Thursday 21 September 2023

Just Neighbors

Finished September 12
Just Neighbors by Charity Ferrell

This is the fourth book in a series set in the town of Blue Beech, in the United States, but the first that I've read. Here, Chloe is one of the main characters. She's a woman in early adulthood, who still lives in the town she grew up in. She has, however moved from the "bad neighbourhood" of trailer park to a decent house in a decent neighbourhood, and works at the local paper. Part of the reason Chloe still lives here is that so do her older sister and the sister's two children, who Chloe looks after on a regular basis. Her nephew is in high school and her niece is preschool. 
Fairly recently, a man who changed her high school years for the worse, Kyle Lane, moved in next door. Kyle works as a policeman, but his father is the mayor, and Kyle isn't on particularly good terms with him. Kyle is close to his mother and younger siblings. 
The two neighbours have an interaction every morning from their front porches, where he says good morning and she swears at him. There's a reason for this. Back in high school he put her in a bad situation and instead of protecting her and defending her, he made it worse by starting rumours. He has never apologized for this, or done anything to show remorse. Those rumours have never really gone away, and Chloe has very good reason to hate him. 
This makes it difficult to see how she so easily begins a relationship with him, and while it may start due to chemistry between them, for me that wasn't enough to make it a solid base for an ongoing relationship. I really didn't like him, and while I liked aspects of her, in the end she was a disappointment due to her reaction to him.
The dialogue lacks depth and there are gaps in the background that aren't explained or aren't explained well. And the ending felt very contrived to me, and unnecessarily brutal. There was also more swearing than I felt was needed. 
It was a quick read, that I picked up to meet a reading challenge, but I don't think I'll be returning to the series.

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