Thursday, March 7, 2013

The Boys Next Door by Jennifer Echols

The Boys Next Door / Endless Summer
Jennifer Echols
2007, 336 pgs

Summary from Amazon

Cute, available, and one cabin over

Lori lives for summertime on the lake. She spends all season wakeboarding, swimming, and hanging with her friends -- including the two hotties in the house next door. With the Vader brothers, Lori's always been one of the guys.
But while Lori and the "baby" brother, Adam, are inseparable friends, she can't deny a secret crush on Sean, the older Vader boy. This year Sean's been paying Lori a lot of attention, and not in a brotherly way.

But just as Lori decides to prove to Sean she's girlfriend material, she realizes that her role as girl friend to Adam may be even more important. And by trying so hard for the perfect summer romance, she could be going way overboard....

My Summary

Lori has decided that this is the summer she quits being one of the guys and starts being seen as a girl (a desirable one).  Adam and Sean live next door and during the summer, Adam, Sean, Lori and her brother ___ work at the same place and spend their free time on the water.  Lori is pals with Adam, but has had a crush on Sean for a long time.

So when Sean hooks up early in the summer with Adam’s girlfriend, Lori suggest to Adam that they pretend to be together to bother Sean and ____.  And you can guess where the story goes from there.

OK – It’s a cute story.  Cute boys, summer, water fun, there are worse ways to pass an afternoon.  Unfortunately I’m starting to get tired of Echol’s penchant for turning parents cluelessly unfair, autocrats.   I feel like in order for you to not overly judge the teenage characters for being immature and dumb, she has to make sure that the parents treat them badly right beforehand so you’ll feel their behavior is justified.

Both Sean and Adam are immature and unhealthily competitive with each other.  Their parents continually side with Sean to the point that I was super frustrated.  Then I would get annoyed with myself because just because Sean is an idiot and gets away with it doesn’t mean I should give Adam a pass for being dumb too.  Grr.

Anyway I did reasonably enjoy reading The Boys Next Door.  Enough that I started the sequel Endless Summer the next day.  Lori accidentally stays out overnight with her new boyfriend (one of the brothers).  Her father’s response is to restrict her from seeing said boy indefinitely.  His parents threaten military school if he doesn’t comply with this restriction.  Overreact much?!?  Twenty pages in and I’m already pissed at the adults. 

Lori comes up with the brilliant(not) plan to start dating someone her father will hate even more so that he’ll relent on her relationship with (unspecified brother).  Uhm wait wasn’t this the plot of the first book.  Haven’t I already read this?  ARE YOU INSANE?!?  And I was done.  Anyway the 30-40 pgs of Endless Summer that I read tainted my view of The Boys Next Door.

If you want summer water fun with cute boys I would recommend The Summer I Turned Pretty Trilogy by Jenny Han.  Still teenagers who make immature decisions, but not ridiculous ones.

My Rating
Enjoyability (2.5 out of 5 stars)
Relationships (2.5 out of 5 stars)
Writing (2 out of 5 stars)
This book will stay with me for a few months, but mostly because it was frustrating in a way that sticks.

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