All may be going smoothly for the rest of the kids at Manderley Prep, but Maggie seems to be the only exception. Maggie’s parents are going through a divorce and the two are all too eager to express their rage and hatred for the other to Maggie. The worst thing is? Maggie’s dad is refusing to pay for her chorus’ spring competition trip to Hawaii! On top of that, the school’s fencing club has been cancelled, and fencing was the one sport Maggie loved and excelled at.
Already short on funds, it doesn’t help that Maggie wants to get invisible braces since she’s too afraid to smile with her teeth covered in metal braces. Surrounded by kids of wealthy families, Maggie’s too ashamed to let any one other than her closest friends know of her financial troubles. The main reason she wants her smile back? Ethan Andrews. Ethan’s always been the “guy next door” that Maggie hung out with throughout her childhood—until Maggie fell for him. But since Maggie’s parents are divorcing, Maggie has moved with her mother to rented home and her old house is being sold. With her less than extraordinary looks and her metal-filled smile, Maggie hardly catches Ethan’s eye. But that could all change, if only she could figure out a way to go on that trip to Hawaii and find the courage to make the first move!
With a few tricks up her sleeve, a bit of scheming, and her talented and caring friends, Maggie just may make her way to Hawaii, and make her way into Ethan’s heart!
The Guy Next Door is a light-hearted, romantic YA read. Although I have not read the rest of the novels in Carol Culver’s BFF series, and may be missing a bit of background information, I didn’t find The Guy Next Door confusing and it still made for a nice read. This novel (especially the plot) wasn’t anything that out of the ordinary, just cute romantic YA novel. But it does portray a typical teenager’s high school experience quite accurately, as well as Maggie’s feelings and her crush. Overall, it was realistic and believable, and I did like how the POV switched so we could get a peek into both Maggie’s and Ethan’s minds and thoughts—it definitely enhanced the story!
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