Good Neighbors

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Member Reviews

This was an unusual book. I liked the topic: adoption of a special-needs child, and I liked the original take on the consequences: that it's difficult, that the special needs are often multiple and undiagnosed, that it might be impossible for the neighbours to know how to support the family through the process, 

The writing style was dominated by exclamation marks and half-finished sentences, and it worked well for the confusing and chaotic situation in which the protagonist found herself,

I wish I could understand the protagonist's motivation better. Her actions weren't always laudable, and it would have helped to know the rationale behind them.
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The story is a good look at suburban life, showing far more than the beautiful houses and picture-perfect family. It's slightly slow at first, but a good read nonetheless. Perfect for fans who are into stories that revolve around family drama.
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A mystery for our generation. Loved this book. You should definitely add this one to your summer reading list. Perfect for a by the pool read.
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A very atmospheric book that kept you guessing up to the final chapters. I felt that some of the issues raised in the book were glossed over but it would have served the plot better to expand on them further. It left me wondering at the end, not sure if it was a completely satisfactory ending for me, but it was compelling enough to keep me hooked in until the end.
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This book was not what I expected.    

When the book started, I hated the main character.   I get WHY she acted so fake, and why she said and did the things she did.   But I not only disagreed with her choices, I actively disliked her.   

By the end, she showed real growth, and I liked her better.    Is she someone I would want to go out for a drink with?   Heck no.     But  liked her better...And more importantly, I was totally drawn into her story.   

I actually loved and hated the way it ended.    It didn't give me my hea.   However, I don't think there is one in this type of story.  I also really really really want to know more about what happened to some of the characters.   

This book is a little dark, a little depressing, and a lot fascinating.   If you were one of the neighbors, what would you do?
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One of my new favorite books! This author has such a way with words the pages flew by in no time! I can’t wait to see the next work by this author! This was such a joy to read!
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This was a unique premise that I couldn't wait to dive into. We know about the neighbors that wish well but watch behind closed doors for you to make a mistake. I liked reading from Nicole's perspective because while she isn't perfect she is really dissecting her neighbors and their relationship with their adoptive daughter. It is hard to decipher what is true and what is perceived.
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I found the dynamic between the neighborhood clique intriguing; nosy, judgmental, and intrusive, yet still fiercely connected, until... Nicole's commentary on the relationships, specifically Paige's relationship with adopted daughter Winnie, flows like the findings of a sociology study. The book begs the question of how well you really know your neighbors and when is it necessary to involve yourself in the business of others. I was curious throughout reading as to whether Nicole was way off base, maybe delusional, or was she right? Was there a problem with Winnie? With Paige? I did feel as though the inclusion of Nicole's mother and sister could have brought more to the table, but overall, a very enjoyable read. Thanks to @netgalley for the copy.
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Good Neighbors was an interesting read. It centers around four families who seem on the outside to be good friends. However, they constantly gossip about one another. I found it somewhat engaging, but the ending wasn't as I expected. 

I would like to thank netgalley and the publisher for providing me with a copy free of charge. This is my honest and unbiased.
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It felt good getting into something different. Something with little or no romance. Surprisingly interesting and evoking all sorts of feels. I laughed. Cringed. Smiled. Panicked. Almost teared up.

The story revolves about Paige and Gene Edwards, and their adopted daughter Winnie. The plot swings into motion when Paige announces they would be adopting. Everyone gets excited and somewhat emotional. Knowing that Paige has always wanted a girl. Wondering if Paige was making the right decision. Hoping that she was making the right decision. Finally, little Winnie arrives and steals everyone’s heart, with her pretty smile, and a sing-song like voice. But raising Winnie isn’t as beautiful as it had seemed. Or as dreamy as Paige and Gene had believed it to be. It is rather depressing. Paige goes crazy. Winnie goes crazy. Neighbors get worried. Wondering if Winnie is being abused? Or was she actually manipulative and destructive as Paige always hinted? And then a dead body is found at the Edwards apartment. What exactly is going on?

This was the height of it! Although my panic level was just a little over 50%, but still, I panicked. I loved how the plot evolved, the entire story told from Nicole’s perspective. Which was nice. But still felt like it restricted the plot from being better. We had no insights into the lives of the other families, especially Paige’s. We had no idea what their thoughts were except the assumptions made by Nicole. And (spoiler), in the end there isn’t any real conclusion as to what really went on with Paige and Winnie. The reader is left wondering. Questions are left unanswered. Which was a thumbs down for me.

On a more appreciative note, I liked Nicole’s background story. A short tempered mum, raising two boys that made her loose her wits. Dealing with her own always nagging mum and an alcoholic sister. All of that took a bit of the tension but not entirely. Because I was still on edge for these three.


Every character in this book, possessed particular traits which made them admirable. Their actions and decisions all very relatable.

I loved the sense of camaraderie they shared. I loved their desperate longing for friendship. I fancied the idea of going on beach vacations, having little get together, drinking wine, and sharing not-entirely-true childhood memories. I loved how they never cared about their little white lies. I loved that they were one big happy family, heavily flawed, overly pretentious, but still one big happy family.


I think this book would have been a lot better if told from a two person perspective. Maybe Nicole and Paige, or Nicole and Gene, or Nicole and Winnie, or Nicole and one of Paige’s maids.

Nevertheless, I loved the bit of mystery that kept me wondering. And with that, I would say this was a fairly good read.

Should you, or should you not read this?

I definitely think you should. I would love to know your thoughts.
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thoroughly enjoyed. great plot. interesting characters. fast reading. kept me engaged the entire book.
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This book HAUNTED me for days after I finished. I would wake up in the middle of the night and find myself thinking of the ending. It was as compelling as it was horrifying. I found myself both dreading picking up my kindle to read and needing to finish the book immediately.
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3/5 stars 
I really enjoyed this book and had never read this author before. I cared about all of the characters and their different viewpoints. The writing was easy to follow I could hardly wait to reach the end to see where the story was going to take me.

The ending ... this is where it all fell apart. I feel as if I had invested so much time and emotional energy and was then slapped in the face. When I finished I thought “WHAT!!!” That’s it ??? That’s the end ??? What a letdown.
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The story in this novel fascinated me. Imagine if you lived in a very beautiful residential area. All houses are beautifully portrayed. The perfect road and the life of a very friendly neighbour. Also cities that don't have any shortcomings. I think this is my dream.
The story of four couples in this novel has a very good and normal relationship. All have close relationships. In fact, they are described as having different types, properties and other things. This means that the characters in the story are very complete.
Until a small and light conflict began to appear. At that time there were couples who adopted children. All become chaotic when this imperfect child enters perfect character. Begin to open some masks such as looking at ugliness, attitude that is rude, racial, lacking in empathy and not caring. But readers should not be fooled by the arrival of this child. It could be all sourced from characters that act perfectly.
I give five stars for this novel. But actually there are still some disadvantages. I am sure Joanne Serling will improve again in the next novel. However, the story in this novel is as warm as the cover.
Thank you to Joanne Serling, Twelve Books and NetGalley.
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I liked the concept of this novel, its an interesting one. What if you think your neighbor is abusing her child. What would you do and how far should you take it? The authors style is good, the storyline is compelling and could have been great but unfortunately, it was too chatty and it kind of fizzled out for me. The book started off well and I enjoyed parts of it. If you're a fan of family dramas then maybe you'll like this one, so give it a try. Copy provided by NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.
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Some days you can't turn your eyes away from a car crash. And some days you need to read books that keep your eyes glued to the wreck. This was the case with Good Neighbors by Joanna Serling.

Good Neighbors is about a group of upper middle class neighbors who form what looks like tight bonds from the outside. However, from the inside, it is clear they aren't really as close as they want people to believe they are. For example, these families have dinner together, party together, and even travel together. But, they are quick to gossip about one another and turn on one another.

The underlying issue in this book is that one of the families adopts a little girl from another country. The adoption goes through and then the family seems to be dissatisfied. So much so that it makes others in the group uncomfortable. The former friends begin to gossip about the family and believe the girl is in an abusive situation.

From the beginning, reading this book was like reading a train wreck because these people are obnoxious. The kind of obnoxious people that wind up on reality shows. So, when the adoption takes place, the story moves away from what could be a great conversation about cross-cultural adoption and the potential issues families face, this book goes off the rails. It is extreme and maddening at points. But, once again, I just reminded myself I am reading car wreck fiction and not sophisticated literature.

Overall, I think there will be many people who enjoy the gossipy dramatic nature of this book. However, there will also be many others who will put off by the author's handling of adoption.

Thank you to Netgalley for providing me with this copy to read and review!
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An adoption of a preschooler in Russia, brings drama and judgement to the clique of wealthy neighbors.

When Gene and Paige decide to adopt, they soon find out that they are not prepared for the many issues that arise. Some of Paige’s friends sense that she is not bonding to the little girl and they begin to worry and fear for the child’s well-being. One neighbor becomes worried.

I did enjoy the setting of the neighborhood and the friendships that were explored. This is my type of book; great balance of suspense.
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Four young families living in a cul-de-sac are brought together as friends thanks to their children's ages.

When the one family adopts a Russian child, Nicole can't help noticing that all is not what it seems and amidst the chaos in the background of her life she wonders what is really going on.She finds herself caught up in the middle, trying to please everybody.

The book is very "chatty" but with darker, disturbing undertones and events. It keeps the reader wondering what the hidden story is.

The first half of the book was okay - the normal coming and goings and get togethers of friends with young children; albeit with a few mysterious events tossed in; with a person not really knowing where the story was heading.
It picked up dramatically in the second half. So much so, that you couldn't put it down, wondering what was going on behind closed doors.

You start to feel the internal dilemma Nicole is faced with; witnessing a breakdown of bonds formed over many years; the dissolution of promises and friendships.
At times you are not even 100% sure of who is telling the truth.

The ending came so fast and was not at all what I thought it would be. I felt the crushing disappointment/regret that Nicole must have been experiencing.

The fine line between a good neighbour and a bad neighbour can become a blurred line if you only see half the story and use that to create the whole story that suits you.
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Good Neighbors by author Joanne Serling is a great domestic fiction! The feel of the novel was awesome, the characters really fall into each well and the plot is thick with fast paced moments that have you flying through!
Thank you Netgalley and the publisher for a copy of Good Neighbors in exchange for an honest review.
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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?

This one started out really strong for me, I loved most of the book but that ending! It pains me to say that I did not like that ending at all, I was hoping for more closure. If you're a fan of family dramas then you'll probably like this one, so give it a try!

#NetGalley #TwelveBooks
Pub Date 06 Feb 2018
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