This is a first here at the QuitterStrip blog! The amazing Jo Ho offered me a chance to view (and review) her brand new novella due out March 13th. Of course, I was (more than) happy to oblige, and give my honest review.
First and foremost, let’s talk about the cover. It’s GORGEOUS, and I feel as if it just flows. This cover would 100% grab my attention off a shelf. The title, maybe not so much as I draw one particular conclusion that *usually* doesn’t strike my fancy (romance), but the cover alone would make me take a look at this book.
Per usual, anytime there is a map, a prologue, author’s notes etc. I feel it is my duty to read them- call it a quirk, every reader has their own, apparently this is mine. To date, Jo has written the most perfect prologue. . .it’s down to earth, and if you’ve ever corresponded with this woman, you know it’s from the heart. Jo also throws out an invite to anyone interested in helping her grow her street time. . .what exactly does that mean? Join the mailing list, reach out, read a book, review said book. . .easy, right? I know for a fact you won’t be disappointed.
Meet Kim, our main character of the story, and completely average teenager. Kim’s family has been uprooted from peaceful suburbia due to her father’s accident; causing a problem with insurance, and employer. Forced to look for budget friendly living, Kim, her parents, and younger brother Mark, re-locate to one of the worst areas of Chicago. While Kim’s hometown is only an hour drive away, it “might as well have been an ocean away,” and smack dab in the middle of that ocean is her boyfriend Chris. Kim has to adjust to not being able to see Chris everyday, like she’s been accustomed to, and has to make do with phone calls.
Kim decides to scope out her furnished bedroom. Mostly comprised of bookshelves, which suits her bookworm personality, everything else is as if she’s living her life with someone else’s furniture. While unpacking her beloved books, Kim hear’s a door slam next door. She sees a small boy, roughly the same age as her younger brother, but built much differently; skinny, hunched shoulders, sad, lonely.
“The Boy Next Door” proves just because you’re in a new environment, doesn’t mean you are unable to get involved and be the saving grace someone desperately needs.
Once again, it’s proven that you cannot judge a book by it’s cover. As I mentioned earlier, I honestly thought this was going to be heavy in the romance department. . .oops! So Jo, I am apologizing for having preconceived notions about your book. This will be my third (read) book written by Jo Ho, and I’m declaring right now that I am a lifer- aka pretty much anything she writes, I will be reading.