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?
Paperback, 272 pages
Published October 13th 2015 by St. Martin's Griffin
Three stars: An entertaining read with interesting characters, but it lacked a bit of something.
Izzy doesn't know how her blog became so popular. It started out as an outlet for her after her husband, Bruce, left her. Izzy invented a fake boyfriend, Mac, on her blog to make her feel better, and readers have are enamored with Mac and Izzy's dating adventures. Things notch up when Izzy's best friend, Jade, offers her an opportunity to take her blog onto her popular Philly Pop blog. Izzy is hesitant because she doesn't want to continue the lie, but she needs the money since her ex husband lost his job and isn't contributing to their son's child support. At least Izzy has her long time neighbor, Mrs. Feldman for support. What will happen if Izzy continues to lie?
What I Liked:
- The Good Neighbor is an interesting story with likeable characters dealing with real life problems. I enjoyed reading about Izzy's blogging adventures, even though I thought the whole thing with the fake boyfriend was a bit over the top. What made this book shine for me was the close relationship Izzy has with her long time next door neighbor, Mrs. Feldman. I loved the kindly, elderly lady, and I loved getting to know her.
- As a blogger, I liked following Izzy's blogging adventures, and I could relate a bit to some of her issues. Even though there was drama centered around the blog because of Izzy's fake boyfriend, I thought the whole story line was interesting.
- This book follows several different types of relationships. It is about friendships, broken relationships, online interactions and even some secrets. I especially enjoyed the focus on the special relationship Izzy has with her next door neighbor, and I also liked Izzy's bond with her brother.
- Mrs. Feldman was the highlight of the story. At eighty five, she is still feisty and fun. I liked how she was Izzy's moral compass and her sounding board. I was intrigued by the secret Mrs. Feldman was hiding, and I was hoping for a positive outcome for her.
- The ending brings everything to a nice conclusion, and even though a couple of the story lines didn't play out the way I had hoped, I was pleased with the way everything resolved. I had only one nagging question.
And The Not So Much:
- There is a big focus on Izzy's blog and her fake boyfriend. I thought the whole concept of the fake boyfriend was a blown a bit out of proportion. Most of us know that a good majority of what we read on the internet is embellished or even false, but we still enjoy reading it because it is entertainment. Who cares if Izzy was blogging about a fake boyfriend, she was entertaining and helping people while she did it. Still, I appreciated that she came clean.
- I wished that there had been a bit more on what Izzy wrote on her blog. You read all these fantastic descriptions of Izzy's bad dates and dating adventures, and I kept wanting to read some of the blog posts, but alas, they are not included. I think it would have been better if the reader was able to read some of the blog, especially considering it was such a big part of the story.
- As I mentioned, I adored Mrs. Feldman, and I was fascinated by her life long secret. However I have to say, I was disappointed that her story line was left dangling, I know in real life, you don't always get the answers, but I was hoping for Mrs. Feldman that she would get hers.
- There really isn't a romance. From the get go, there are hints of a possible romance, and as the book wore on, I kept waiting for that moment, and it did finally happen, but it was during the last few pages. I didn't like the way the romance sparked at the end, it felt thrown in. I would have preferred much more of a buildup as far as the romance goes.
- The first half of the book was a bit slow. I thought too much time was spent discussing the lie of the fake boyfriend and all that. Thankfully, the second half takes off and it is much more engaging.
The Good Neighbor is a book all about different kinds of relationships such as broken marriages, long time friendships, online relationships as well as new friendships, and how they affect our lives. I enjoyed the characters and I liked uncovering their secrets. If you want a realistic read about life and love, then this is a good one to try.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own, and I was not compensated for this review.