Cover Image: The Neighbors

The Neighbors

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

The Neighbors is the kind of book that sneaks up on you, it lulls you into a sense of complacency with its lighter style of suspense and intrigue and then BAM the last few pages deliver an onslaught of twists that make you go, oohhh I see what you did there! I absolutely loved that approach and found it to be a really nice change of pace from a typical super fast paced thriller with twists and turns throughout, there was an air of refinement in this one that worked so well for me.

This is told both in the present day as well as in flashbacks from 1992, the year Abby’s brother was tragically killed in a car accident and she was the driver. Besides Abby you also hear from her husband Nate and her daughter Sarah. Liam is Abby’s ex boyfriend and you see his wife Nancy’s point of view as well. As you can see there is a lot going on here but ensemble style narratives are one of my favorites, especially if they’re done well and McKinnon did a fantastic job, each character had a unique voice and each proved to have a pivotal POV by the end. They were also very well drawn and extremely well written which is always an added bonus when you have such a juicy plot.

This centers on two families who are keeping secrets from each other and you just know that all of those lies and betrayals will come out eventually, but Man was the wait well worth it. I kept thinking about how I would feel if one of my ex boyfriends, or worse one of my husbands ex girlfriends moved in next door to us and I can’t say the thought appeals to me whatsoever haha! It’s a recipe for disaster and oh how I love a delicious fictional disaster and this one delivered! Recommended for fans of lighter suspense that’s highly entertaining, think Jessica Strawser or Liane Moriarty, no blood or guts just good old fashioned secrets and lies.

The Neighbors in three words: Sneaky, Subtle and Riveting.
Was this review helpful?
The Neighbors was an emotional rollercoaster ride! Full of long buried secrets, the story raced along to the end. And OMG! What an ending!! I loved it!
Was this review helpful?
The Neighbors by Hannah Mary McKinnon is a domestic drama/thriller that keeps those fingers turning those pages.

I do have to say this turned out to be a read that I was not expecting at all. But in a good way! I ended up loving it! So yay for that :).

Abby and Nate are a happily married couple that live with their teenage daughter Sarah in a quant neighborhood. Nate notices new neighbors that have moved in from across to them. Nate, the friendly and warming man decides to help the new couple Liam and his wife Nancy along with their teenage son Zac with moving a few things into their new home. Abby comes home and meets Nate across the street and Abby doesn't know what is about to hit her slap IN the face. She sees her ex Liam is one of the new neighbors....   As you can imagine Abby is freaking out because Liam is none other then the love of her life years ago until a horrible accident that turned Abby's world upside down.

In 1992, Abby was dating Liam at the time and she got into a horrible accident with her brother Tom who ending up dying in the car accident. Abby was the only one who survived... and of course pushed Liam away due to the remembrance and guilt of her brother Tom. Ironically, Abby ended up meeting and marrying Nate her husband that saved her from the car crash all those years ago. Talk about GUILT... yikes! 

The Neighbors is a suspenseful story filled with guilt, lies, love, shocking twists, and betrayal that you won't see coming. I loved this!! What more can you ask in a drama?! 

Characterization is on point to a tee and is told from alternating perspectives of Sarah (Abby and Nate's daughter), Liam, Nate, Abby, and Nancy. 

"Ashes to ashes. Dust to dust. Lies stay secret. And so they must."

Solid 4.5 stars!

Thank you so much to Netgalley, Harlequin, and Hannah Mary McKinnon for the arc in exchange for my honest review.
Publication date: 3/13/18
Published to GR: 3/9/18.
Was this review helpful?
The Neighbors starts with a prologue that really grabs the attention. A young woman, Abby, has been flung clear from a car crash. Barely able to move, she can see her brother Tom is trapped in the car which then explodes, killing him. Fast forward several years and Abby is happily married to Nate with a stroppy teenage daughter, Sarah. New neighbours are moving in next door. They were pleased to be getting rid of the grumpy old woman who used to live there but to Abby's horror one of the new neighbours is her ex, Liam, who knows exactly what happened the night of the car crash. Both are rather taken aback and by unspoken mutual consent pretend not to know each other. The story moves back and forward in time to before the car crash and its aftermath. What exactly happened that night that Abby and Liam are so desperate to keep secret?

I found The Neighbors a really gripping read and raced through it in a couple of days. The story is told from points of view of Abby, Nate, their daughter Sarah (through her diary) and Liam's wife Nancy. We find out that Abby feels responsible for Tom's death and get to understand her feelings towards Liam and why she felt they had to break up.  Hannah McKinnon clearly shows the panic felt by Abby when she realises who her new neighbour is and why she is desperate to keep their previous relationship secret. There is clearly still a strong attraction between the two but surely it would be disastrous to act upon it? Her husband Nate does know about the accident - after all, he found Abby immediately after the crash and saved her life - but he doesn't know everything and he doesn't know about Liam. The story is perfectly paced with just enough revealed by each character whether in the past or the present to keep the reader guessing.

The Neighbors is a brilliant domestic suspense novel, one that will have you reading compulsively, desperate to find out what has happened. You may have suspicions about what the characters are hiding but there are plenty of twists and turns right up to the end, which certainly took me by surprise, even though the clues were there all along.
Was this review helpful?
The Neighbors was a page turning dramatic tale of a couple sets of neighbors in REVERSE!!!! I must admit I loved how Hannah Mary McKinnon wrote this way! I loved how we find out the OMG moment early and then Hannah slowly unravels the hows and whys.
I have enjoyed Hannah’s book  and look forward to read more from her in the future!
Was this review helpful?
Secrets and scandal, oh my! When new neighbors move in next door, Nate goes over to help. When his wife Abby comes home and he introduces them, Abby realizes she already knows the husband. He was her first love. Neither fess up to knowing one another and weave a tangled web of lies.

This story goes back and forth in time to give you the backstory and what is going on now. It sucks you in and won't let you go until it drains you of emotion!
Was this review helpful?
I picked up Hannah Mary McKinnon’s The Neighbors without really knowing what to expect and I love it so much when a book takes me completely by surprise. The premise intrigued me, so I figured it would be a good way to pass a few hours, but, once I started reading, I realized the book was so much more than that. It's a story of love, secrets, and betrayal, and I loved every minute I spent with it.

In 1992, Abby and her brother Tom go out for a night on the town in hopes that it’ll cheer Tom up a bit after having just been dumped by his girlfriend. Abby doesn't plan on getting drunk, but one thing leads to another, and both she and Tom end up pretty intoxicated. Still, Abby figures she'll be fine to drive home, so she gets behind the wheel, but her decision has terrible consequences. There's an accident which kills Tom and leaves Abby with an enormous amount of guilt.

Abby has no clue how she'll cope with what she's done. Her mother refuses to forgive her for her part in Tom's death – and because she doesn’t think she deserves forgiveness, Abby's okay with that. In fact, she convinces herself that she should sacrifice her own happiness in a vain attempt to make amends for what happened to Tom. To this end, she breaks things off with Liam, who is the love of her life. At first, he resists her attempts to end their relationship, but Abby stands firm and he eventually gives up.

Fast forward twenty years: Abby is married to Nate, the man who rescued her from the car accident all those years ago. They have a teenaged daughter, and they're quite happy. Nate is well aware of Abby's emotional scars, and he's devoted his life to helping her find some semblance of peace, and, for the most part, he's succeeded. Abby still thinks about that night, but the guilt and grief that once crippled her have eased over time, and she's pretty functional these days.

Then, Liam and his family move in next door, and suddenly, long-buried emotions are forced to the forefront. For some reason I didn't quite understand, Abby and Liam agree to keep their previous relationship a secret from their respective spouses. Their interactions are super awkward because of this, but Nate and Nancy, Liam's wife, don't seem to think anything is amiss. They just sort of keep mingling, and everyone pretends all is well, even though it obviously is not.

As time passes, the two families begin spending quite a bit of time together, and things get incredibly messy. Abby and Liam eventually rekindle their relationship, while Nancy and Nate form a friendship with some dangerous overtones. The lives these four have so carefully constructed slowly begin to crumble, and they all seem powerless to stop it from happening.

The Neighbors is one of those books that’s impossible to put down. It's obvious from pretty near the beginning that things won't turn out well for these characters, but I kept hoping for some kind of miracle. All of them have gone through a ton of really hard stuff, and I just wanted things to be okay for them. They all felt so real, and I give the author a great deal of credit for crafting characters who felt like real people with real joys and struggles rather than two-dimensional beings.

But it's not always easy to like them. They all keep secrets from one another, and, while Ms. McKinnon does a great job showing the reader why they act the way they do, I sometimes found it hard to sympathize with those actions. I struggled with Abby, in particular. It's obvious she's deeply wounded, but I really disliked the way she treated Nate. His love for her is so apparent, and I wanted her to see and appreciate all the good things she had in her life.

I was totally blown away by the ending to this story. I'm obviously not going to spoil it for you, but trust me when I say it's beyond anything you can imagine. There are so many ways I thought things might turn out, but Ms. McKinnon takes things in a totally unexpected direction, and I love the fact that she opted not to just play things safe. The ending won't appeal to all readers, but I personally can't imagine a more fitting conclusion to this very complicated novel.

If you love books that explore the secrets married people keep from one another, I strongly urge you to give The Neighbors a try. It's unlike anything I've read in quite a while, and I'm now on a hunt for more like it.

Buy it at: Amazon/Barnes & Noble/iBooks/Kobo
Was this review helpful?
The Neighbors
By
Hannah Mary McKinnon


What it's all about...

Nate and Abby and their teenage daughter Sarah seem to be living a relatively happy life.  One day new neighbors move in and Abby realizes it is Liam and his wife and son.  Liam is a man she has a past with.  This unnerves Abby totally.  Liam was the man she loved when her brother was killed in a fiery crash from an automobile accident.  Abby believes the accident was her fault.  Liam reminded her of happier times.  So she sent him away...she never wanted to see him again.  Needless to say their attraction to each other is still there.  What will happen to everyone’s happy contented lives?  

Why I wanted to read it...

This book had a dysfunctional kind of tone to it and I love that aspect in a book.  Abby had issues with her mother who blamed her for her brother’s death.  Abby married Nate because he was kind but she never truly loved him.  So...of course we know that the attraction to Liam is going to be disastrous for everyone.  

What made me truly enjoy this book...

The relationships in this book were both complex and complicated.  There were always weird undercurrents that involved all of these characters.

Why you should read it, too...

Readers who love to read about family issues that teem with dysfunction should enjoy this book.  The pace was good and the writing was spot on.  One thing bothered me, though, and that was the ending...it seemed a bit too unrealistic?  It just did not sit well with me.  It almost felt as though it was not a part of this book.  

I received  an advance reader’s copy of this  book from the publisher through NetGalley and Amazon.  It was my choice to read it and review it.
Was this review helpful?
Hannah Mary McKinnon’s second novel, The Neighbors, is a dramatic page turner that feels like watching a train wreck in slow motion and in reverse. You know how the story ends, but you want to know how exactly things got to the way they are. 

The story’s main characters, Abby and her husband, Nate Morris, along with their daughter, Sarah, are all trying to find out how their lives and their family ended up so… screwed up. And while they probably wouldn’t have had the courage to describe their family as typical or even functional, they likely would have pointed to the day the Jeffersons moved in as the day when everything started to unravel — for the worse, of course. 

Even though the reader still knows about “now” and how screwed the Morrises’ and the Jeffersons’ lives end up, McKinnon deftly saved the twist-endings for the very last. If twists in a tragedy could be satisfying, these would be prime examples, mainly because they lend some finality in a decades-long ordeal fraught with all the wrongs that were never righted.  

In this, her second book, McKinnon demonstrates her writerly range and her abilities to juggle the complex emotional motivations and decisions her characters make. Even if this reader couldn’t agree with the choices Abby, Nate, Sarah and the other characters made throughout the novel, she could understand why they were made—leading to a satisfactory and unexpected ending. An excellent follow-up to a strong debut!
Was this review helpful?
This was a fun suburban domestic drama--not really the psychological thriller I was expecting, though there were some (predictable) twists at the end. I would recommend it if you want something slightly twisty with Desperate Housewives levels of secrets and drama.
Was this review helpful?
This was the first book I have read by Hannah Mary McKinnon and it was a fabulous read! Suspenseful and such a great page turner. I could identify with Abby and felt like we were long lost friends. Wow! How much sorrow can one person go through?! I was happy to see that she was able to turn her life around after a tragic accident. I don't want to give the story and plot away, but I would definitely recommend this book. McKinnon keeps you guessing until the end. You will find yourself saying, "No way!!" as you read every last paragraph . My only reservation throughout the whole book was how it ended with Abby..... I felt like that could have been elaborated on a little more. McKinnon definitely ripped the band-aid off there and didn't look back. This book definitely solidifies the idea that secrets never stay secrets for long. They always come out, and never at the most opportune time.  Special thanks to the folks at #NetGalley and the publishers at Harlequin for supplying me with a copy of the book in exchange for my honest opinion! 

#TheNeighbors #NetGalley
Was this review helpful?
The Neighbors is the story of Abby and Nate and Nancy and Liam who are new neighbors. The remarkable thing about that is Abby and Liam share a past. They knew each other many years ago but don't let on to their spouses. Both are equally shocked to find themselves living near each other. You can imagine the various directions the plot could go. And it does. So much so that near the end my neck felt sore from all the twists and turns! I kid about my neck but not about the twists and turns. This book has all the makings of a night-time tv drama. As it played out I just shook my head and thought "really?!" That said, if you're looking for an entertaining read you might want to pick up a copy of The Neighbors. Even though I found it more than a bit far-fetched I looked forward to picking it up each time to see what would happen next.
Was this review helpful?
I found this book to be more of a domestic drama than a psychological thriller and quite slow moving until the end. There were at least 3 twists at the conclusion, one if which I’d guessed right at the beginning, but the others, wow I’m glad I continued to read!
Was this review helpful?
Another great read from netgalley!!!  A wonderful love story with a very surprise ending.  I read this straight through as I was totally able to to relate to "that once in a lifetime" love.  Abby was able to get that second chance.
 Definitely a worthwhile read!!!!
Was this review helpful?
☆°☆°☆ARC provided by Netgallery☆°☆°☆

Wow,Just wow!
This book was twisted in so many ways. IT THREW a curve ball around every page. I absolutely loved it.
Was this review helpful?
OH. EM. GEE.  
I knew from the description this was going to be a page turner and it did not disappoint.  
At the beginning I felt like this was definitely a 5 star book. Then somewhere along the way I thought...NO this is a 10 star book - just give this book all the stars.  Then, the twists and turns happened and I wanted to take all the stars from this book. In the end....FIVE STARS!  
I cannot stop thinking about this book.  I have to remind myself that this book is a work of fiction and these characters don't actually exist.  
Abby - I loved her, then I slowly started to hate her.  Near the end I just felt sorry for her. 
Nate - Oh, I loved him.  Always doing the right thing.  Loving enough for everyone. 
Liam - I love him, but much like Abby I started to hate him.  In the end...I think I just felt hate for him.
Nancy - I didn't have feelings one way or the other for Nancy.  She just was.  A necessary part of the story, but a character that you really felt one way or the other for. 
Sarah. - WOW.  I will just say...I don't think that apple fell far from the tree.  
Fantastic book.  
Anxious to read more from this author.
Was this review helpful?
A night filled with youthful exuberance and bad choices changed Abby’s life back in 1992. Guilt ridden over causing the death of her brother, she refuses to allow herself the happiness she doesn’t feel she deserves. She turns her back on her boyfriend, Liam, believing if he knew the truth about her, he would hate her. Twenty years on Abby and her husband Nate are living a typical middle class life, even though Abby is still consumed with grief and guilt over the of of her brother. It doesn’t help that she is reminded of the accident that ended her brother’s life is sitting across the breakfast table from her every morning. Nate is the motorist who stopped that night and pulled Abby to safety, but was unable to save her brother. Still, their guilt is a strange sort of bond. Then Liam reappears, moving in to the same neighborhood and the truth about what happened that night begins to emerge. A powerful novel about guilt and not facing up to the truth
Was this review helpful?