I found this book while idly surfing on smahswords looking for fresh releases.
For an indie novel, this one was quite good. For a free read, this was exceptional.
The story told in "The New Boy" isn't even that original: we meet Alex, a 16-year old boy who has been dating the 2 years older Gary for 2 years... but things can't seem to go right for them. Gary is controlling and aloof, not paying Alex the attention he needs and deserves.
Then, Dexter moves in next door. He's the virtual opposite of Gary: tolerant, funny, and outgoing.
Alex immediately has a crush on the good-looking bad boy... but Dexter is already taken - by a girl.
While the story was more 2.5 to 3 star-ish, the characters and the way the author relayed the details of their relationship was very interesting, realistic and engaging. I loved it!
I liked both Alex and Dexter, but also the minor characters.
Both the main characters went through a good deal of development and I quite liked how Alex turned out to be.
Actually Alex was all the things I wish young adult book heroines were like: yes, he wasn't the most outgoing person in the world and he was quite self-conscious, but in the end he manned up and didn't let anyone talk down to him. That totally made my day. I don't want to insult him as a character, but he was very girly, so putting him up as a positive role-model for all retarded girls in books dating vampires/werewolves/elfs/bears isn't all wrong, I guess.
I would definetely recommend this book for pretty much anyone who isn't a total prude and can handle some guy on guy action. The writing style is very engaging, as well.
4 stars total. I wish I could read more of the author's work but I don't have a credit card so I can't make purchases from smashwords. I hope she'll put it up on amazon soon, so I can buy all of it :D