I count this book as one of the most influential books of my writing life. When I read it I had a ‘lightbulb moment’ type realization that emails were just another form of dialogue. And dialogue is something I’m good at. So, when my first NWS reviewer told me I should stop trying to write ‘serious’ fiction and write things I enjoy instead, I knew exactly what my style would be.
Anyway, I read the whole ‘boy’ series. The Boy Next Door is my favourite of the three. It’s one of the few books that I’ve read over and over again. It still makes me laugh each time.
I picked this book up at an airport. I wasn’t expecting much from it, just a light read for the journey. I LOVED it. It’s written entirely in emails, which meant that the characters’ voices were very strong. It was almost like a radio play – all dialogue. I spend so much time ‘chatting’ to people via email, that the email conversations seemed entirely natural to me. (I know other people can find it irritating).The story has a really nice set up. The boy next door is pretending to be someone else. So, right from the moment they meet, you know that the big secret is going to come out at some point and Mel is going get hurt. There’s a potential murder and a couple of sink holes thrown in for good measure.I like Mel too. It’s nice to see a heroine who knows her shortcomings (she’s short) and doesn’t seem to care. John is a nice hero. The secondary characters are an absolute hoot.I recommend this book if you like funny characters and lots of dialogue. If emails in books annoy you, then don’t touch it.