Review: The Perfect Neighbors by Sarah Pekkanen


Synopsis from Good Reads:

Perfect Neighbors takes us into the homes of an idyllic suburban neighborhood where we discover the burning secrets hiding just below the surface.

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.

I received a copy of this title from NetGalley. It does not impact my review.

Perfect Neighbors focuses on four women living in a small tight-knit community. From the outside their lives all seem pretty perfect, but behind closed doors things aren’t quite as wonderful. Kellie’s attractive new co-worker makes her notice all the flaws in her husband and maybe her little crush is getting out of hand. Susan is a successful business owner, but her divorce was full of betrayal and she’s still carrying around the bitterness, which her young son is beginning to notice. Gigi has a slightly out of control teenage daughter and her husband is running for congress – and her past is not quite as pristine as the campaign manager may hope. Tessa recently moved her family to the neighborhood to try and forget the mistakes of her past. Throughout the book we get each of their perspectives, as well as snippets of community-wide e-mails from the other residents of the neighborhood which really helped the story maintain a light-hearted tone when it threatened to get a little heavy.

The character development of this novel is superb! I really felt like I got to know and care about all the characters. There wasn’t even really one perspective I preferred to the others. They were all interesting, often compelling, and I had an emotional attachment to each of them. I also loved that they were all so different.

Where it lacked a little bit for me was the “secrets.” From the synopsis I was expecting a lot of intrigue and twists and surprises, but I didn’t really get any. Even Tessa’s secret is pretty obvious from the beginning, though the how is revealed slowly throughout the story and did a good job of still building some tension. Other than the setting and the friendship between the four main characters, there wasn’t anything that really tied their plot lines together.

Overall, The Perfect Neighbors was an enjoyable read. Though it lacked a little in terms of plot for me, the character development really makes up for it. I definitely wouldn’t mind reading more about these characters, who feel like friends. I would recommend this to fans of really character-driven novels.

Overall Rating (out of 5): 3.5 Stars

3.5 stars

4 thoughts on “Review: The Perfect Neighbors by Sarah Pekkanen

  1. Pingback: July 2016 Recap | Stephanie's Book Reviews

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