In The Boy Next Door by Sinclair Smith, Randy finds herself frightened when her father goes away on a business trip for three weeks, leaving her alone in the house. She also seems to be misplacing items that she never loses such as her cheerleading sweater. When a new boy appears from nowhere and tells Randy that he is working on the “fixer upper” next door so that his family can move in soon, she is glad for his companionship.
Julian is always pushing Randy to live on the edge. Eventually, he asks her to do terrible things, causing injury to some of her classmates. Alice, Randy’s best friend, is convinced that Julian doesn’t exist because only Randy has seen him. It appears that Randy is hearing voices and is mentally ill. This is a quick-read thriller with an eerie ending.