Cover Image: Good Neighbors

Good Neighbors

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Member Reviews

Good Neighbors was ok.  The story was interesting enough to keep me reading to the end.  I didn’t find the writing particularly engaging--it was made up of a lot of short sentences and sentence fragments, which made it feel very choppy.  I’m sure this was intentional on the author’s part, but it didn’t really work for me.  I also didn’t find the characters particularly sympathetic, which made it hard to care about them.  Nicole’s spinelessness grew tiresome pretty quickly.  It was satisfying to see her start to stand up to others in the last quarter or so of the book, though.  Overall, an alright read, but probably not something I’d recommend to others.
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I loved this book!  Nicole the protagonist narrates the story of four families who all live in a cul-de-sac in an exclusive area of Boston.  They are friends through backyard barbecues, holiday parties, and vacations taken together.  We learn quite early that their bonds are tenuous.  When part of the group is together they gossip about the other members.  Nicole seems to idolize Paige.  The dynamics of the group are set awry when Paige and her husband Gene adopt a young troubled girl from Russia. 
 
I thought the book highly thought provoking.  What does it mean to be a friend?  What would you do to maintain the status quo?  How honest are you with yourself?  What do we owe to The Group?
I love books with open-ended endings, and this is one.  I'd love for the author to write a sequel!

Thank you to NetGalley and Twelve Books for providing a copy for me to review.
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This book was a bit of a tough read for me. The writing was good, but I couldn’t make myself like the story. 
For starters, I absolutely loathed the main character, Nicole. A time or two I wanted to reach through the book and shake her for continuing to send money to her sister and for letting her children talk to her the way she did and for making excuses for her mother’s and husband’s terrible behavior, that way she always claimed fault for it and apologized. But it might be because I’ve done the same thing. More than once. And I hate that about myself.
Also? I actually have a friend who adopted a daughter (from Africa as a toddler, but still) to complete their family (they have two biological sons) who felt after five years of the child living in their home that they had done everything they could for her and that the best thing for everyone involved would be a rehousing. It was the most bizarre thing I’ve ever seen. They went from complaining about their struggles with this little girl on a daily basis to pretending she had never existed overnight. Now that they have a biological daughter of their own, it really is like I imagined those years. No one talks about the little girl at all. And no one talks about this side of adoption. I can’t imagine how hard it is for families living it.
Thank you to the publisher and the author for access to Good Neighbors by Joanne Serling in exchange for an honest review.
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Good neighbors by Joanne Serling was a disappointment for me. I really did not care about any of the people or their problems
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This book was sent to me as an ARC on NetGalley. However all opinions are of my own.
I was expecting a lot more from this book. I thought there was going to be a stronger storyline in relation to Winnie being fostered. Unfortunately, it didn’t deliver. I felt like it was just a general story about some neighbours.
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I really enjoyed this book, gripped me from the first page, loads of twists and turns, highly recommend it x
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I'm going to start by saying, this is not my type of book.  It was written ok, I would have loved more character development, mostly on the main character, and her family.  A few things were started, then never followed up on, that was a little confusing.  

Thanks to netgalley for the ARC of this book.
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This book totally had me hooked! I loved this story. The writing was fabulous and it holds your attention throughout it all.
 I couldn't put it down I flew through this and enjoyed every second of it!
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A compelling plot line, coupled with the prologue that drew me in from the first page, kept me reading late into the night with this one.  
The characters were wonderfully written and fleshed out-and I could picture every scene perfectly.  My only wish was that it was multi-POV.  I would have loved to hear from the other neighbors in their own words!  
The ending felt slightly abrupt-with a few storylines ignored.  This felt fitting for Nicole’s natural focuses and scattered thoughts, which could be difficult to keep up with.  
While I generally enjoyed this book, I will not be posting a review elsewhere, as I prefer to only post glowing reviews online.  I will read this author again, and I believe I will enjoy her next book much more!
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Totally got sucked into this novel and devoured it in one day. Dealing with the class system, this book will perhaps make you see your neighbors and town a bit differently.
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I really enjoyed this story of mayhem in suburbia, where the darkest secrets lurk under the most beautiful of exteriors. A fun book!
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Four families, all neighbors living on the East Coast. They have dinner parties, day after holiday gatherings with left overs and    help each other out. Of course there is gossip. Of course there is rivalry. Of course there is envy. When Paige and Gene adopt a child from the Ukraine the entire dynamics within the group change. Hold on to your hat, else you’ll loose it in this rollercoaster of neighborhood drama. I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. I give it 3 stars, taking away 2 because I had difficulty remembering who was who.
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I started out liking the book. 

The characters slowly irritated me. None in the end were good people.
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This would be a GREAT book club choice. I try to look for books that contain highly discussable themes and events, and this book really made me want to make someone else read it so we could talk about it. Good Neighbors reminded me of a good mix between Liane Moriarty and Little Fires Everywhere, with themes of comparison/seeming perfect, the perfect family being not so perfect behind closed doors, neighbors vs friends, foreign adoption, and gossip. Whoo boy, the gossip. Nicole is a stay at home mom in a ritzy neighborhood in Connecticut. Her neighbors, Paige and Gene, adopt a girl from Russia named Winnie, who isn't the "perfect" child Paige seems to want desperately. Gossip about the girl and what goes on in that house runs rampant, friendships fall apart, and meanwhile, the readers are wondering what will become of Winnie. There is a Big Dramatic Ending that I won't spoil, but it definitely ended in a thought=provoking way.

Was it a perfect book? No, but nothing is. I wanted a different narrator more than anything else. I love a good unreliable narrator, but I thought Nicole was on the annoying side of unreliable- gossipy and judgemental. I wish the ending was more satisfying, and there are many side characters I just didn't care about. Overall, this was a fascinating read, and I can see why people might both love and loathe it.
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I received a free copy of the book from Twelve Books via Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.

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Good Neighbors is a contemporary fiction novel by Joanne Serling.

SUMMARY:

In an idyllic suburb, four young families quickly form a neighborhood clique, their friendships based on little more than the ages of their children and a shared sense of camaraderie. When one of the couples, Paige and Gene Edwards, adopt a four-year-old girl from Russia, the group’s loyalty and morality is soon called into question. Are the Edwards unkind to their new daughter? Or is she a difficult child with hidden destructive tendencies?

As the seams of the group friendship slowly unravel, neighbor Nicole Westerhof finds herself drawn further into the life of the adopted girl, forcing Nicole to re-examine the deceptive nature of her own family ties, and her complicity in the events unfolding around her.

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Good Neighbors is a novel that has plenty of themes and makes you think deeply about family, friends and the different dynamics found within certain relationships. I believe the best part of this book is its themes; Serling does a great job of creating a conversation of what it is like to make friends as an adult. Paige and Gene, the protagonists, find themselves having a hard time feeling like they fit into the mold created by their neighbors. This is certainly a feeling we can all relate to at one point or another, especially as an adult. When you are a child it seems easy to make a friend, but as you grow older people become more judgemental and picky about who they choose to spend their time with. This novel does not shy away from any uncomfortable situation and I believe this story would be a great topic of discussion in an adult classroom or book club.

I like this book. I think it has a lot to offer. Serling’s writing is choppy and includes short sentences which makes the story more exciting. There are tons of themes to work with and I think it is great when a story can create an open dialogue amongst family and friends. The plot, while interesting, did have me confused at times. There were a few plot lines that did not get wrapped up and were left hanging in the open. I also wish there was more character development; I feel like there was a lot of room in the story to see each character grow and take action but that never happened. All of the characters are not that likable and I think it would have been good to redeem them even if just a little bit. This novel is filled with lots of gossip, which is fun for me to get into, but I do wish more happened and that Serling incorporated more action. I think Serling’s writing flows well and that she did a good job with describing the setting and creating a back and forth dialogue that anyone can get into. I suggest this book to anyone who has ever felt judged, judged someone themselves, or loves getting into drama/gossip. This book teaches you that everything is not what it seems and although you may think of someone a certain way, they may be the exact opposite.
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Good Neighbors is Joanne Serling's debut novel, and it packs a punch! The narrator is Nicole Westerhof, and she is our guide as we learn about her neighbors. One of the couples, Paige and Gene, adopt a daughter from Russia named Winifred. Once Winne joins the couple and their son Cameron the other couples wonder what the real story is behind this little girl. Questions are raised about how Winnie is treated, and Nicole can't help but be drawn to the girl. 

I really enjoyed this novel; it was a quick read that definitely had me trying to figure out what was fact and fiction. I would definitely recommend it to anyone that likes a light thriller or is as nosy like me and just likes reading about people's personal lives. Thank you, Netgalley, for the ARC
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This book took me forever to get into. I didn’t want to give up on it, but it never really grabbed me. All the way t the end I kept hoping it would pick up. Not a good read for me
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Four couples in the suburbs ("we were moneyed. we were all of us self-made and the most successful siblings of our respective families") are friends, "like family" one says (though they really don't seem like family at all). The group "alleviat[es] the boredom and the isolation of middle age, helping us to navigate this strange furlough called parenthood."

One of the couples, Paige and Gene, adopts a four year old child from Russia and the problems they seem to be having change the dynamic among all the others. Meanwhile, Nicole continues to deal with issue with her mother and sister, her real family.

Good family drama, well written with decent insight into real and created families, and navigating adult friendships. "I hated myself and I loved my life."
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This book tells the story of 3  couples, all neighbors on a cul-de-sac.  When one of the couples adopts a daughter who starts acting out, the other couples begin questioning if the little girl is safe and wondering what exactly is going on in that house, if anything.
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This was not the book for me. While I always try to be open-minded when it comes to getting to know new characters I could not stand the narrator! Her inner thoughts rubbed me the wrong way and made me feel unsettled as I feel that if I were to meet her in real life she would smile to my face and spit at my back. I will say, however, that the plot flowed well and the characters interacted with each other in a believable way. As specific plot points were put under scrutiny it raised the stakes only to leave us wondering what happened at the very end. 

Thank you to NetGalley and Twelve Books for this advanced copy which I received in return for an honest review.
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