The Boy Next Story by Tiffany Schmidt Blog Tour | A Homage to Every Awkward & Romance-deprived Artistic Teen

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Title: The Boy Next Story

Author: Tiffany Schmidt

Date Published: May 21, 2019

Publisher: Amulet Paperbacks

Rating: 3.75 /5.00

Synopsis:  The second book in a series where your favorite literary characters come to life, inspired by the timeless classic, Little Women!

There’s no one better than the boy next door. At least not according to Aurora Campbell, fourteen, who has been in love with Tobias May since their very first sandbox kiss. The problem is, he’s in love with her older sister, Merrilee. And Merri is already dating one of his best friends.

Rory is learning all about pining as her class reads The Great Gatsby, a book she doesn’t find “great” at all. Also not great—her GPA, something she needs to fix, quickly, if she’d like to apply for the chance to spend a week studying art with her hero in New York City over winter break. But when Ms. Gregoire assigns her to read Little Women for extra credit, Rory discovers more than she expected—both about herself and Toby. Maybe she wasn’t in love with the boy next door. . . but the boy next story.

Love is complicated, and it’s all about to get even trickier for Rory at Reginald R. Hero Prep . . . where with the help of one quirky English teacher, students’ fantasies come true, often with surprising consequences.

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Hello there allies, archenemies and everyone in between! Today is my stop for another blog tour by The Fantastic Flying Book Club. The Boy Next Story may be the second book for Bookish Boyfriends but you don’t have to read the first book to enjoy this! (On that note, I think I’ll fairly like the first book)

Endearingly relatable and reminiscent of the awkward and clunky teen phase.

Just once, can’t I identify with the star? Why am I always the secondary character? The second choice? Gatsby, Amy–don’t I get to be the hero in fiction?

Delving into this book was quite daunting at first because I didn’t realize until then that the MC is 15 here. I thought that this might not appeal to me anymore and I’m scared to feel apathetic if I find the usual tropes for YA Contemporary here. Spoiler alert: it wasn’t.

Genius is 1 percent inspiration and 99 percent perspiration. Well, I had the sweat part down and totally needed a new deodarant, one that was Hero High panic-proof.

Rory is awkward, an introvert, a vegan, an artist, and has a hopeless crush on her childhood friend and neighbor Toby. Cute right? I’m currently in architecture school (in my last year) and reading about Rory’s inclination to the arts and her tendencies sparked nostalgia. I mean, I’m not as amazing as Rory’s talent for drawing but, I loved how Tiffany Schmidt fleshed out the aspect of art here that reminded me so much of my creative process when I was a teen up to this day. This was quite personal for me and I can’t help but feel so elated to see my teenage self represented here.

Her fears, her doubts, her excessive overthinking, her awkward and clunky self was quite hilarious, cringy, and undoubtedly relatable and believable. I think if you look closely we all could find parts of our vulnerable selves in Rory.

It’s not just a love story. It’s a story of self-growth, self-worth and, discusses the importance of a healthy nurturing environment for an adolescent.

YA Contemporary was once notorious for the absence of family support in their storylines. However, this kind of landscape now seems to shift as the years go by and The Boy Next Story is no different in following this route. I love how this book reinforces the importance of a family and a healthy social circle to a teenager realistically and how it influences and projects their disposition in life. I could not stress this enough, but realistic representation of a family’s influence on belief systems of an individual is a must have for every coming of age book.

Does not gloss over sensitive issues and subtopics while adeptly discussing them in a simplified manner.

One thing I liked about this as well is how we get to be introduced to other interests like musical scores, the arts, sibling dynamics, high school woes, the malleable nature of friendships, the multifaceted concept of privilege and, even a commentary on vegans.

On vegans:

People assume that vegans are moralistic and when they find out I’m not one hundred percent committed…you’d think I’d gone out and slaughtered the animals myself, or that they’d just won some big victory because I ate butter.

Truth be told, I salute vegans and their lifestyles but reading a nuanced take on their choices is quite refreshing and educational.

On privileges:

We had more than a lot of people had, and I was lucky, but sometimes it was hard to keep perspective when surrounded by classmates who lived like Gatsby.

Rory’s comment on this one reminded me of the social pressures every teenager feels in a high school because let’s face it, we all experience this. (or so I think) Studying from a private high school is a privilege but as a teenager, one would usually fail to appreciate one’s own privileges when faced with so much more from others.

On friendships and love:

Maybe that’s why math and I never get along–I wanted the least balanced relationship in the world to work. I kept trying to force the variables into a solution.

I held my breath, because I wanted to be his no one. The person he had all sorts of first shares with. But more than that, I wanted to be here and hear him in this moment and not be caught up in my own daydreams and swoons that I missed the reality. I’d done that before. More and more I was realizing how often I’d done that: projected the Toby in my head onto the guy beside me instead of appreciating the flawed and fantastic person he was.

On siblings:

“Girl talk.” Merri said it like a demand. like a threat. And it sort of felt like that way, like confessions were going to be removed with a dental drill or pulled with my fingernails.

On art and music:

New York is  a combination of breatheless beauty and soul-stealing sorrow. But even its poverty and garbage can be picturesque with the right framing and backdrop. As an artist, I’m trained to look for compositions. It’s enough to make me forget for a moment that that pile of trash bags is someone’s belongings, or that that blackened toe peeking out from tattered cardboard is someone’s foot. Those are the type of reminders I need–the ones that cancel out all the promise of mystery and beauty and force me to consider things with rational thoughts. Because New York City does that–it teases you with ambition, the type that;s swept up Nick Carraway. But it also doesn’t hide the carcasses of other people’s smashed dreams. The trick is to force yourself to see them.

There were moments when the composition made my blood race with secondand suspense. Moments it slowed in sympathy for whatever sadness was being conveyed. And a moment where the music matched my own hapiness.

Reiterates (ironically) the influential powers a book possesses.

This book is about a girl finding her self through a book’s influence. What a perfect premise. I love that this effectively does that to Rory as well as to the readers!

I know you’re off for some big adventures over break, but the right book can help you stay grounded, keep you connected to home…and make things a little easier, or at least a little clearer when those you love disappoint you.

The Boy Next Story might not be appealing to some at first, but it is definitely worth a read with its wholesome message.

About the Author



Tiffany Schmidt is the author of Send Me a SignBright Before Sunrise, and Hold Me Like a Breath (Once Upon a Crime Family book 1). She’s found her happily ever after in Pennsylvania with her saintly husband, impish twin boys, and a pair of mischievous puggles. You can find out more about her and her books at:

Website |  Goodreads | Twitter  | Tumblr  | Instagram | Facebook

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Book Giveaway!

Win a copy of BOOKISH BOYFRIENDS: THE BOY NEXT STORY byTiffany Schmidt (US Only)

Start Date: 21stMay 2019
End Date: 4thJune 2019

Click Below for Link:

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