on his own merit and hard work, get a real job, and live like a regular fellow.
John -- a charming, likable, all-around-good guy, who is rendered powerless by proximity to attractive red-heads, loves the Grateful Dead, and appreciates a good weather catastrophe himself--is charmed by his new (red-headed) neighbor, and the two begin to fall for each other.
In the meantime, it looks like Mel's former neighbor (whom she believes to be John's aunt) may have been the latest victim of the Transvestite Killer who has been terrorizing the neighborhood of late, yet she doesn't fit his usual victim's profile. Could it be that Mel was his real target? And what is Mel going to do when she learns the truth about John's real identity? He just hopes she'll hear it from him first...
A very sweet and entertaining, lighthearted novel. Read it. You'll like it. ;)
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