Holly concludes: "Do good books that don’t pass exist? Of course, and books that are terrible will pass the Bechdel test with flying colors. But as an author one of the goals should be to create a story and characters that feel true. We, as women (and really, humans), exist in a world that is complicated and full of lots of interesting people, challenges and subjects. As important as love is – finding it, falling into and out of it – our ability to be functioning human beings does not depend entirely on it. It’s important to have other interests, to exist beyond just the quest to find it and books should reflect it when they can."
For romance writers, it can be easy to forget scenes where either gender talks about something besides the other gender since the focus of these stories IS love. With its tight focus on skating and Maddy and Gabe also being neighbors, The Boy Next Door falls into that category of novels I love that pass the Bechdel barely. The wonderful thing about writing a series, though, is that your characters can continue to grow. Now off to write a scene where two girls talk about the craft of fashion.