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4.5 stars Disturbia-esque!
on October 28, 2012
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!