The Boy Next Door – Katie Van Ark


Maddy Spier has been in love with the boy next door forever. As his figure skating partner she spends time in his arms every day. But she’s also seen his arms around other girls—lots of other girls.

Gabe can’t imagine skating with anyone but Maddy, and together they have a real chance at winning some serious gold medals. So, he’s determined to keep thinking of her like a sister. After all, he’s never had a romantic relationship that lasted for more than two weeks.

But when their coach assigns a new romantic skating program, everything changes. Will this be the big break that Maddy’s been hoping for or the big breakup that Gabe has always feared?


This book was so cute!! I am such a sucker for figure skating stories. Gabe and Maddy are so sweet together. It was nice to see them learn to cross that bridge from friendship into something more.

That being said, some parts were a little TOO much. Wedding bells?!?! Someone getting pregnant? Illness? Finances? Why throw that all at us at the END? Each answered question led to a few new ones. There were also a few loose ends that I wish were tied up (e.g. what’s up with the hockey bros?). I really enjoyed the journey they went through though. There were fun times between them, which is often missing in YA novels (they normally have too much insta-love/lust/desperation/angst to be enjoyable). It was nice to read about them going over favourites and sharing jokes. I enjoy reading about people who are PASSIONATE about things, and that’s definitely the case here.

Katie Van Ark’s voice was easy, breezy, and fun. I’m excited to read more of her stories (and more “Swoon Reads,” too)!

Related Reading

  • Bitterweet – Sarah Ockler
  • The Truth About Forever – Sarah Dessen
  • Better Off Friends – Elizabeth Eulberg
  • Ice Princess (2005)
  • On the Fence – Kasie West

Rating: 4.5/5


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