The Boy Next Door: A Swoon Novel

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9781447285946: The Boy Next Door: A Swoon Novel

Family conflict, changing relationships, and questions of identity are at the heart of this engaging spin on the classic romance plotline.

Maddy Spier's 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. How can she make him realize that they can be partners off the ice as well?

Gabe's relationship with Maddy is vital. He can't imagine skating with anyone else, and together they have a real chance at greatness–maybe even making it to the Olympics someday. So he's decided to think of her as a sister. After all, family is forever, and he's never dated anyone for more than two weeks.

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

Chosen by readers like you for Macmillan's young adult imprint Swoon Reads, debut author Katie Van Ark’s novel The Boy Next Door is full of competition, misunderstandings, and of course, plenty of romance.

Praise for The Boy Next Door:

Fans of ice-skating and romance will fall in love with this debut novel.” ―School Library Journal

“Van Ark's story of two skating partners is hot enough to melt the ice.” ―Romantic Times

“Guaranteed to warm even the coldest heart.” ―Justine

"This story pulled me in from the beginning and kept me hooked until the end. Each voice is authentic and even the parents are fleshed out and realistic–something that doesn't always happen in YA fiction. Plenty of misunderstandings and make-ups, both part of teen relationships. I was left rooting for Maddy and Gabe both on and off the ice." ―AliasLibrarian, reader on

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About the Author:

Katie Van Ark is a member of SCBWI and RWA and a student at Vermont College of Fine Arts. She enjoys reading, writing, and of course figure skating. She lives in Michigan with two daughters, two cats, and one very patient husband, who was also her high school sweetheart. THE BOY NEXT DOOR is her debut novel.

From School Library Journal:

Gr 9 Up—Fans of ice-skating and romance will fall in love with this debut novel. Maddy and Gabe, both seniors at Riverview Prep in Kansas, grew up next door to one another and have been figure skating as a pair since they were in preschool; Gabe even gave up a place on a championship hockey team to skate with Maddy. The two are close friends and practice for hours every day. Their relationship was just fine until trainer Igor asked them to do Romeo and Juliet as a long program. Gabe considers Maddy to be like a sister and at first, he's not interested in even pretending to be in love with her. Maddy, nursing a secret crush, would like nothing more than a romance to develop with Gabe. As they prepare for the competition, the two friends toy with the idea of dating. As Gabe's past relationships have only lasted two weeks or less, he worries about what will happen if this one doesn't work. Could he lose skating and his friend? Underlying the frothy plot are some serious themes and issues, including sex, pregnancy, cancer, money problems, family stress, lies, and complicated relationships. The straighforward writing and compelling "will they, won't they" plot will keep YA readers eagerly turning the pages. VERDICT For unapologetic romance lovers, this is a first purchase.—Jesten Ray, Seattle Public Library, WA

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