Tuesday, November 13, 2012

November New Release: The Neighbors by Ania Ahlborn

The Neighbors
Author Ania Ahlborn
Release Date: Nov. 27, 2012

Andrew Morrison sacrificed everything—his childhood, his education, and the girl of his dreams—to look after his alcoholic mother. But enough is enough, and now he’s determined to get out and live his life. That means trading the home he grew up in for a rented room in the house of an old childhood friend— both of which are in sorry shape. The only thing worse than Drew’s squalid new digs and sullen new roommate is the envy he feels for the house next door: a picture-perfect suburban domicile straight out of Norman Rockwell, with a couple of happy householders to match. But the better acquainted he gets with his new neighbors—especially the sweet and sexy Harlow Ward—the more he suspects unspeakable darkness beyond the white picket fence.
Review: The Neighbors by Ania Ahlborn is being marketed as a cross between Blue Velvet and Basic Instinct -- but, I think a better marriage would be Disturbia weds the Stepford Wives.  A strange tale of suburbia and sacrifice twists through the pages making this an engaging and captivating read.  It's got cookies, drugs, dinners, tea and blood.  What's not to love about this psychological twisted tale? Harlow is a true female psycho, both cunning, manipulative and determined in her manner and intelligence.  She embraces the essences of a mommy dearest and American Beauty hybrid, adding both sympathy and loathing to the dimension of her character.  Drew is just another sorry, young sap looking for a mother and love -- or is he? My only issue with the novel is the author's use of Andrew and Drew when referring to the same character. It can be confusing.  I suppose the intent is to imply the formal transition to informal through the familiar use of the shortened 'nickname,' but it can be distracting. The impact of the exchange between Andrew and Drew throughout the novel can be argued, and a good thematic case might be made; however, I would have liked it to be a single change as intimacy evolved instead of a constant back and forth switch. Then again, it does play on the psychological indecisiveness of the characters.  Well, there is only one way to settle this debate, pick up The Neighbors and read it for yourself.  Tell me what you think about this stylistic technique.  Did it work for you or distract you?  I'm curious to know what other reads think!
tiny blue diamondtiny blue diamondtiny blue diamondtiny blue diamond1/2 star
* ARC provided by Amazon Vine courtesy of Thomas & Mercer

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  1. My review goes up tomorrow.

    The Drew and Andrew issues was a pet peeve at first but then I put it to the psychological exchange of crazy Harlow.

    I definitely want to try Seed now.

  2. Thanks for the review. I loved "Seed" and have been keeping an eye on Ahlborn's career, curious as to what she had next for us. I will certainly pick up a copy of this new offering when it is available.


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