This book is the sequel to My Life Next Door which I absolutely ADORED. This one, however, didn’t live up to the first book at all. The only thing that saved it was the dry humour and the witty dialogue and the drastic changes characters go through.
Firstly, Tim and Alice. TIM. AND. ALICE. Why?! In the first book, Tim had a crush on Alice, yes, but it was based solely on the fact that she was attractive. We never saw him and her properly interacting, apart from some bad flirting, to which Alice barely responded. In this book, however, they suddenly became very close.
I had mixed feelings about the dual point of view writing. Reading both Tim and Alice’s views was interesting, they’re both very complex characters and getting to know them better was nice – adding dimension to both their characters to what we know of them from the first book. Both of them have so much going on for them that a dual POV was necessary. However, POVs were constantly changing. Within a single chapter, POVs were swapped at least 5-6 times which for me, is a bit much – it’s hard for the reader to keep track of who is narrating.
A major aspect of the first book that I really enjoyed was the big family and since 50% of this book is narrated from someone from the big family, I expected more mushy familial scenes but what we got instead was more of a behind the scenes to the big family – how they struggles to make expenses meet, how difficult it is to manage that many children during a crisis – and that was good, it’s real and genuine. How crises were dealt with through the story by Alice, and how she sacrificed so much for her family’s welfare was admirable. She was such a strong, independent, selfless character who is really someone to be awed at.
Tim grew up so much in this book – gone was the reckless, alcoholic/druggie, in was the new and improved, responsible boy. Without spoiling anything, early in the story, let’s just say he gets an unexpected gift which changes him as a person and how he grows through the book because of it is really beautiful.
I loved all the characters in The Boy Next Door, so whenever we saw them, I got really happy. A lot of unresolved issues from the first book were resolved, the characters changed for the better.
I don’t really understand the title, it’s got something to do with how Tim used negative superlatives to describe himself but the term was used so often that it got a bit irritating, not going to lie.
If Huntley Fitzpatrick continues to write in this world, I’d love to read about Andy, Alice’s sister who just started high school. I could relate to some of the things she said and did as things I did when I just started high school too. I’d love to read her story!
This is a very okay book, not the highest note to start off 2016 reading with but oh well. It’s light with some excellent writing, I still want to read all of her other books! In my opinion, My Life Next Door is the better of these two but a lot of people prefer this one, so I don’t know.