Title: Bookish Boyfriends: The Boy Next Story
Author: Tiffany Schmidt
Age Group: Teen/Young Adult
Genre: Contemporary Fiction/Romance
Series: Bookish Boyfriends, book two
Star Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars
I borrowed this book from my local library and reviewed it.
A Date with Darcy, the first book in the Bookish Boyfriends series, was one of my favorite books of last year, so when I found The Boy Next Story sitting on a shelf in the new book section, I took it home. It’s been sitting on the top of my stack, and as soon as I finished Save Me the Plums, I dove in. This installment in the series, The Boy Next Story, focuses on the youngest Campbell sister, Aurora, Rory for short. Shy, artistic, and overshadowed by her older, more vivacious sisters, she is harboring a desperate and unrequited crush on their next-door neighbor, Toby May, who just so happens to have a crush on her sister Merri. Her grades are slipping, and she’s totally not gelling with the assigned English book, The Great Gatsby. She is assigned Little Women soon after by Ms. Gregoire. When she is put in an advanced art class and starts exploring her talents, she finds that there’s competition there, too. When a once in a lifetime arises, Aurora must decide if she will let her fear rule her, or if she will gain the courage to live her life as she pleases.
I really enjoyed this book, quite possibly even more than A Date with Darcy. One of my favorite things about this hilarious, sweet series is how it focuses on the Campbell family as a unit and each of the sisters individually. I loved how shy, quiet, artistic Rory got the spotlight this time, and I really related to her. I was captivated by her sweet, slightly insecure voice, and the pacing was great. I adored her, honestly, for all her flaws: prickly, shy, snarky and sarcastic, but artistic, kind, and gentle also. I loved reading about her struggles: with math, the place in her own family, her identity and her unrequited crush on Toby. The chemistry between the two of them was explosive, full of sparks and barbs and so much passion that at times, I was screaming, giggling, and tearing my hair out. This book made me feel a lot of things. Rory’s character development from the baby sister unhappy with life to a young woman unafraid to go after everything she wants, unapologetically. All of the other characters provided great foils to her, and I loved the way they all played a role in helping Rory find her courage. I adored the ending. At times, Rory seemed a bit whiny, but it wasn’t a huge deterrent. I loved her, and the whole Campbell family, and I’m hoping to the book gods that there’s another book in store! I have so many questions! The bottom line: Warm, hilarious, romantic and heartfelt, I loved The Boy Next Story! I hope that there’s more in store for the Campbell clan! Next on deck: Again but Better by Christine Riccio!