May 20, 2011

Retro Friday (14): The Boy Next Door by Meg Cabot

Retro Friday
Retro Friday is a weekly meme hosted at Angieville and focuses on reviewing books from the past. This can be an old favorite, an under-the-radar book you think deserves more attention, something woefully out of print, etc. Everyone is welcome to join in at any time! 

This week I chose The Boy Next Door by Meg Cabot.

Boy Next Door
Current Cover
At First Sight: Gossip columnist Melissa Fuller was late for work again, but this time she had a pretty good reason: she found her next door neighbor -an old lady of about 80 years of age - face down on the carpet and she had to call the police. 

This not only landed her in hot water at work but also left her in charge of a Great Dane called Paco until Mrs. Friedlander's grandson Max can be located. Only that Max is too busy shacking up with a super model to return to NYC to tend to his grandmother, so instead he blackmails his former college roommate John Trent into pretending to be Max and taking care of the dog. 

John isn't happy with this plan, but he does owe Max so he agrees to the charade... only to be enchanted by Mel once the meet... only that she has no clue who he really is!

Second Glance: The Boy Next Door is the first of Meg Cabot's novels told entirely through emails - I think it was one of the first ever to do this - and it's just so much fun. 

Original Cover
Not a lot of people know this, but the book was first posted free at her Author's website ( for a long while (that's where I read it first) before being turned into an actual book. 

The book is funny, full of pop culture and a very quick read. It is also very New York City and very much a book of the 90's - this was the beginning of emails as part of every day culture, you must remember and there are so many cute little details from back then woven into the story.

Bottom Line: A quick romantic comedy of mistaken identities, emails and dogs, The Boy Next Door remains a lovely story to this day.

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