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The Boy Next Door

Katie Van Ark

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What hurts more: falling on ice or falling in love?

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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 gold–maybe even making it to the Olympics! So he's decided to think of her as a sister. After all, family is forever, but 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 break-up that Gabe has always feared?

Excerpt

"You got this, Mad," I whisper to her. "Do it again."

She nods, and her face reminds me of her dad, the way he looks on his campaign billboards. Eyes focused, chin set. A look that says you can trust him to get whatever job needs doing done. Mad takes her crossovers. She pushes. She jumps. One-two-three and there's the extra half rotation and on the landing, her knee's bent so low she's almost doing a backward shoot-the-duck but by some miracle of anything and everything holy–

She. Stands. Up.

I have officially lost the triple Axel contest. I will never live this down, but I'm so psyched for Mad that I don't give even a bucket of Zamboni sludge. Mad's screaming and I'm screaming and Kate and Chris have forgotten whatever the hell they were fighting about this time. Mad throws her arms around me and I hug her back. Over her shoulder I see Igor watching, smiling, as our club mates pile on us in a massive group hug. Mad's landed her triple Axel. I am not worthy to tie her skates, but for some reason she's still my partner.

No, not some random, unknown reason. In the middle of the celebratory huddle with Mad, her body pressed full frontal against mine with her arms around me and her face buried in my neck, I know the reason she's still my partner. And I also know that whatever I do, I can't lose Mad.

GENRE

PURCHASE INFO

Paperback: $9.99
ISBN 9781250061461

E-book: $7.12
ISBN 9781250061782

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Praise

“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

"Just finished it AS I was watching pairs figure skating in Sochi! I loved it. I love Gabe's arc. He started out as someone I would tell my daughter to stay far away from and became someone I'd be thrilled for her to be with. Someday, when she's like 30 and allowed to date." —THHernandez, Swoon Reader

"Could not put this down! Great job; hope you write more." —Teresa Phillips, Swoon Reader

"What a great read! Believable characters, realistic dialogue and an interesting and unique premise. This story drew me in right away and kept me turning the pages till the very end even though I know nothing about figure skating. I loved the dual first person perspectives. All it needs is an epilogue – I'm desperate to know what happens afterward on the ice!!! Five stars all the way." —Kat, Swoon Reader

"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, Swoon Reader

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76 comments on "The Boy Next Door"

M. C. Frank on March 15, 2016, 2:31 p.m. said:

M. C. Frank


Storytime: I actually found a physical copy of this book, the Boy Next Door, in a bookstore in Athens, Greece. I picked it up, it looked nice and the description at the back sounded cool. I read it and I fell in love with the characters, the ice skating, the drama, the romance.... everything. At the end of the story, it said 'Swoon Reads' and explained a few things about how the site works.
I got online and found THIS.
Now, I don't know if you know this, but it's very very rare for any of the ya books published in a language that's not Greek to make their way to my country, especially now that things are... a bit tight with the economy, let's say. It's very very rare that I find an author I like in the foreign fiction section, and so your book was such an unexpected gift! Also, just think that if it found its way to my little corner of the world, who knows where else it's travelled to? I am so excited that I found it (or, rather, it found me) and that I found Swoon Reads through it.

I hope you continue writing, I need more of your novels :)

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Tandy Skyes on Oct. 2, 2015, 6:48 a.m. said:

Tandy Skyes


I loved your book, Katie! The swooning was endlessy and by time I got to the ending I was fangirling like a loon. I couldn't help myself! Gabe and Maddy are freaking fantabulous!

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Amy Henrickson on Dec. 20, 2013, 8:30 a.m. said:

Amy Henrickson


This story has it all: Interesting characters, realistic but snappy dialogue, romance, and a "cool" sport -- ice skating. The story moves along at a perfect pace and has a satisfying ending. I hope there's a sequel.

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Katie Van Ark on Dec. 20, 2013, 10:40 a.m. said:

Katie Van Ark


Thanks, Amy!

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Wendy on Dec. 20, 2013, 12:24 p.m. said:

Wendy


Maddy is intense in everything she does--skating, school and love. Gabe is the opposite, until they are on the ice together. Then sparks fly! Are those sparks real and will they last in real life?

This book alternates between Maddy's and Gabe's perspectives and keeps the tension mounting throughout.

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Katie Van Ark on Dec. 24, 2013, 10:41 a.m. said:

Katie Van Ark


Thanks for reading! I've got your novel on my list as well!

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Katie Van Ark on Dec. 25, 2013, 9:13 a.m. said:

Katie Van Ark


And I should also say that Kate and Chris get their own book next. Find out what happens to them in Dance With Me...

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Karmen Kooyers on Dec. 25, 2013, 6:25 p.m. said:

Karmen Kooyers


Loved the story - the author clearly knows the skating world - all the details flowed naturally. As someone who married my high school sweetheart (and we're still happily married 36 years later), it's fun to see a story about a young couple who seemed headed for a lifetime of love.

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Katie Van Ark on Dec. 25, 2013, 7:29 p.m. said:

Katie Van Ark


Ten years and counting with my high school sweetheart, too. :-)

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Katie Van Ark on Dec. 25, 2013, 7:27 p.m. said:

Katie Van Ark


Thanks, Sally!

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