Taking chances, breaking rules, and following her heart is all new to Mallory. And no one warned her just how fickle hearts can be. When she discovers that Troy isn’t at all the guy she imagined him to be, secrets rise to the surface that will change her life forever.
Synopsis from Goodreads
Thank you to Net Galley and Xpresso Book Tours for sending me this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are mine alone.
I requested this book because it sounded like a fun and easy read to begin enjoying the summer. I liked Armstrong's writing style and did find that this book is very easy to read, but ultimately found that it wasn't going to be one of my favourite new books.
Filled With Frustrating Stereotypes
There were parts of this book that I found interesting, but they would continually be halted by the seriously high number of cringey moments that pop up. Of course the "bad boy" next door is secretly a guy with a heart of gold, and naturally the "good little virgin" protagonist would be instantly obsessed with him, regardless of some of the creepy, controlling things he does. And these are honestly just some of the problems I had. The flamboyantly gay best friend relegated to a plot device, the mean girl bestie, the random parents that I hanging out in the background until needed all really frustrated me because I want more out of my books. I believe that YA characters should be just as layered as any fictional character, but I Spy The Boy Next Door fell into a lot of problematic stereotypes that I had hoped we were past by 2019.
Potential to be Interesting, But Jumps Around Too Much
Some of the problems that characters have to deal with in this book were actually really interesting, but none of them received the attention they deserved to make them consistently compelling. I really liked the storylines around the parents, but Kaitlyn's entire life seems so off screen, so it's hard to jump into feeling an emotional connection to her. Same goes for Mallory's trip to the prison; it's literally decided on half a page before she's there, so I couldn't have cared less about the meeting. And then there's the boxing, the affair, the bullying, the love of science, etc. Honestly, my head was spinning trying to keep up with everything that was being thrown at us, which meant I felt like I connected with nothing.
I Spy the Boy Next Door is listed as a New Adult novel, but there's really nothing that happens in this book that I would classify as being in the New Adult genre besides the one, low-key sex scene that happens. It was a quick read and I am interested to see what Samantha Armstrong writes next, but this book was a little too jumpy for me to fully enjoy. Have you read this book? What did you think of it?
FINAL RATING: 2/5
Hi, I'm Alexandra! I love reading (largely YA fiction, but sometimes I'll read "adult" books), playing board games, Nutella, and binge-watching TV shows on Netflix with my husband.
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