Picks and Pans Review: The Boy Next Door

updated 12/02/2002 at 01:00 AM EST

originally published 12/02/2002 01:00AM

by Meggin Cabot

After hitting the bestseller lists (and the movie box office jackpot) with her Princess Diaries series for teen readers, Cabot turns her attention to twentysomethings. An epistolary novel for the e-mail set, The Boy Next Door finds gossip reporter Mel Fuller in the enchanted land of New York City. She yearns for serious news—and a serious boyfriend. Her chance at both comes when an assailant leaves her elderly neighbor in a coma, and a cute guy claiming to be the hospitalized woman's grandson moves in.

In Cabot's fairy tale, when Prince Charming isn't who he says he is, he turns out to be even better. And Mel has an address book full of online types (her Internet-newbie mom, the chain-gossiping coworkers, the caps-locked pal) to move the story to its happy ending. For e-mail addicts, Boy is a quick fix that's far more entertaining than the forwarded jokes in your inbox. (Avon, $13.95)

BOTTOM LINE: :-)

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