Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Book Review and Giveaway: The Perfect Neighbors

By Melissa Amster

Bucolic Newport Cove, where spontaneous block parties occur on balmy nights and all of the streets are named for flowers, is proud of its distinction of being named one the top twenty safest neighborhoods in the US.

It’s also one of the most secret-filled.

Kellie Scott has just returned to work after a decade of being a stay-at-home mom. She’s adjusting to high heels, scrambling to cook dinner for her family after a day at the office—and soaking in the dangerous attention of a very handsome, very married male colleague. Kellie’s neighbor Susan Barrett begins every day with fresh resolutions: she won’t eat any carbs. She’ll go to bed at a reasonable hour. And she’ll stop stalking her ex-husband and his new girlfriend. Gigi Kennedy seems to have it all together—except her teenage daughter has turned into a hostile stranger and her husband is running for Congress, which means her old skeletons are in danger of being brought into the light.

Then a new family moves to this quiet, tree-lined cul-de-sac. Tessa Campbell seems friendly enough to the other mothers, if a bit reserved. Then the neighbors notice that no one is ever invited to Tessa’s house. And soon, it becomes clear Tessa is hiding the biggest secret of all.
(Synopsis courtesy of Goodreads.)

When I first heard about The Perfect Neighbors and read the synopsis, I immediately thought of Desperate Housewives. I still miss that show, so I welcomed the chance to read this novel. After reading it, I still stand by the comparison. Each woman is desperate in some way or another. Kellie is desperate for male attention, which she's not getting from her husband as much as from her colleague. Susan is still hung up on her ex-husband and hearing news from his life reminds her how much she should be moving on. Gigi is hoping not to lose her daughter to teen angst and also nervous that her past behaviors will ruin her husband's campaign. And Tessa is desperate to get away from an incident from her old neighborhood, which she fears will come back to haunt her.

Each woman's story is compelling and even relatable, whether or not I've been in their shoes. I liked how they all looked after each other in various ways and how they interacted throughout the book. At the beginning of almost every chapter, there were messages from a neighborhood listserv, which were really funny. Sometimes the characters from the messages were in various scenes of the book, as well.

If you're looking for an entertaining summer read that will bring you back to Wisteria Lane, you've come to the right place!

My movie (or potential TV series) cast ideas:
Susan: Joy Bryant  (and Tyree Brown, who played her son on Parenthood, could easily play Cole.)
Kellie: Michelle Monaghan
Tessa: Julianne Nicholson
Gigi: Melinda Clarke
Melanie (Gigi's daughter): Bella Thorne
Jason (Kellie's husband): Mark Duplass

Thanks to Atria for the book in exchange for an honest review. They have one copy to give away!


How to win: Use Rafflecopter to enter the giveaway. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us. If you have trouble using Rafflecopter on our blog, enter the giveaway here


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Giveaway ends July 11th at midnight EST.

More by Sarah Pekkanen:

26 comments:

Amber @ A Little Pink in the Cornfields said...

When my daughter was born, our elderly neighbor knit her the cutest pink sweater! We just love how quiet and thoughtful our neighbors are!

Janine said...

We are pretty close to the neighbors on one side of us. We always exchange Christmas gifts and her husband always bakes banana bread and brings it over for Thanksgiving. A few years ago we were given a very special Christmas gift. It was a quilt with cats on it. But is wasn't just that it was a cat quilt, it was one that the wife made many years ago. She said her kids shared it while they were growing up. She had made it herself. Then she told me that she considers me and my husband to be their family and she wanted to share it with us. Needless to say, I quickly changed my plans of using it on the bed to hanging it on the wall. It was too special to let my cats crawl all over.

TinaB said...

Southern Charm

Bonnie Franks said...

Where we live now, we have a neighbor who does not intrude in any way, but is helpful in any way he can be. So my son does the same for him. It's not a close best friend thing, but it is nice to have. Dependable.

Anonymous said...

vera wilson

Nice to have good neighbors, we look out for each other.

snoopysnop1 at yahoo dot com

traveler said...

When we moved here many years ago I wanted to get to know the neighbors so we had them over in the summer for a get together. Many have moved and our lives have changed.

StephTheBookworm said...

I am addicted to reality TV, most embarrassingly Teen Mom and The Bachelor franchise.

Jennifer C said...

Our neighbors often do nice things for us - she gave me an orchid, a bottle of win she bought from Maya Angelou's estate sale, shares her flower bulbs/plants, veggies from their garden. They are super nice people. We try to share, too, but I don't think we do nearly as much as they do for us. All of our neighbors are pretty nice around us...some are just louder than others! :)

Tatum Rangel said...

My next door neighbor had a last-minute work project to complete and send out. Since her husband was still at work, and she needed help, she asked me if I could be of assistance. While trying to get it all done, she was so frantic, I felt bad. The only thing I could do, for her sake, was to remain calm and assure her that all would be okay. Not long after that, she got a message about the deadline being extended, so she was relieved. As a token of her gratitude, she gave me a bottle of wine. I told her that we're neighbors, that we're here for each other. She and her husband are nice people. It's nice to do things for others.

Elizabeth G said...

Too much reality TV for me! I watch The Bachelorette, Sister Wives and Big Brother!

Linda Kish said...

My neighbor helps me with things around the house...replacing sprinklers, circuit breakers, etc. or anything else I might need help with. It's nice to know I can call on him if I have a problem.

jpetroroy said...

Hm...They lend ingredients and tools.

Rita said...

I love watching Dancing With the Stars.

Laurice McClung said...

I'm addicted to Naked and Afraid.

Suzy said...

I love Pretty Little Liars. It's my guilty pleasure! Don't judge. : )

Kelly Rodriguez said...

Real Housewives of OC & New York.

Nina said...

I love how you can always tell a Sarah Pekkanen novel at the first glance of the cover!
Am I the only one embarrassingly addicted to Dr.Phil?!

Mary Preston said...

I have great neighbours. Just recently my neighbour brought over some fresh fish from her husband's fishing trip.

Grandma Cootie said...

My neighbors aren't that great, more like the self-appointed neighborhood police, or on the other side the leave-your-dogs-outside-all-day kind. I want my sister's neighbors - watch out for you, drop by to chat . . .

Susan Roberts said...

In the summer, my neighbor leaves fresh vegetables from their garden on my porch.

Susan @ The Book Bag said...

When my husband severly injured his back one January, the neighbor always came over with his snowblower to clean off our walks and driveway, without even being asked. It would have been up to me to do and I know I would have been overwelmed. It was greatly appreciated!

Amy Bez said...

Real Housewives - any city!

Anonymous said...

I've always been a big fan of Flipping Out, just love Jeff Lewis! Jill Broussard; minishoes@msn.com

Jennifer said...

We love Survivor! It's so bad, but so good! haha

Diana said...

I am an awful cook. My neighbor always has a plate in her table for me.

Raffle name: Artemis Giote

bn100 said...

cook food