‘The Guy Next Door’ by Meg Cabot [Book Review]

I am killing it this year; only eleven days into the year and the 2017 Reading Challenge, and I’ve just finished my third book (albeit a slightly disappointing one) – at that rate I’ll read 100 books in 2017!

Title: The Guy Next Door
Author: Meg Cabot
Released: 2002
Pages: 374
Category: #49 A book you got from a used book sale
Rating: 4/10

“But in order for people to be happy, sometimes they have to take risks. It’s true those risks can put them in danger of being hurt.”

Small-town girl Mel lives in bustling New York City, working for a newspaper as a gossip columnist. Her life was uneventful until her wealthy elderly neighbour, Mrs. Friedlander, was ruthlessly attacked in home and left for dead. Cue the introduction of John, Mel’s neighbour’s (not) nephew, who moves in to take care of Mrs. Friedlander’s pets.

The novel is told entirely through email exchanges between approximately a dozen characters. Unfortunately, this lowers the tone of the plot, and it feels incredibly dated. Whilst this story is intended as a romance/comedy, with a side of crime/detective work, it fails in its delivery: it is simultaneously all and nothing. That being said, it is an incredibly easy to read contemporary, and is one of those books that’s perfect to read during a slump or on holiday.

I first read this novel about ten years ago and thought it was hilarious. I went into my re-read hoping that my love for it as a thirteen(ish) year old would be as relevant and amusing to my twenty-two year old self (I began reading this one a while back, I’m well aware I am now twenty-three *sheesh*). Unfortunately, that was not the case. Remarkably however, I blazed through the last 200 pages in a few days; it’s just that kind of a compulsive read. Will I read more of Meg Cabot’s novels? Yes. Do I believe them to be overly well written or possess miraculous life lessons? No, but sometimes you need a bit of cheese in your life.

N.B. Technically I picked this book up second hand from eBay, not a specific used book sale, but it amounts to the same thing.

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