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on January 7, 2013
The lack of character development and draggy plot only made the extremely disgusting horror scenes more detestable. The sexual deviance was creepy. Not in the way a good serial killer character is creepy. More like constant arousal and blood with poorly written dialogue occasionally thrown in. I like thrillers and well written horror. This was like an adult film "plot" surrounding the real purpose of the movie...only in this case, instead of sex it was pages and pages of nauseating bloody violence. There was also less detailed but prevalent theme of child sexual abuse. I skimmed the bloody parts but still feel queasy.
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VINE VOICEon October 28, 2012
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
The Neighbors by Ania Ahlborn is being marketed as a cross between Blue Velvet and Basic Instinct -- but, I think a better marriage would be Disturbia weds the Stepford Wives. A strange tale of suburbia and sacrifice twists through the pages making this an engaging and captivating read. It's got cookies, drugs, dinners, tea and blood. What's not to love about this psychological twisted tale? Harlow is a true female psycho, both cunning, manipulative and determined in her manner and intelligence. She embraces the essences of a mommy dearest and American Beauty hybrid, adding both sympathy and loathing to the dimension of her character. Drew is just another sorry, young sap looking for a mother and love -- or is he? My only issue with the novel is the author's use of Andrew and Drew when referring to the same character. It can be confusing. I suppose the intent is to imply the formal transition to informal through the familiar use of the shortened 'nickname,' but it can be distracting. The impact of the exchange between Andrew and Drew throughout the novel can be argued, and a good thematic case might be made; however, I would have liked it to be a single change as intimacy evolved instead of a constant back and forth switch. Then again, it does play on the psychological indecisiveness of the characters. Well, there is only one way to settle this debate, pick up The Neighbors and read it for yourself. Tell me what you think about this stylistic technique. Did it work for you or distract you? I'm curious to know what other reads think!
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Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I love a good psychological thriller, and Ania Ahlborn does not disappoint in her second novel, The Neighbors. I have now downloaded her first novel, Seed.

It's the most perfect of the homes in a perfect Leave It to Beaver neighborhood. But what lies behind the white picket fence? And why is the house next door, the one into which Andrew Morrison is moving, the only blight on an otherwise picturesque street?

Andrew is moving in with Mickey, a friend he hasn't seen since they were children. He wants to leave behind an unhappy childhood home and agoraphobic, alcoholic mother. However, his new roommate is in some sort of disagreement with the neighbors, Red and Harlow. Andrew can't figure out why, because Red and Harlow live in the perfect house and seem to be the perfect couple.

As another reviewer mentioned, I do wish that Ahlborn would have taken it to the next level and allowed it to become even more twisted, a la Blake Crouch and Jack Kilborn. But, there is a lot of promise here and I'm looking forward to reading more from her.

Recommend.
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VINE VOICEon September 6, 2012
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
If only author Ania Ahlborn had made this an R-rated thriller...This book has a quick pace, great set-up, perverse characters, and a wonderful cinematic thrill But the author holds back on letting the plot become too twisted and perverse, and the effect is akin to drinking near-beer instead of the real stuff, or eating a reduced-fat turkey hot dog instead of an all-beef dog loaded with chili, cheese, and relish. This book is good, but it left me wanting a more sordid tale. My appetite is whetted, but not satisfied.

I will read her book 'Sand' and see how I like that, and do recommend this book, just not fully. I'd like to see the unrated version!
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on December 22, 2012
Dumb story line, Just gore and guts. No plot. Don't waste your money. I bought it because I read The Seed" by the same author which was an OK book. But this one is a bomb.
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VINE VOICEon September 24, 2012
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
The Neighbors by Ania Ahlborn

I was immediately drawn into this story and I really liked the writing of this author. This is Ania Ahlborn's second
book and I just ordered her first, Seed.
Andrew Morrison moves out of his house to start a new life on his own. Moving to Magnolia Lane could be a dream come true or is it Drew's worst
nightmare?
The Neighbors has some really messed up characters, which always makes for a fun read and it is what I like best about this book. We get to
know the characters and their background which is what interested me the most.
The plot was ok, I had an idea of where this was going but the author had taken it a step further. I think there needed to be more of a build up
to the ending or something. I didn't know exactly what would happen but it wasn't an ah- ha moment either.
I look forward to reading Seed and her third novel, Into the Woods, due out sometime in 2013. Ania Ahlborn is definitely
an author I want to keep my eye on.
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on February 16, 2013
The cover and the marketing for this book really got me. A seemingly perfect neighborhood with a creepy house? Yes please! And perfect neighbors who are creepy? Again, yes!!!

Andrew, or Drew, or Andy Morrison is a good boy getting away from a horrible situation. He basically gave up his life to look after his agoraphobic, alcoholic mother after his father took off with what he remembers to be another woman. When he sees his mother out of the house with a sack full of booze, Drew has had enough. An old friend Mickey, and he have connected through good old Facebook, and Mickey has offered him a room in his house at a VERY reduced price. This is Drew's chance, and he is thrilled with the picture perfect neighborhood, until he realizes Mickey's is the creepy, dilapidated house every nice neighborhood seems to have. He jumps right in, trying to clean away his, and the house's, problems. Meanwhile, Mickey sits on the couch, gaming his life away, although he is watching his old friend Drew from the corner of his eye. Through his dreams, hopes and cleaning, Drew can't keep his eyes off of the perfect house next door. And the lady of the house seems very neighborly, baking him cookies. Giving him a job. Drew's absolute dream. And the neighbor lady is SEXY!

This is where it falls apart. Every creepy scenario shows its head. Ania Ahlborn does okay, but she feels the need to include everything. Murder, mayhem, mind-control. Sex, drugs, rock and roll. The only thing missing is the mystery. You pretty much know what is going to happen as soon as Mickey starts to stir from the couch and Drew's mom apologizes and promises to clean up her act.

I will read more from Ahlborn, I think she has potential. She writes well, and Drew had some potential. So did the neighbor wife, Harlowe. A few cuts and a couple more drafts and this could have been a 4-star book.
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on January 25, 2014
Twenty-three-year-old Andrew Morrison, sick of enabling his alcoholic mother, moves in with his childhood friend Mickey. Though his new place is a dump, next door lives a perfect little couple in a perfect little house. But, appearances can be deceiving and although the beautiful Harlow Ward looks like she just stepped our of Mad Men, what's really going on behind closed doors.
While the writing in THE NEIGHBORS was often clever and engaging, the plot, billed as a thriller was neither suspenseful nor engaging. The book started slowly, was filled with interminable backstory and never really peaked my interest. Perhaps if the book blurb had been more in keeping with the actual story, rather than billing this novel as horror and exciting, I might have been more interested. Instead I was utterly bored and disappointed,
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on March 25, 2013
Definitely a page-turner. I read this book in about 4 days, and it normally takes me at least a week or two. Harlow is such an interesting character, and I liked that the author slowly exposed all of the facets of her. Every time I turned around, there was another interesting story about why Harlow is the way she is, and why Drew is so susceptible to her charms. I wish that Mickey's character had been developed a little more, but I can also understand why he wasn't. At times I felt like Red was an unnecessary addition, but he would pop in every now and then for something important. Overall, I would recommend this book. It's a fun read.
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VINE VOICEon October 16, 2012
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I loved this book! I have been a fan or horror stories for over 40 years. It is hard to find a good read unless it is Stephen King or Dean Koontz. I have to say that this book delivers. Once I started reading it was hard to put down. What started out as a peaceful story just kept getting creepier and creepier. This is the first book that I have read by Ania Ahlborn, but I will be looking for more!
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