Friday, October 28, 2011

Book Review : The Next Door Boys

"When you're no longer afraid of death, there are a lot of things you're not afraid of anymore"
- Jolene B. Perry, The Next Door Boys 

 I received  Jolene B. Perry's Next Door Boys from NetGalley. I choose it  because the name jumped out at me and the cover art reminded me of a Sarah Dessen novel. Within a few minutes of reading the book, I realized this is a LDS novel. Something I didn't quite expect

As someone not raised Mormon, I don't know much about the Mormon Church except, that my 10th grade English/theatre teacher was a member and of course . . . Napolen Dynamite. With that in mind, there were some concepts I didn't get and traditions I didn't quite understand--like the importance of missions and going to temple.

The story follows Leigh Tressman, a 19 year old girl headed to Birmingham Young University with her brother, Jaron,  after spending a year fighting ovarian cancer. The novel follows Leigh's first year at college, along with the trial and tribulations she goes through in love and life.

Leigh is fiercely independent almost to a fault. She wants so much to not be the sick girl that she doesn't listen to her doctor or family. This struggle plays off most of the plot in the novel.

That said she is a bit of a Mary Sue at times. Every guy loves her and she can do everything. She sings beautifully, is a master sewer and everyone loves her.

There is a religious aesop that doesn't show up until  middle and I felt like that was the best part of the story. It showed many more dynamics of all the characters. I also think this book attempts to do away with sterotypes associated with the LDS church. It was like ; I date guys, I eat fast food, I watch TV and . . . I'm a mormon (you've seen those ads, right?)

Overall, I did like this novel, though I found it a llittle too sacchrine sweet at times. Leigh and her brother have a nauseatingly  kind relationship combined with the other perfect characters. I like the concept and the overall story. I would suggest this to anyone looking for an inspy novel to read.

According to Jolene Perry's website there will be a sequel and I am actually pretty excited

Pros : Good story, interesting supporting characters, inspirational

Cons: Predictable, too saccharine sweet, some slow parts

Thank You Cedar Fort  Publishing for the e-galley !


  1. Just read the blurb on GoodReads for this, and combined with what you've said, I think I'll give it a try! Thanks for sharing!

  2. i really liked this book. I also didn't understand the importance of missions and some lingo they used, but overall it was a fun read =)

    - juhina

  3. I think I may just try this book. It looks decent even if it only got 3 stars its worth a shot :)

  4. Hey :) I am a Mormon and truthfully, I found this book to be one of the best books I've read, and trust me, I have read a lot. This book was just so in sync with the standards of the church. Our whole lives, men in our church are taught that a mission is something that is looked forward to. Something that allows them to give back to heavenly father what he has given us, the blessing of having the gospel in our lives. So they are a big deal. Generally, only men are required (but not forced) to serve a two year mission at the age of 19, but women can also serve a 1 1/2 year mission at the age of 21. The reason why in the book Leigh wanted to get married in the temple was that we believe if you get married in he house of the Lord, the temple, you can be with your family for eternity, in this life and the life to come. You can also be sealed o your family and receive the same blessing. This is why the church has so few divorces. But only members of the church that are righteous can enter the temple, since on Earth, it is the closest thing to Heaven. Generally, women want to marry a return missionary so they can get married in the temple. Return missionaries are a lot more spiritually developed and are more capable of leading and protecting a family you hopefully will have. Hopefully I answered you question and knocked away some of the stereotypes about Mormons. Have a great day.


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