Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Dangerous Neighbors” as Want to Read:
Dangerous Neighbors
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Dangerous Neighbors

3.26  ·  Rating details ·  321 ratings  ·  82 reviews
It is 1876, the year of the Centennial in Philadelphia. Katherine has lost her twin sister Anna in a tragic skating accident.  One wickedly hot September day, Katherine sets out for the exhibition grounds to cut short the haunted life she no longer wants to live.

Filled with vivid detail that artfully brings the past to life, National Book Award nominee Beth Kepart's DANGE
Hardcover, 192 pages
Published August 24th 2010 by EgmontUSA
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Dangerous Neighbors, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Dangerous Neighbors

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Rating details
Sort: Default
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Melanie Foust for

Anna died in a horrible accident. Katherine, her twin, is convinced there is nothing left to live for. She reaches a high level in a tall building, but her sister's former lover reaches her just in time, begging her to allow him to say something incredibly important.

But Katherine does not stay to listen; neither does her resolve waver. Without Anna, life has lost its meaning. Katherine is on a journey to destruction, but if she takes a closer look at
Dec 21, 2010 rated it did not like it
Shelves: don-t-bother

I thought this book was going to take an entirely different turn. There were a few instances where I thought it was insinuated that Katherine had had an affair with Bennett. In my head, Anna's death was going to be something juicy; Bennett realized that Katherine was less superficial than her twin and fell in love with her. Anna finds out and kills herself. I was disappointed that what really happened with Anna turned out to be boring.

I also was not a fan of the end. Katherine decides n
Jun 24, 2010 rated it really liked it
Although this is my first Beth Kephart novel, I've got several of her books on my TBR pile because I've heard such great things. I really wanted to read this one when I heard about it because it sounded like something right up my alley.

Overall, I would describe this novel as haunting. It's not particularly 'fun' or even entertaining. But, its a strong novel - well written and it really sticks with you!

This novel is historical fiction, Young Adult style. It's based in Philadelphia in 1876, duri
Dangerous Neighbors by Beth Kephart
Egmont, 2010
166 pages
YA; Historical
3/5 stars

Source: Library

Summary: Ever since Katherine's twin sister Anna died, she has felt alone and guilty of causing the death. In 1876, during the Centennial fair in Philadelphia, Katherine goes to the fairgrounds to end her own life.

Thoughts: As I had enjoyed one of Kephart's other books and had seen this title around the blogosphere, I decided to pick this book up. I was especially excited to see that it was set in Phila
Feb 26, 2011 rated it it was ok
This is a story about a teenage girl whose twin sister has died, set in a backdrop of the centennial celebration in Philadelphia. I don't like it much and I don't think it is very good. The author's concept of trying to set the historical scene seems to be to have the equivalent of an 1876 product placement - lots of capitalized brand names bandied about, but no other real sense of the time and place. She probably did a lot of reading research, but this comes out in impossible ways - a devastati ...more
Mar 12, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I thought this was going to be a good book, I really did. What a disappointment.

Novels involving teen death/suicide usually appeal to me, which is why I picked this one up, but Dangerous Neighbors was rather dull. I don't mind when books have flashbacks but I thought the way they were done made the book choppy and a little hard to rememeber wether we were in the past or present.

I was hoping that somewhere along the way a climax would build up and lead to a thrill of an ending. It ended more like
Jul 02, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I put the book down, and wanted to pick it up to re-read because the simplicity is so deceptive. Then, I wanted to read more about Philadelphia in the period. The pitch of the book is exceptional, and there is not one wasted word. But, really, I understood the main character, both in her strengths and weaknesses because jealousy, well, who doesn't struggle with jealousy mixing with change?
Originally reviewed at my site There's A Book.

Short and Sweet: A beautiful story of sisterhood and overcoming the greatest of losses to begin anew. Don’t miss this book, one of my favorite reads of 2010!

Full Review:
Katherine and Anna were the best of friends, sisters, twins to be exact. Throughout Katherine’s life Anna has been a constant driving force, her ever present companion and Katherine, her guardian. When something more powerful than sisterhood comes between them and Anna’s fate is seale
Mar 01, 2012 rated it really liked it
I read four of Beth Kephart's books in 2010. I also read her blog faithfully, and so I knew that her novel Dangerous Neighbors was both a bit of a departure for her and a long-brewing labor of love. She says in the book's Endnotes:

"During the course of my research for Flow: the Life and Times of Philadelphia's Schuylkill River I began to dream, novelistically, of this Centennial year (1876). About twin sisters and a boy who rescued animals. About a mother so preoccupied with the future that she
Aug 25, 2010 rated it really liked it
I'm not sure how to review this book because there are elements of the plot I do not want to give away, but I will try my best. This is the story of twin sisters Katherine and Anna who are so close, and yet so far apart from each other. Like most twins they are opposites. Katherine is grounded, more responsible, whereas Anna is dreamy, dramatic, living for today. They love each other yet, they are starting to drift apart as they get older. They are misunderstanding each other, not communicating ...more
Sep 15, 2010 rated it really liked it
I thought I was sitting down to read a historical novel, something to do with the Philadelphia Centennial. I thought I knew what to expect. But I didn’t foresee such beauty in the language, such mastery over the written word. I didn’t know I’d want to reread paragraphs to more fully appreciate their poetry. I didn’t realize that Beth Kephart would make me shed tears over hope lost and found again.

I’ve heard about Beth Kephart. When I started blogging and then following other book blogs, I notice
Aug 17, 2010 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Staci by: Winsome Media Blog Tour
Shelves: 2010-reads
2. Words to describe the book: mystery, heartache, sibling love and hatred, growing pains, history, thought-provoking, the U.S. perched precariously on the edge of modern inventions, women's suffrage, and a changing society.

3. Location or characters you met:

* Katherine: She is the youngest of twin girls, yet she has always felt responsible for the welfare of her sister Anna. She's thoughtful, quiet, contemplative, follows the rules, and takes much to heart.
* Anna : She is the impulsive twin an
Brian Cortes
Kephart, Beth. Dangerous Neighbors. New York: Egmont USA/Laura Geringer Books, 2010.

Characters: Katherine, Anna, Jeannie Bea, Bennett, William, Father, Mother
Setting: Philadelphia, 1876
Theme: sister-hood, family loss, death, coping,
Golden Quote: “Don’t let me get old, Katherine can almost hear Anna saying. And look: Congratulations, Katherine! You have granted your sister her one ill-begotten wish.
Plot/Summary: The story takes place during the Centennial Exhibition that took place in Philadelph
Jun 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing
With every book, my respect for Beth Kephart grows. In fact, she's one of those authors that I enjoy so much I have to find the perfect time and place to read her books so that I can finish comfortably and uninterrupted. For NOTHING BUT GHOSTS, this was two locations: my dorm window seat overlooking Oxford High Street and the Oxford Botanical Gardens. For DANGEROUS NEIGHBORS, I tucked into my childhood bed (no longer in my childhood home) and closed the door to keep my desperate-for-affection do ...more
Jan 06, 2011 rated it liked it
Meh. Supposedly this novel is set during the 1876 Philadelphia Centennial, but we hardly believed it while reading. Kephart's prose is beautiful but disconcertingly contemporary, and considering how interesting the event was in reality, the corresponding historical detail in the book is far from it (not to mention conspicuously absent most of the time).

The story involves sibling dynamics and one sibling's death, which is a common premise that fascinates us. Like similar books, this one has a st
Jan 22, 2013 rated it really liked it
Beth Kephart is not afraid of writing fiction for young adults that makes them think, makes them feel and makes them wonder.

Dangerous Neighbors transported me to 1876 Philadelphia during the Centennial celebration. The place and time were as much a part of this novel as the characters.

The main character, Katherine, was charged with responsibility for her twin sister, Anna, a girl who always took unnecessary risks. It was Katherine's job to keep Anna out of trouble, keep her safe. Ultimately, K
Dec 09, 2009 rated it liked it
After Anna's death, Katherine continues to blame herself for not being there to protect Anna, for giving up on her too soon, for losing a twin that was her closest friend. She revisits old place and new wonders at the Philadelphia Centennial fair of 1876 while running away from Bennett, Anna's lover, of a message he wants to deliver for he is a dangerous neighbor that her Papa warned them about. But Katherine has to face him eventually and now is better than later.

And then there is William.
Aug 08, 2010 rated it liked it
I’m not entirely sure what to say about this book. It was quite different from what I’ve been reading as of late, but not in a bad way. It was more descriptive, and less action-based. It seemed lyrical to me. I’m not sure exactly what I was expecting, but I know it’s not what I got. That’s not necessarily a bad thing – I think that’s why I’m not sure what to say about it.

As I think hard, here is what I do come up with. I liked the conclusion. A lot. Especially the last few paragraphs. While I ki
Bethany Eliason
Nov 24, 2011 rated it did not like it
Shelves: ya-lit
When I first read the premise for this book, I was really excited to read it. I have never read anything about the Philadelphia Centennial, but I have heard that it was a extremely exciting event in history. And I really liked the idea of having this event in the background as this girl, Katherine, is grieving her sister's death. I was wondering how the author would combine these two events.

Unfortunately, after a few chapters, I started to get bored. I was expecting the book to be more centered
Bethany Miller
Jan 20, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: royal-january
2.5 stars

The setting is Philadelphia in 1876, and the Centennial fair is in full swing showcasing the best that the United States and the world have to offer. It’s an exciting time, but seventeen year old Katherine is unmoved by it. She is too consumed with grieving the loss of her twin sister Anna. For most of their lives Katherine and Anna were as close as two sisters could be, but then Anna starts seeing Bennett and everything changes. Katherine feels her sister slipping away from her but can
David Edmonds
Sep 13, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2010
Beth Kephart continues to impress me more and more with her young adult novels. Her ability to pull so much nuance into a story with such ease of language is beautiful. I'd love to spend a day in her head, just to see the world through her eyes; it must be an amazing place to behold. She can create such vivid images and emotions, with the simplest language possible, and every page is filled with more and more. If you haven't had the privilege of reading anything by Beth Kephart, might I recommen ...more
DANGEROUS NEIGHBORS begins at the end. Katherine has lost her sister, Anna. She finds herself cast adrift during a time when the city of her birth is celebrating the centennial of the nation's birth. It's very clear that Katherine deeply mourns her sister. The first few pages unfold so beautifully that I found myself caught up in Kephart's words instantly. I turned the pages, one after the other, completely engaged. It wasn't just that Kephart had such rich characterization for Katherine. Anna i ...more
Jul 29, 2010 rated it really liked it
In the 19th century, during the year of the Centennial, two sisters are bound tightly by the fact that they are twins. Katherine has made it her life to look after her frail sister Anna, who always seems aloof, and easily distracted into danger. When an ugly bout of fate rips them apart, Katherine no longer knows her place in the world. Who is she if she is not her sister's protector? Why should she go on living?

This story was very fascinating, and I loved the time period. The hustle and bustle
Sara Grochowski
Dec 09, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed
At times, when I'm reading one of Beth Kephart's novels, I find myself distracted by the gorgeous phrasing and richly described settings and characters. It's easy to find oneself swept away by the beautiful writing, but I always remind myself to go beyond that aspect Kephart's novels because the writing isn't meant to distract readers from a mediocre tale: Kephart is a thought-provoking storyteller as well.

DANGEROUS NEIGHBORS is a slim volume, but the I felt Katherine and Anna's story fit well w
Jan 21, 2011 rated it liked it
Summary: Grieving and filled with survivor's guilt over the loss of her twin sister Anna, Katherine goes to the Philadelphia Centennial Exhibition grounds one day intent on committing suicide. However, a host of "dangerous neighbors" (everyday people) keep interrupting her intentions: a girl with a bird, a mother who can't find her little girl, her sister's lover who shares Katherine's grief and guilt. Can Katherine find her way back to a place called hope?

Verdict: Okay, it's girlie and sappy at
Aug 05, 2010 rated it really liked it
Beth Kephart‘s Dangerous Neighbors, which hits stores on August 24, is set in 1876 in Philadelphia on the verge of the 100th anniversary of the birth of the United States as two sisters, twins, struggle with changes in their relationship and find the ability to fly on their own.

Katherine and Anna may be twins, but they are very different with Anna considered the beauty and adventurous one and Katherine as the dependable protector. As adolescence hits and Anna falls in love with the baker’s son,
Jan 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Wow! Even though I’m not a fan of historical fiction, the cover (isn’t it gorgeous?) and synopsis of this book grabbed my attention. I went back and forth trying to decide whether to give it a try or not. I really thought it sounded good, but it was a historical fiction. Finally I said go for it, and am so glad I did.

The book started out interesting, and just kept getting better. The writing made me feel like I was there with Katherine and Anna. I could see the way Philadelphia looked during tha
Aug 14, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: ya, 21st-century
I went into this book not expecting an amazing story, but an enjoyable one and I got that plus some. This little book was an intriguing, short read that I have been in the mood for in the past few days. While nothing special it was a sweet story of sisterly love and all the trials it goes through, especially when their is a boy involved. I only wished it were longer, though I was in the mood for a short book, I think Dangerous Neighbors would have been amazing if it were longer. It had a lot of ...more
Sarah Laurence
Dangerous Neighbors takes place during the Centennial in Philadelphia and focuses on twin 16-year-old girls who dare to become involved with boys beneath their social class. Through extensive research, attention to detail and a fine ear for period dialect, Beth brings the past to the present. Dangerous Neighbors is a perfectly crafted novel; it's as tight as a short story with prose as lyrical as poetry:

"Then she steps through the hall and toward the front door, the whisper of her black skirt f
Sara  Liebman
Dec 21, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult-lit
At first, I wasn't really sure what this book was about other than Katherine lost her twin sister Anna in a sort of mysterious way. Once I understood the context - the Philadelphia World's Fair in the 1870's, I was able to ground my perception of the story. I thought the writing was beautiful - lyrical, descriptive...I just find it hard to categorize it as Young Adult, because it's sort of difficult to read, even though it is a fairly short story. I doubt that anyone younger than 8th grade would ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Invisible Things
  • Contagion
  • The Sweetness of Salt
  • Three Rivers Rising: A Novel of the Johnstown Flood
  • Grace
  • The Boy Who Could Fly
  • Deadly
  • Crossing the Tracks
  • Rose Sees Red
  • Lost
  • The Twin's Daughter
  • Middleworld (Jaguar Stones, #1)
  • Guest House
  • Love on the Big Screen
  • Rowan the Strange (Ivy, #3)
  • Rich and Mad
  • My Brother's Shadow
  • Cate of the Lost Colony
Though I've been writing since I was nine years old, I didn't publish beyond my high school literary journal until I was a new mother. My first published essay was in Iowa Woman; subsequently, I published short stories in dozens of literary magazines—learning, always, what worked or what didn't by reading far more than I wrote.

My first book, A SLANT OF SUN, a memoir, was a National Book Award fin
“Anna would say that she was a cat like Gemma, with nine lives to spend, all nine precious and delicious.” 1 likes
More quotes…