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2018 Reading Challenge

2018 Reading Challenge
Jill Elizabeth has read 25 books toward her goal of 175 books.

Book Review: The New Neighbors by Simon Lelic

This was a weird read, full of perspective (and voice) shifts and an odd timeline – but I quite enjoyed it even though I usually prefer my stories to run a tad more linear than that implies… I think it’s because I was so intrigued from the outset – there was a lot of “this is not a ghost story” and “I always thought it was something more…” teaser-language in the opening bits, and as they were written as diary entries and I couldn’t exactly remember what the blurb had promised beyond a thriller with twists and turns, it really seemed like anything was possible for a hefty chunk of the book. Would it be paranormal? Psychosis? Gaslighting? A super-villain?

Turns out there were elements of most of those, and the explanations – when they finally came – were teased out nicely, leaving my imagination running off on tangents of possibility until the final pages (literally). There were a lot of parts that were rough-reading – there’s a seriously dark underbelly here, and it’s tough to stomach. But the story was told in a frank, concise voice that made even those bits palatable (if still altogether disagreeable) and kept me engaged throughout.

One thing I found confusing and unclear even after finishing was the title. I must admit I don’t get it; in hindsight I found the title confusing and misdirecting. I suppose that may have been intentional, although I’m not sure why. Mostly I just found it an odd choice.

My review copy was provided by the Penguin First to Read program.

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