I Spy the Boy Next Door

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 04 Jun 2019

Member Reviews

This book was okay. I loved the beginning – it was your typical YA romance story, full of drama, chemistry, and cuteness. I flew through the first half in about a day. Then an (surprisingly unexpected) twist happened, and I was so irritated that I put the book down and didn’t come back to it for a long time. I’m glad I did, because I did quite like how the book ended, but if you are looking for a typical light, fluffy romance, this might not be the book for you.
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*** ARC graciously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. ***

Not even gonna front...I put this book off because I wasn't sure it would live up to my expectations.

I was wrong.

I ended up really, really enjoying Mal and Troy's story. I will say that I was a little bit frustrated with it up until the very end when everything finally made sense. And then... *sigh* it was just so good. I'm afraid to say too much because I don't want to spoil anything for others, but if you like smart girls, hot young men and swoons galore...mixed in with a little mystery and intrigue, this book is most definitely for you.
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I received a free copy via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
After being homeschooled all her life, Mallory goes to the public school. It's the perfect opportunity to make new friends. And to see, face to face, her hot neighbor. She has had a crush on him for years. She meets new people and she finds out painful truths.
I thought it was going to be a light book, easy to read. And I couldn't have been more wrong. I'm not going to spoil it for the readers, because one of the best things about this story is that the events are unexpected.
But, give it a try. You won't regret it!
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Typical young adult drama.
It was interesting. 
Would surely recommend.
Nothing new but readable.

Note: I received a free e-copy of the book via Net Galley in exchange for an honest review. Special thanks to the author and publisher for giving me a chance to read it.
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There are not a lot of books that I do not finish, but I am sad to say that I stopped reading this book about 16% of the way in. I have been lucky enough to be given access to several ARCs that I need to read before their publication date, and this book is not exactly what I expected. I was thinking it would be a nice, cute contemporary YA book, but it took a dark turn part way in. There are hints of some conspiracy surrounding the love interest, who even though in high school is part of an underground fight club type thing. And the main character has been homeschooled since she was little because of an attempted kidnapping! I couldn't quite suspend my disbelief enough to finish the book. :(
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I think this book took me by surprise in the best way possible! I was expecting a normal ya with two characters in a hate to love relationship and I was met by an anxious main character with panic attacks and a semi bad boy. This book had the vibes from "Beautiful disaster" but without all the problematic elements to it and I love that!
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I Spy The Boy Next Door is a novel that combines elements of YA/NA into one. While I was reading, the book definitely had elements of each genre, and so I'm not sure how it's being marketed, but it definitely had a level of sexually-explicit detail that I see more in NA than YA. That being said, I usually enjoy both genres, however, there were aspects of I Spy The Boy Next Door I liked, and aspects I found harder to enjoy.

I think the strongest parts of this book are the relationships Mallory has with her friends; Evie, Jamie and Kaitlyn - to be honest, the scenes involving these characters were the most engaging for me. I think it was because they made Mal seem a lot more real, and as a character that existed outside of the context of the story. I would have loved more of this in the book.

A lot of the time, I found the plot and some main characters jarring, hard as I tried to enjoy it for what it was. In particular, her relationship with Troy Parker felt forced, and not as easy-going as it was with her other friends. I sort of wish the plot moved in a way that incorporated Troy and the later plot developments better, perhaps earlier, as I found the way their relationship changed so suddenly from obsession to love, somewhat difficult.

I think this book was ambitious and tried to do a lot of things at once. It could have been great with a better focus from the outset; sometimes simpler is better. I found the book harder to enjoy I think because there was a lack of clarity about what the book was trying to do/achieve/demonstrate through the plot, especially toward the end. We suddenly moved into some plot development that I felt came out of nowhere and could have been better foreshadowed with clearer direction in the plot.

I enjoyed the beginning of the book and in particular, Mal attending school and making new friends. I liked the incorporation of her issues with anxiety into Mal's character - I just wish the execution of the novel was clearer.

2.5/5 rounded up to 3 for reviewing purposes.

Thanks to Netgalley for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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Overall I enjoyed this one. As a homeschooling mom, I could see some of the issues but man they really really overplay that social weirdness of homeschoolers. Seriously, that is rarely a thing. Anyway, I enjoyed the role switch between Troy and Mal and the character unveiling of his past and why he is as he is. I did see a bit of Travis Maddox in this character. I'm not sure if that is what the author was going for but it came through. I had some issues with the progression on all the action at the end...I get it but it was a bit sweet and soft for the entire beginning and then gets deep and dark and takes on a different theme really quickly.
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3 stars
Cute, young story about Mallory Taylor has been homeschooled for all her life.It was a little younger than I usually like. But cute.
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This is my second book by Samantha Armstrong.
I enjoyed Stolen Songs and when I read the blurb for this book, I wanted it asap. Plus, look at that cover! I really liked the cover.

Now having read this book, I can say that I enjoyed it. Will it be a re-read? probably not but I still enjoyed it.

The first half of the book was cute. A tad cliche but for a YA book I thought it was a cute romance. After 50%, the storyline developed an air of mystery and that really captured my attention. I was thoroughly intrigued. The end was not my favourite..it was alright. I felt like certain parts of it felt too convenient but oh well! 
A solid 3.5 stars 

*ARC generously provided in exchange for an honest review.
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Love it! The story and the characters were interesting and dynamic. The storyline kept me intrigued, it was definitely a winner!
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This book is so much more than I had expected! I love going into a book blind and being completely blown away. I started this last night around 8pm and it is now 4pm the next day and I have completed the book. Thank you Samantha Armstrong, thank you so much for writing this story and including a little Travis Maddox Easter Eggs. Cant wait to read anything and everything written by this author :)
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At first, I thought this book was just a straight up teen romance with a sheltered (and somewhat annoying and stalkerish) heroine, but it turned into more...too much more. At the end of the book, too much new information was thrown in that just didn't seem to flow organically from the majority of the story.
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This was an average read. while it was mildly entertaining, it was total trope city. There were so many times I was reading and rolled my eye's and just knew what was going to happen. There were a few situations that i just didn't feel were completely unrealistic. Unfortunately this book just wasn't my prefrence.
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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?
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This one didn't work for me at all. I found the heroine really immature and annoying. The storyline couldn't keep my interest. I ended up stopping the book at 25% and not picking it back up again. I like the author, but this was a miss for me. 

* ARC provided by NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
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I wish I could say I loved this book more, but I just did not connect with the characters or the style of writing.
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this book had so much potential but unfortunately, I just did not enjoy it that much. The concept was cool and the writing was very nice but I just did not relate or like any of the characters so I found myself not caring what happened to any of them.
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I Spy the Boy Next Door by Samantha Armstrong is a young adult love story.  I expected a sweet  young adult love story, but it wasn't.  There is so much going on in this book, that I found it hard to relate to.  Everyone, parents and teens, all have these big secrets.  If your looking for a sweet love story, this is not it, but if you like a lot of activity going on in your books, give this book a try.  This book is not a bad book by any means, just not my taste.

I reviewed a digital arc provided by NetGalley and the publisher.  Thank you.
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Loved the main character Mallory very much but I'm just not into cheesy stories at all. 

Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for giving me an ARC in exchange for an honest review*
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