The Boy Next Door by Meg Cabot Book Review

The Boy Next Door

Book Review by Debbie Winkler

Author: Meg Cabot
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers (October 2002)
ISBN: 0060096195, EAN: 9780060096199
Page Count: 384 pages
Format: paperback

Target Age Group: adults
My Rating:4/5 stars, A Fast, Fun Read!


Melissa “Call Me Mel” Fuller is the page 10 gossip columnist for the New York Journal and really wants to be able to write some serious editorials. However, her editor won’t let her because Mel is one of those people who actually cares about who Winona Ryder is dating. But Mel thinks that she has a chance at selling a story to her editor when her elderly next-door neighbor, Mrs. Friedlander, is attacked, putting her in a coma in the hospital and making Mel late for work – for the 37th time that year! Her editor doesn’t buy it, which is too bad, because Mel could really use someone cutting her some slack. After all, who else is going to walk Paco, Mrs. Friedlander’s Great Dane, and feed her two cats? Everyone at work tells Mel to stop being such a wimp and to dump the problem on Max Friedlander, her neighbor’s playboy nephew. So Mel drops the problem in Max’s lap, who promptly turns to his old college friend, John Trent, who owes him a huge favor since he stopped him from marrying that stripper in Vegas. John isn’t too excited about posing as Max, even if it is only for a few days, until he meets Mel. John is instantly attracted to her and can tell that she likes him, too. There is just one problem – she thinks he is Max!


This book is just so fun to read! I read it easily in one sitting and the whole thing just flew by. The story is told in the form of emails as Mel writes her soon-to-be-married best friend, her best friend’s chef of a fiance, the real Max, John the fake Max, the mean-spirited human resource department at work, John’s brother and sister-in-law, John’s fabulously wealthy grandmother, Mrs. Friedlander’s dog and cats, as well as a host of other zany characters who all seem to be way too interested in Mel’s love life or lack thereof. Anyway, you will love all of the characters as they are all real people going through those crazy things that life throws at you. Mel is especially wonderful and it is so fun to see her personality shine through her emails rather than the author describing everything that is happening. If you have enjoyed any of Cabot’s other tales than you know how wonderful she is! Do yourself a favor and buy this book!


This book is really clean considering it is a romance book written for adults. This is mainly due to the email format that the book relies on to tell the story, but it was a refreshing change. You can give this book to almost anyone who enjoys contemporary romance and not worry about it. Recommended for readers ages 13 and up.

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