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'The Boy Next Door' very much captured my heart from an early age, it has been my favourite book for many years, and as I'm only 19 I think that's quite an achievement.
The story is of Mickey Maloney and Fred Roper's childhood friendship and romance, that's torn apart due to some secret that the reader only finds out at the end. The reader is taken on a ride with Fred and Mickey, starting with their current adult lives and flashing back to their blissful childhood together. The impression to begin with is as though all hope is lost, Mickey has a child, and Fred is happily engaged and soon to be married to Rebecca. Though once Mickey and Fred are reacquainted, it becomes apparent that they both still love each other dearly.
I thoroughly enjoy the flash back aspects of the book, and how the reader quickly gets a glimpse of both the past and the present from both Mickey and Fred's eyes. The present story does quickly get in the way of finding out what happened to Fred in the past, as there is obviously a major event that triggers a chance, and the reader wants to find it faster than the book wants to give it. Though parts of me still wants to watch Fred and Mickey get closer together as though no time has passed since they were fun loving teenagers.
I find that Mickey's and Fred's childhood relationship is exactly what I wish I'd had with someone at that age, and their adult relationship too. I believe this book grasps the readers soppy side by both hands and wills them to read on.
Despite having read this book hundreds upon hundreds of times (it's now severely worn out and bruised) I believe that this is a book that never gets boring, and I will thoroughly recommend it to anyone. (Though it does have a few sex scenes in it, so no-one too young).
-Review also appears on Ciao-
Reading Chick Lit is like eating fast food. It is not high quality and can be a bit bland boring and repetitive but occasionally I get a craving for it when I want something quick and easy. This was the case recently when I was trawling the shelves of a local charity shop and came across "The Boy Next Door" by Josie Lloyd and Emlyn Reese. These are the books that have the gimmick of being co authored and thus telling the story from both a male and female point of view. I have read a couple of their books before and whilst they are not great works of literature they are a nice light read and perfect for holiday reading.
The Boy Next Door is a simple boy meets girl, boy falls in love with girl, boy loses girl and meets up with her years later. Our hero and heroine (and narrators as the book is told in the first person narrative by both characters) Fred and Mickey were next door neighbours and best friends as children. They become teenage sweethearts but their budding young love is cruelly cut short by a terrible event. Fast forward fifteen years and Mickey is a florist and a single mother whilst Fred is about to get married. Then fate guides her helping hand via a chance meeting in a toy superstore. Have their lives changed too much for them to start where they left off all those years ago?
I felt for a number of reasons that this was one of the better chick; it books I had read. Even though it has a male co-author writing a convincing male character in a Nick Hornby style (the relationship between Fred and Mickey's nine-year-old son Joe in parts really reminded me of "About a Boy") I really can not see any self-respecting guy reading this. The plot is simply far too girlie. What I liked about the novel was that it was not too fluffy. I warmed to Mickey, as she seemed to be a realistic down to earth character with none of the neuroses or annoying traits that often accompany the heroines of chick lit. However I found some of the secondary characters lacking in substance and there just as names casually referred to. I found I knew very little about Mickey's parents; whilst the only thing that distinguished Fred's mother was that she was very religious. Rebecca Fred's nymphomaniac snob of a fiancée was so wooden and one dimensional and only really there to show how lovely and nice Mickey was.
I also liked it, as the plot was not quite as simple as at first glance. There is a whole sub plot about the skeletons in Fred's family closet especially to do with his Father's early death. I liked this as it gave the plot a bit of substance and gave me something to guess about as I was sure I was fairly sure (but not quite) sure of the ending of the book. I liked the feel of the book. It conveyed the nostalgia of childhood and also the intentness of first love. It really too me back to my childhood. It was a really easy read and I sped my way through the 292 pages. However there were a few things that did bug me along with the wooziness of most of the characters. If you are to write about a character that is partially educated in Scotland please take note and research the Scottish education system. It is mentioned in passing that Fred was supposed to have gone to a Scottish sixth form college. To my knowledge there is no such th9ng as we talk about sixth year in Scotland and we tend to do our Highers at the same school we did the rest of out secondary education. This is a minor point but it does bug me. The other thing that was slightly annoying was small errors where prepositions were missed out in the sentence. I am nut sore if this is an editorial or printing error but it spoiled it as the sentence did not quite make sense.
This is a fairly short lightweight review, which matches a lightweight book. It's no great work of literature, the plot is a bit obvious and the secondary characters were very one dimensional but it was ideal for reading by the poolside on holiday. Back to the higher quality fiction until I get an urge for something silly and fluffy!
I paid 99 pence for it in a charity shop which was a fair price. i doubt I would have bought it brand new. If is available on Amazon for £5.99
The Boy Next Door is a paperback brought to us from bestselling authors Josie Lloyd and Emilyn Rees. Set in the English village of Rushton during the 80’s, Mickey Maloney and Fred Roper have been best friends their whole life and shared everything together from the day they were born, from their first cigarette to their first kiss. As children they were constantly up for the latest challenges set by one and another to bring fun into the sleepy village, which they both deemed as boring but one of those adventures resulted in Mickey saving Fred’s life. Fred seems easily led by Mickey and goes along with anything she suggests, he is an only child, his parents don’t seem happy together at all, in fact at a guess I would say they stay together because they need each other, his mother (Louisa) being totally against divorce and also heavily involved in the local church, is concerned about saving face. His father (Miles) is portrayed as a shady nightclub owner with some dodgy friends. Fred always remained curious about his father and never seemed to know that much about him, he even goes as far as to refer to his father as Miles and not Dad as you would expect. Mickey is a tomboy who thrives on adventures, she has an older brother and her parents seem like any other, although you get the impression her mother is a bit of a curtain twitcher and her father seems at his happiest reading his paper and getting no hassle from the mother. Together Fred and Mickey are inseparable all through their childhood together, even going to the same schools until suddenly Fred’s parents decide it would be best if he went to private school and then eventually boarding school, their time apart forces them to realise they are in love with each other at the tender age of 15, planning their first holiday together and the rest of their lives. But then a devastating turn of events tears them apart and Fred and his family move
away. It’s unknown to Mickey where they have gone and she never hears from Fred again. The story starts some 15 years later when they meet by pure chance whilst shopping in a toy store. Mickey is beginning an exciting yet scary new phase in her life, starting her own business with a small flower shop in London. She is squeezed into the tiny flat above with her son Joe and her shop assistant and also her lodger Lisa. Mickey’s a loving, if chaotic, single mum, juggling home and work and trying to build a secure life. Fred too, has moved on. He’s surrounded by the trappings of success designing web pages and promoting certain companies, he’s set to marry his gorgeous high flying, fashion conscious career chasing Rebecca. He lives in an unfashionable area of London, which Rebecca refuses to visit, with his flatmate and best friend Eddie. Fred and Rebecca are due to get married in around a month’s time with a lavish wedding ceremony at her parents’ large country estate. What follows next is an amusing and fascinating journey through their childhoods in Rushton together, learning about growing up, falling in and out of love and learning you’re never too old to be a kid. We are told both Fred and Mickey’s now and then lives, equally and cleverly done by alternating the chapters between each character. Brilliantly written and wittily observed by Rees and Lloyd. I was very impressed how both writers could work so closely together to get it so right, a fantastic partnership that surely has paid off for them both. This book will no doubt take you back to your own childhood’s and will either make you laugh or make you cry, hopefully the earlier, while you remember the disco’s in church hall’s, chatting to your mates about how you fancy him but you are trying not to make it obvious (I think we’ve all been there), the hairstyles, the fashions nee
d I go on? This for me was enjoyable, I was kept thoroughly entertained by Fred and Mickey’s wicked sense of adventure as children. It’s not a slushy love story as you would expect although there are a few references to sexual behaviour, although very mild. But even with the male and female perspective given in the story, I would still say on the whole this probably would appeal more to women than men because of the content. I would not say I was gripped with the story although I was keen to find out what was to happen next even though it was sometimes predictable and contained a fair amount of clichés. But I would definitely recommend it to anyone who likes a good heart warming story but doesn’t mind a few clichés. The RRP price for this 292 page paperback seems high at £9.99, but I managed to get mine on ebay at a bargain price of around £2, so keep your eyes peeled for those bargains. Thanks for reading, take care Heather:)
I was really looking forward to reading this, the 3rd book done jointly by Josie LLoyd and Emlyn Rees. Unfortunately I was majorly disappointed. The story centres around Fred and Mickey who grew up together in the village of Rushton. Around 15 years on they bump into each other in London, Fred is about to get married and Mickey has been there and done that and has a 9 year old son Joe. The book progresses through them becoming friends again and both feeling the spark that was there when they had their first kiss with each other when they were around 12. Following the "His story/Her Story" format that is familiar in Josie and Emlyn's works we watch them battle with their feelings and drift in and out of the past which holds major events that neither has ever disclosed to anyone else. We await with baited breath to find out if Fred is going to dump the posh Rebecca to go back to Mickey. I'm maybe a bit naive writing a review about a book that I haven't finished reading yet but I am finding it such a drag and a major chore in trying to read. The whole book is 293 pages and is split into, wait for it, 8 chapters. If there's anything about a book I cant stand it's long chapters. I also feel like I've known the ending from about page 3. Please note I am still battling with this book, I always force myself to read to the end and when I do finish I'll come back and update you. 1st July 2002 - You'll be pleased to hear that I've finally finished this book. Overall the story is excellent, a typical chic book story with a very predictible ending. Unfortunately the ending is rather brisk, something happens and thats it, no details as to what exactly happened and what happens next. I was rather disappointed because of this, and am now hoping for a follow up book, with much shorter chapters or more breaks within the chapters
I didn't read the book first written by Emlyn Rees and Josie Lloyd 'Come Together', so I didn't know what to expect from this novel 'The Boy Next Door'. I thoroughly enjoyed this book because it was shown from the boys and girls point of view, and it was strange to know how boys think about things and then girls, obviously the girl worrying more because we are all do. Anyway to get back to talking about the book. PLOT ____ Mickey Malone and Fred Roper grew up together in Rushton in the 70's/80's am not too sure what one again. They were very good friends but one day Fred moved a way and Mickey always wondered what had happened and why Fred had never tried to talk to her. Years later Mickey is in a small flat in London, owning a flower shop and also with a child. Fred is also in London and about to get married. In a Toy shop they both meet again and then they start to remember the good times from their youth and they both seem to be scared to bring up the subject of why they were broken apart from each other. They once went out, but they don't know if what they had when they were younger can be the same now after all they are older and don't know eachother recently as they did in the past. FRED ROPER __________ Fred is about to get married to his fiance Rebecca, but when meeting Mickey again his life in Rushton comes back. Throughout the book you learn about his childhood and how his father died when he was quite young, he knew him but they were never very close. While young Fred was very adventurous but when grown up he is a bit more mature but Mickey still seems to find the bit of Fred Roper she always knew although when he moved. After his father died Fred moved away from Rushton his mother wanted him to forget Mickey and Rushton and so she made him change his name to Fred Wilson. MICKEY MALONE _____________ Mickey is not really what you would call the average girly girl, sh
e is more of a tomboy but always liked Fred, and as she grew up boys were an interest to her. Her parents and Fred's never wanted them to keep in touch once Fred moved away, Mickey was always annoyed that Fred hadn't kept in contact with her and then she finds out what had happened when they meet again. Mickey has a son and is a single parent having to look after her son Joe, with a successful flower shop. I liked the style of this book the way it was written. One minute the chapter was about Fred and what he was doing at that moment, then it was talking about an event that had happened back in Rushton in his childhood day, it was the same with Mickey's chapter all leading up to when Fred leaves. The chapters are very long in this book there are only eight in total but there is 293 pages. I recommend this book to anyone looking for a funny but romantic story. It is a nice book to read, some parts funny and the characters are so easy to relate to, obviously for me I could relate more to Mickey because she is a girl but I am sure men could relate to Fred. The authors made an excellent job at making the characters come alive.
Having read both of the previous joint offerings from these two authors (Come Together and Come Again), I snapped up this book as soon as it was released. Lloyd and Rees have a very 'reader friendly' style and this third book certainly lived up to my expectations. The Boy Next Door tells the story of Mikey maloney and her next door neighbour Fred Roper. They fall in love as teenagers and are torn apart by their families when Fred is forced to move to Scotland when his father dies amid scandalous allegations of murder. The story takes the reader back and forth from the 1980's when the two were inseperable to 15 years later when they meet by chance in a toy store in London. Fred is about to get married to Rebecca when Mikey re-enters his life, but is it too late to rekindle what they had as teenagers or is it true what they say about first loves being forever? I will not spoil the plot by going into too much detail but can recommend this book as a very enjoyable and easy read. It (like Come Together and Come Again) takes the reader through the male's and the female's story and their thoughts and feelings. Mikey is a single parent and is juggling her time between her new flower shop and her son Joe, meanwhile Fred has become a very successful businessman. Has too much come between who they are now and the teenagers they were? It is a fun and at the same time a moving and romantic plot - THIS GETS THE THUMBS UP!
Josie Lloyd and Emlyn Rees created a masterpiece with their first co-written novel, Come Together. Using the 'he said/she said' approach, where one character tells the story for a chapter and then the other lead character narrates for the next, the authors created a system which has been emulated since, but never matched for effectiveness. The hardest task in writing this novel was always going to be creating believable characters who we actually care about, whilst using the same 'he said/she said' approach. The Boy Next Door introduces us to Fred and Mickey (who is, by the way, female). Friends for many years during their childhood, they are split by disturbing events more involving their parents than themselves. Fifteen years later, Fred and Mickey have a chance meeting and the emotions they felt in the past are dragged kicking and screaming to the surface. Trouble is, Fred's engaged and due to tie the knot in a matter of weeks. The Boy Next Door concentrates very much on the two lead characters, with only Fred's fiancé Rebecca getting much of a look in. Fred's friend, Eddie shows potential for being an interesting character but remains a distant backdrop for most of the story. It would be fair to say that it would have been nice to see a little more interaction with someone other than the central three characters. But seeing as were left mainly in the company of Fred and Mickey, do they deserve our attention? You'd better believe it. The first chapter of The Boy Next Door kicks off with Fred and much time is spent dealing with thoughts of his father, who we learn died in as yet unclear tragic circumstances. At first reading, the first chapter can seem a little slow and the relationship between Fred and his father somewhat muted. However, this is not accidental or ineffective writing and as the story develops, so will your understanding. The second chapter, when we first hear directly from Mickey, is a fas
t-paced delight which immediately drags the reader into the adventure. From this moment on, you will be in no doubt that what you are reading is pure quality and the pace never lets up. The story slips in and out of the past, revealing Fred and Mickey's childhood and teenage years together, but the amount revealed of their history is cleverly balanced so as to drag you back to the present when you'll be itching for more. As Fred and Mickey wrestle with their feelings for each other, the reader is made to feel the same emotional turmoil being felt by Fred and Mickey. The question to be answered, of course, is whether they can get it together again after all these years despite the apparently unavoidable obstacles. More emotionally-hitting than humourous, The Boy Next Door is a superb piece of fiction - Josie Lloyd & Emlyn Rees at their very best.
The Boy Next Door is the third offering from bestselling duo Josie Lloyd and Emlyn Rees.