Genre: YA Realistic Fiction
Pub. Date: June 26, 2007
My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Goodreads says, "Lori lives for summertime on the lake. She spends all season wakeboarding, swimming, and hanging with her friends—including the two hotties in the house next door. With the Vader brothers, Lori's always been one of the guys. But while Lori and the "baby" brother, Adam, are inseparable friends, she can't deny a secret crush on Sean, the older Vader boy. This year Sean's been paying Lori a lot of attention, and not in a brotherly way. But just as Lori decides to prove to Sean she's girlfriend material, she realizes that her role as girl friend to Adam may be even more important. And by trying so hard for the perfect summer romance, she could be going way overboard."
Lori is a tomboy who spends her summers on the lake with her brother and their friends. The problem is they are all boys and Lori wants them to notice her this summer, because of her long-time crush on Sean Vader. Adam, the younger Vader brother, is her best friend and getting Sean's attention isn't going to be as drama free as she thought. Lori has a hard time navigating between the role of Adam's best friend and Sean's wanna-be girlfriend. The Boys Next Door by Jennifer Echols is a fun read that is perfect for enjoying on a gorgeous summer day at the lake or beach.
I've had this book for a LONG time and finally decided to sit down and read it, because I've heard so many good things about Echols. I think this book has been re-braded as Endless Summer and it includes both The Boys Next Door and the sequel, Endless Summer. Anyway, I was impressed with Echols writing; it was easy, fast-paced, natural and most of all....fun. I was laughing out loud at Lori and the various situations she gets herself into; this book is definitely a romantic comedy.
Lori is a hilarious character that doesn't really think things through. She's impulsive and although she has good intentions, usually ends up making things worse. I loved that she was a tomboy that could swim expertly, wakeboard and hangout with the boys as that definitely made for an entertaining read. I kind of could relate to her need to be recognized as a young adult/female as opposed to one of the guys as she grew up competing with the boys, which I always did with swimming and body boarding. I could understand Lori's conundrum. Lori tries so hard to be seen as a GIRL in addition to one of the guys or just a tag-along sister. However, I will admit that she frustrated me at times with her bad choices. I was thinking "Girl, why are you doing that?!?! Are you nuts?!" half the time, but I guess that is what makes for an entertaining read.
The setting is Alabama on a lake and I loved it! I haven't read too many books that take place on a lake, but Echols really brought it to life. She described swimming in the lake, wake boarding, working at the Vader's store, parties at night on the lake, boating, and much more. I have little-to-no experience with what goes on at a lake in the summer, but it sounded like a lot of fun! Sign me up!
The Vader boys were my favorite part of the story, because their competitive nature and sibling rivalry was all-consuming. They were always fighting or sparing; there was never a dull moment. There's much more to the Vaders and Lori than meets the eye and I liked peeling back the layers to figure out what was really going on. Somehow Lori was always in the middle of these fights, which made it even more dramatic. By the way, Adam is my favorite Vader brother and I loved his friendship with Lori. I'm definitely Team Adam.
I was so consumed by The Boys Next Door that I immediately picked up the sequel, Endless Summer, which has a much better cover, I might add. I can't wait to see what happens between Lori, Sean and Adam as the story picks up right where it left off. If you are a looking for a chick-lit/mind-candy read for the summer, you must check out The Boys Next Door. I wish I had sooner!
*Buy The Boys Next Door
*Buy Endless Summer (which includes The Boys Next Door too!)
*Read an excerpt