Well it is almost 1 o'clock and I just finished this book I couldn't put it down I really enjoyed it! I gave it 5 stars, the definition for 5 stars is it was amazing and I probably wouldn't say that because I don't think you can say that chic lit is amazing If I had to give it a score out of 10 I would give it a 9 1/2 only a couple things bothered me, first there is swearing not much though but that always bothers me it really isn't necessary and the other thing is really stupid but the main character (Mel) calls her mom and dad mommy and daddy, I don't know, something about an adult doing that just is weird to me, so every time in the book she did it I cringed But despite those 2 things it was just a really fun easy read which I am all about there is enough crap in this crazy world I would rather read a feel good love story I loved it also because it is was so different from other books It is written all in emails, which you think might not carry the story very well but it did I keep thinking ok oneemail and I'm going to bed But I really couldn't put it down Thank you Sarah for the suggestion! I can't wait to read the next book in this series. What I particularly enjoyed about this book is the originality of the writing style The book is written in a modern epistolary fashion, it develops through the emails the various characters exchange.The story is witty, there is a little bit of a mystery to solve, which I always enjoy, and the book overall is light and refreshing. When I'm asked what my favorite book is, this always comes into my head because I was just so entertained I don't know how Meg Cabot did an allemail book and make it so amazing She is definitely a talented author! This was so much fun I mean, I saw the ending coming from a mile away and it was mega cheesy, but still, SO FUN I can't believe I waited so long to start this series Meg Cabot is my queen Reread 2020: Such an improvement over the last Cabot book I am bumping it up from a four to five star review though it's probably really a 4.5 star book.This one is really tropey and Cabot really does have signature tropes but I did enjoy it It is a comfort read through and through In a lot of ways, it sort of reminds me of a modern remake of one of those old Doris Day and Rock Hudson movies my mom used to make me watch as a kid To see review of whole series with gifs click here.In a lot of ways this is the best one in the series The reason why, the relationship is the most developed and I love the Trents Though, the Hertzogs are just as amusing but a lotdysfunctionaland that’s saying something since Daddy Trent is in jail.I think the style that this book is written inemails, notes, phone messages, etc really works well for it I don’t know if itor its sequelswould work well in any other style I often wonder if I would’ve like her vampire series better if it had been written in this style, because there is really something perfectly done that most authors never can get right but Meg Cabot does.Yes, there are the typical Cabot tropes that are used throughout the book And yes, there are a lot of shaking your head this is totally unrealistic moments but I don’t care There is just so much charm in this book that it makes you smile throughout reading it.The supporting characters aren’t that bad either and they do seem to have their own liveswell, some of them Some like Dolly Vargas are definitely one note characters, but their one noteness isn’t bad at all I didn’t even mind the ditzy model character, Vivica, and her weirdo obsession with driftwood sculptures.If you like cute light reads that will perk up your mood, you should pick this one up It’s not the most serious book by any means, but I wouldn’t want it to be serious. Ok just to warn you This entire book is in email format Yup 379 pages of emails Truth be told I really liked it! So we have Mel Fuller who writes the page 10 celebrity gossip column for the NY Journal She is late to work (for about the 50th time) because she found her neighbor lady laying face down with her dog barking like mad She really likes her neighbor Mrs Friedlander and feels bad for her 2 cats and dog (a great dane named Paco who has a Great Dane in NY City?!?!) so Mel takes care of the animals while Mrs Friedlander lays in a coma Walking the dog every morning before work causes Mel to be late ALOT and finally her friend's Nadine and Dolly help her track down Mrs Friedlander's only living relative her nephew Max Friedlander Max Friedlander is a self centered egotistical pig He is a photographer and models in fact he has a nude self portrait of himself hanging at a museum and he just took off to Florida with the model Vivica to hang out in the surf and sun No way is he coming back to NY City to take care of his old witch Aunt's animals So he comes up with a plan His friend John Trent owes him a huge favor from when they went to Las Vegas together and John drank a LOT and tried to marry a redheaded show girl Max stopped John from marrying her and took him home to sober up So John owes him a favor and Max decides to call it in So John agrees to pretend to be Max and to look after the 2 cats and the dog Shouldn't be a big deal Yeah he has to lie to the neighbor about who he is but so what? This is NY He will probably just pick up the keys from the neighbor and that will be that UH HU Except of course that is NOT just that The neighbor is Mel and she is a sweet little Redhead (Be still his heart) and she is super nice and she seems to like him too I really enjoyed this! I am sure the email format would put some people off but I thought Meg Cabot did a great job with it and I really didn't want the book to end I thought some of the characters were over the top but in a delightful way I didn't find myself rolling my eyes at anyone but Vivica And I think we are supposed to roll our eyes at her a little bit so it's all good. I wasn't sure I was going to be able to finish this one because, while there were some things I genuinely liked about the email format in which it was written, the format overall left me wanting The story picked up, however, and I found myself not minding the email format so much After a little while, I found myself engrossed, wanting desperately to find out who attacked the neighbor and whether or not Mel and John would get together (OK, so admittedly I knew this was an inevitability since it's a romance novel, but it's still nice reading about those moments) I even found myself liking the main character, even though I had very little in common with her.Mel was cool Yes, she had that stereotypical chick vibe thing going on (obsessed with clothes and makeup, bemoaned not having found a man yet despite only being 27, etc.), but she was fiery, outspoken, funny, and stood up for herself All of these previously respected personality traits, however, flew out the window when it was made clear that the character possessing them was completely bat shit crazy Mel went absolutely nuts I understand the guy lied to her, I understand she was still feeling the burn of the last time she'd been deceived, but come on Even her best friend, finally reaching the point of wanting to strangle Mel, tells her to knock it off or she will succeed in completely chasing off an amazingly good guy who's perfect for her I'm not saying women should tolerate lying, but sometimes there are extenuating circumstances and the falsehood (and its teller) must be evaluated on a casebycase basis and handled accordingly Mel wants absolutely nothing to do with rational thought, however, because she's been jilted This was when it stopped being funny for me Up until that point, I'd found it hilariousafter that point, I just wanted to scream As relieved as I was that people were calling Mel on her lunacy, I was also greatly disappointed that, when she told them off for trying to help her, they just shrugged their shoulders and moved on I'm sorry, if I were trying to help a friend who was losing it, overreacting, and coming dangerously close to destroying what could perhaps be her single chance at happiness and she told me offI would not take that too lightly Being a supportive friend and minding my own business are personal credos of mine, but enabling crazy bitch behavior is definitely not my style On top of that, there was entirely too much conniving and nosy behavior going on in this book for me to truly enjoy it It did, in part, add to the humor a bit, but overall it left me a little uneasy No one really talked to each other in this book and I really respect people who know how to communicate, at least partially, with one another So it's hard to be sympathetic toward characters with whom I hold littletono sympathy That disconnect made this a hollow read for me. To: You youFrom: Human Resources humansources@thenyjournalSubject: This BookDear Reader,This is an automated message from the Human Resources Division of the New York Journal, New York City’s leading photonewspaper Please be aware that according to our records you have not yet read this book What exactly are you waiting for? This book has it all:HumorRomanceCooking tipsGreat DanesHeroine in perilDolphinshaped driftwood sculpturesIf you wish to read about any of the above, please do not hesitate to head to the checkout counter, where you will be paired with a sales associate who will work to help you buy this bookWe here at the New York Journal are a team We win as a team, and lose as one as well Don’t you want to be on the winning team?Sincerely, Human Resources Division New York JournalPlease note that failure to read this book may result in suspension or dismissal from this store*********This email is confidential and should not be used by anyone who is not the original intended recipient If you have received this email in error please inform the sender and delete it from your mailbox or any other storage mechanism********* So, this was my first Meg Cabot Maybe not the best place to start, considering there arepopular books of hers I could have started with but I guess it wasn't a too bad introduction to her work The Boy Next Door started out pretty awesome, there was hilarity left and right and I just loved it After I was halfway through, though, the book began to drag quite a bit and I was annoyed with most of the characters The magic of the cute romance faded for me as well because even if it was cute, when it came to the romance, the email format of this book failed for me because it was too much tellingnotshowing and I thus felt pretty detached from the characters at some point.Nevertheless, this was a fun brain candy read, which even if it started to disappoint me after the awesome beginning, was still an okay read that took my mind off of things. This book has earned its place as my new most embarrassing book to read in public to date I made a special point to fold the pages of this book over, hiding the cheesy cover which seemed to scream the announcement “Yes I read mindless, fluffy chicklit!” I guess I wouldn’t have been so embarrassed to be reading this book if it had not been for the general low quality of the entire concept The Boy Next Door is a romantic story Mel, young gossip columnist for a New York newspaper, who ends up falling in love with John, a crime reporter and all around cool guy from a wealthy family…only get this, due to totally pointless and silly circumstances, John is forced to conceal his real identity from Mel, resulting in a web of lies Oh yeah and did I mention that the entire novel is told through emails to and from the main characters and their friends? Yup Are you starting to understand my embarrassment in reading this book?So there’s several problems with this book, most of which can be summed up by the statement that another reader scrawled on the title page of the copy I read from the public library: “This book is stupid.” Meg Cabot has written many young adult novels, some of which I’ve enjoyed in the same fluffy, don’t make me think kind of way that I had hoped to enjoy this one Only, The Boy Next Door is not a YA novel It’s sort of awkwardly in the middle The characters are in their mid to late twenties and appear to have grown up careers, apartments, etc They are supposed to be adults…albeit young ones The real problem with The Boy Next Door (aside from the obvious fact that it is written in the whole email format!) is that the characters behave like teenagers It makes little sense why grown ups, with real problems, real jobs, and real life experience, would act so silly Even teenagers would havesense than the characters in this book! The main problem of the book (the mistaken identity thing) isn’t the least bit plausible because any grown man like John would have cleared up the whole silly thing immediately Almost all of the problems in this book stem from that The characters feel very one dimensional and are either extremely stupid or extremely immature, neither of which works out to an enjoyable novel At the same time, I did read this cover to cover, perhaps because it was the only book in my bag while I was riding the train last week or perhaps because, even though I felt insulted as a reader by this book, I ended up getting a tiny bit sucked into the inane story…just to see where it went.