Family conflict, changing relationships, and questions of identity are at the heart of this engaging spin on the classic romance plotline.
Maddy Spier's been in love with the boy next door forever. As his figure skating partner, she spends time in his arms every day. But she's also seen his arms around other girlslots of other girls. How can she make him realize that they can be partners off the ice as well?
Gabe's relationship with Maddy is vital. He can't imagine skating with anyone else, and together they have a real chance at greatness–maybe even making it to the Olympics someday. So he's decided to think of her as a sister. After all, family is forever, and he's never dated anyone for more than two weeks.
Then their coach assigns a new romantic skating program, and everything changes. Will this be the big break that Maddy's been hoping for or the big breakup that Gabe has always feared?
Chosen by readers like you for Macmillan's young adult imprint Swoon Reads, debut author Katie Van Ark’s novel The Boy Next Door is full of competition, misunderstandings, and of course, plenty of romance.
Praise for The Boy Next Door:
“Fans of ice-skating and romance will fall in love with this debut novel.” School Library Journal
“Van Ark's story of two skating partners is hot enough to melt the ice.” Romantic Times
“Guaranteed to warm even the coldest heart.” Justine
About the Author
Katie Van Ark is a member of SCBWI and RWA and a student at Vermont College of Fine Arts. She enjoys reading, writing, and of course figure skating. She lives in Michigan with two daughters, two cats, and one very patient husband, who was also her high school sweetheart. THE BOY NEXT DOOR is her debut novel.
Read an Excerpt
"You got this, Mad," I whisper to her. "Do it again."
She nods, and her face reminds me of her dad, the way he looks on his campaign billboards. Eyes focused, chin set. A look that says you can trust him to get whatever job needs doing done. Mad takes her crossovers. She pushes. She jumps. One-two-three and there's the extra half rotation and on the landing, her knee's bent so low she's almost doing a backward shoot-the-duck but by some miracle of anything and everything holy–
She. Stands. Up.
I have officially lost the triple Axel contest. I will never live this down, but I'm so psyched for Mad that I don't give even a bucket of Zamboni sludge. Mad's screaming and I'm screaming and Kate and Chris have forgotten whatever the hell they were fighting about this time. Mad throws her arms around me and I hug her back. Over her shoulder I see Igor watching, smiling, as our club mates pile on us in a massive group hug. Mad's landed her triple Axel. I am not worthy to tie her skates, but for some reason she's still my partner.
No, not some random, unknown reason. In the middle of the celebratory huddle with Mad, her body pressed full frontal against mine with her arms around me and her face buried in my neck, I know the reason she's still my partner. And I also know that whatever I do, I can't lose Mad.