Saturday, August 13, 2011

Book Review: The Boys Next Door by Jennifer Echols

The Boys Next Door by Jennifer Echols
Published: June 26th, 2007
Publisher: Simon Pulse
281 pages (paperback)
Genre: Young adult romance/comedy
Acquired this book: at the library
Warning: may include spoilers
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Synopsis, taken from dust jacket of the book: Lori can't wait for her summer at the lake. She loves wakeboarding and hanging with her friends - including the two hotties next door. With the Vader brothers, she's always been just one of the guys. Now that she's turning sixteen, she wants to be seen as one of the girls, especially in the eyes of Sean, the older brother. But that's not going to happen - not if the younger brother, Adam, can help it. Lori plans to make Sean jealous by spending time with Adam. Adam has plans of his own for Lori. As the air heats up, so does this love triangle. Will Lori's romantic summer melt into one hot mess?

My thoughts on The Boys Next Door:
I'm going to be honest, I wasn't completely sure about this book at first. Lori was unlike any character I'd ever read before and at first, I thought she was going to drive me crazy. But then I realized her naivity, immaturity and sometimes-obnoxious attitude are part of being 15 going on 16, and she was actually kind of charming in a weird sort of way. And funny! I laughed so much with this book! I also thought the story was going to be predictable, but there were enough twists to keep things interesting.

The Boys Next Door was a really sweet teenage romance, perfect summer reading. As I mentioned before, it was laugh-out-loud funny. The things Lori said and did, her reactions to things, her inner dialogue - all hilarious. I think the choice to tell this story in the first person was perfect because it felt like Lori was a friend telling me things that had happened, and I love books like that. Mixed in with all that humor was also the story of a girl trying to figure things out. Growing up surrounded by boys, and without a mother hasn't been easy, and she's been left to figure things out pretty much on her own.

The only thing that bothered me, but that I understood as the book went on, was how at the beginning, Lori thought that showing a little skin was the perfect plan to get guys to notice her. And when it seemed that that's when the guys actually did start to notice her, I was irritated, wondering what kind of message that sends to young girls. When you learn more about Lori's character and realize how ignorant she is about actually being a girl - having always been a tomboy and having few women to influence or help her - and when you learn more about the boys, it makes more sense.

Overall, I thought this was a cute story and I'm anxious to read more from Jennifer Echols.

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1 comment:

  1. I have this in my TBR pile from the library. I'm glad you liked it! Now I want to pick it up right away and start reading! Thanks for the review! (I think there is a sequel to this called Endless Summer).


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