The Boys Next Door (Jennifer Echols, 2007) is my latest foray into the world of YA. Like me, Echols is from a small town in central Alabama, and so far both of her YA romantic comedies have been set in that world. They don't drip with Southern culture or anything, but there are just enough little touches there to give me the pleasure of reading about my old world.
In this book, the tomboy heroine/narrator is trying to learn to act like a "real" girl, both because she thinks that's what her dead mother would've wanted for her and because she's trying to draw the eye of her favorite of the brothers who live next door. Of course, she's overlooking the OTHER brother, the one who's always been her best friend and who values her the way she is, tomboy tastes, waveboarding prowess (they live on a lake), and all. It's a standard story, but told freshly and without the cloying wholesomeness of the YA romances of my day. (That would be the 1980's, when dinosaurs roamed the earth.)