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Neighborly: A Novel

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Just because your paranoid doesn't mean nobody's after you. F bombs and highly sexualized content. Childhood is a template for all that comes later In a neighborhood that just recently finished reading Fifty Shades of Grey and then discovered fetlife and google sheets, one woman must confront her past and being a new mother and postpartum depression and moving into a tiny house and fitting into the perfect neighborhood, all while learning how social media works. A story with so many twists and turns, and turns and twists, and then a real bender, and character perspectives and sudden format changes and herring so red even Agatha Christie would be jealous that it is almost exactly like reading a mystery novel. And in case you missed that at one point the author tells you that many Agatha Christie novels have, in fact, been read and this is just like that. The whole neighborhood of swingers thing was predictable but I think it was supposed to be. It was cheesy, in ways, but kind of interesting thanks to the extra dialogue that reflected the psychoanalysis I mentioned earlier. I could never do spouse sharing but this book subtly made cases for or against it, that made it feel a little less smutty. All in all, I’m glad I didn’t pay for it but can’t say I regret reading it. It wasn’t exactly good but it took me out of my comfort zone.

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The neighbors could have done with some more character development, I had problems keeping some of the characters straight and remembering the individual couples correctly. If topics such as open marriages/partner swapping offend you, you may want to miss this one, as several reviewers seem to have been put off by some of the content. That is the first half of the story. What happens thereafter in Neighborly is equivalent to a sharp right turn on a curvy road. The story shifts directions and touches on many issues, including Kat's childhood trauma. Not only that the person behind the notes steps up and that scenario is detailed through another perspective. The danger Kat faces is suddenly life-threatening.

Well, she went on today about how bad it was him treating the Jews like that. Jem, it's not right to persecute anybody, is it? I mean have mean thoughts about anybody, even, is it?" Vince Vawter, author of the beloved, Newbery-award winning novel Paperboy, will be talking about the process of turning his book into a musical. You don't want to miss it! Well, coming out of the courthouse that night Miss Gates was--- she was going' down the steps in front of us, you musta not seen her--- she was talking with Miss Stephanie Crawford. I heard her say it's time somebody time somebody taught 'em a lesson, they were gettin' way above themelves, an' the next thing they think they can do is marry us. Jem, how can you hate Hitler so bad an' then turn around and be ugly about folks right at home---” I wish the book had done a better job of fleshing out Kat and Ellen��s childhood friendship. I didn’t care that they reconciled or not because I didn’t have any insight to their history. Kat to Guilty Party: “Hello there, long time no see. I finally figured it out! Nice cosmetic surgery by the way. You poisoned my daughter!”

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Kat and Doug have moved into a new neighborhood called Aurora Village. It is certainly a dream come true, even if it cost them every penny they had. From a threatening note found outside their door to deep, rather disturbing secrets, Kat instantly becomes extremely worried. Also, they are the new parents of Sadie and this brings on challenges of its own, including the distance that has developed between Kat and Doug. More than one thing is off-kilter. That’s not exactly a critique; was interesting to an extent. I also thought the anguish Kat felt as a new mother felt very real. I don’t have kids by choice and a lot of the fears revealed by Kat are major reasons as to why. I did get a little tired of Kat’s insecurities being hashed over and over and over and over.... you kind of get why, as you learn more about her past. But at some point she just becomes this weepy, needy nuisance. Then we get to 45%, and the story gets weird… I don’t always mind a strange plot change, but this one was bad. It comes all at once (hahahahaha THAT’S a pun) and out of nowhere. It’s really left-field and instantly halted my reading. The appeal of finding out who was ‘stalking’ Kat all but vanished. Not to mention, it didn’t even need to be part of the book for the rest of story to make sense. There was definitely an easier, and less unbelievable, way for the author to fulfill her ideas about the end of the book. Kat and Doug felt like Aurora Village was the perfect community. Minutes from the city, affluent without pretension, low crime with a friendly vibe—it’s everything Kat never had, and that she’s determined to provide for her infant daughter. Snagging a nice bungalow in this exclusive enclave was worth all the sacrifice. But everything changes overnight when Kat finds a scrawled note outside their front door.

Good fences make for good neighbors. Minding your own business and not interacting with your neighbors makes for better neighbors! But really there was not ENOUGH suspense or at least I was too preoccupied by all the overpowering emotion baggage from Kat. Author and veteran unschooling mother Jean Nunnally will be talking about her book and her family's approach to self-directed learning. She also has great advice on living and learning with children of all ages and how to create balance while educating your children. So Kat and Doug are super excited to move into the coveted neighborhood of Aurora Village, AKA the AV. What they don’t know is in the AV lies something sinister behind that Stepford facade and all of the gushy, ‘be my bff’ ‘no, be MY bff’ goodness. So who is behind the notes and threats and will they find out and disclose Kat’s secret?? Condition: Good. Good condition. A copy that has been read but remains intact. May contain markings such as bookplates, stamps, limited notes and highlighting, or a few light stains.

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