November 03, 2015

Book Review: The Good Neighbor

The Good Neighbor

The Good Neighbor, by Amy Sue Nathan
Release Date: October 13, 2015.

"When small lies have big consequences…

Things are a little rough for Izzy Lane. Still reeling from the break-up of her marriage, the newly single mom moves back to the Philadelphia home she grew up in, five-year-old Noah in tow. The transition is difficult, but with the help of her best friends—and her elderly neighbor, Mrs. Feldman—Izzy feels like she’s stepping closer to her new normal. Until her ex-husband shows up with his girlfriend. That’s when Izzy invents a boyfriend of her own. And that’s when life gets complicated.

Blogging about her “new guy” provides Izzy with something to do when Noah’s asleep. What’s the harm in a few made-up stories? Then, her blog soars in popularity and she’s given the opportunity to moonlight as an online dating expert. How can she turn it down? But when her friends want to meet the mysterious “Mac,” someone online suspects Izzy’s a fraud, and a guy in-real-life catches her eye, Izzy realizes just how high the stakes are. That’s when Mrs. Feldman steps in, determined to show her neighbor the havoc that lies can wreak. If Izzy’s honest, she could lose everything, and everyone. Is the truth worth any cost?"

The Good Neighbor is a book I usually wouldn't reach for. The entire story revolves around a single mother, learning to depend on herself, and take care of her young son. She's in her late thirties, soon to be forty, and struggling with her relationship to her ex-husband, as well as dating. 

I'm only twenty one years old, don't have children, and spend most of my time attending school, working on my etsy, reading, blogging or with friends. I don't really face the same struggles that Izzy does. My biggest worry when picking up books like this one, is that I won't be able to relate and ultimately find myself bored. 

So why did I end up accepting this one for review? Because she blogs. Izzy has all of this stuff going on around her, but blogging takes her away from all of that, and gives her joy. I wanted to see my feelings towards blogging put into real words. The joy and the excitement blogging gives me is hard to explain. So much can be going on around you, and so much could be stressful, nerve wrecking or worrisome, but blogging makes all that go away. You can be your true self when blogging, or you can be someone completely different. That's why I picked up The Good Neighbor.

If you didn't scroll up and take a quick glance at the synopsis, you should, because I don't want to summarize the entire thing for you. Basically it revolves around a single mom, who is struggle to find herself again, and be dependent on no one, but herself. Besides that she is attempting to distinguish Bruce as her ex-husband from her son's father. Throughout the story, Izzy attempts to let go of the grudge she's been holding against Bruce, and allow him to be the best father to Noah, without blaming him for things he did in the past.

There are a lot of other things going, but ultimately the story revolves around finding your way in life, even through tough times, family, friends and love. It's a "feel good" story!

Overall I enjoyed the story, and could almost imagine seeing this on the big screen some day as a romantic comedy. Honestly I can't even think of a single thing that bothered me or rubbed me the wrong way. I do, however, wish there was more focus on the blogging, and her new job as a anonymous writer, because that was initially the only reason I picked The Good Neighbor up. 

As the reader, I did experience a little bit of her writing career, and her blog, but throughout the story needed it less and less. I feel in love with Izzy's elderly neighbor, I adored Noah, and I couldn't wait to see how the truth about Mac would surface. There was a lot more in The Good Neighbor, that held my attention and kept me reading, than just Izzy's love of writing.

The story made me feel happy, and reminded me that happiness can be found in the strangest places, and the most random of times.

Have you picked up The Good Neighbor yet?

*I was sent this book, in exchange for an honest review from MacMillan. Thank you!*

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