megs_bookrack's Reviews > Good Neighbors

Good Neighbors by Sarah Langan
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really liked it
bookshelves: arcs-read


Maple Street is located in a Long Island suburb. It's a setting we all know.

That picturesque cookie-cutter neighborhood where all the kids play together and everyone knows each other's business; good and bad.

The Wilde family is new to Maple Street and it's clear from the start that they don't fit in.

Arlo, the man of the house, is a has-been rocker who, gasp, has tattoos.

His wife, Gertie, is an ex-beauty queen who dresses trashy and speaks with an accent. As sweet as she is, anyone can see she's a hot mess.

Then there's the kids. Julie, the preteen daughter, stole a pack a cigarettes when they first got to the neighborhood and showed the other children how to smoke. The little boy, Larry, carries around a doll!

When the Queen Bee of Maple Street, Rhea Schroeder, seems to take Gertie under her wing, the rest of the neighbors chill a bit. If the Wildes are good enough for Rhea, they must be good enough for them.

Seemingly out of nowhere, however, Rhea begins to snub Gertie and her family.

The main confrontation occurs at a block party and during this very party, a sinkhole opens up in the neighborhood park, sending residents scurrying to the safety of their respective homes.

It's utter chaos.

The tension continues to mount on the street in the days that follow. Rhea's daughter, Shelly, who has been told not to talk to Julie Wilde any longer, defies her Mom and confesses a dark secret to Julie.

This dramatic conversation ends with Shelly falling into the sinkhole. Lost to its dark depths.

Some crazy accusations are thrown around after this event and the target is, unsurprisingly, Arlo Wilde. Thus creating a boogie man to focus their anger and fear at. The infamous other.

Reading Good Neighbors was like peeling back the layers of a very quirky onion. I was so impressed with this!

The Wilde family, by moving to Maple Street, were hoping to provide potential upward mobility for their children. They had the best of intentions and although not perfect, were good people doing their best.

The reaction of the neighbors to them was absolutely fascinating and in a depressing way, 100% realistic.

Langan incorporated a lot of mixed media aspects into the telling of this story, which I loved! I always think that is a fun way to add energy into a storyline.

It is set in the not too distant future and the sinkhole, as well as a few other details, were clearly caused by climate issues. I liked how that was a backdrop, but none of the characters acknowledged it. So, like I said, real.

I also really enjoyed the group of kids in the neighborhood, coined the rat pack.

Sure, they weren't perfect. There were some real assholes in the bunch, but when things were at rock bottom, they were the ones that banded together, showed some courage and solved a problem. All while their parents hid behind their closed doors and gossip channels.

Additionally, I really enjoyed the unconventional narrative style.

It felt like a season of Desperate Houswives if it were directed by Wes Anderson; and yes, at least one of the Wilson brothers would have been in it.

Thank you so much to the publisher, Atria Books, for providing me with a copy of this to read and review. I really enjoyed my time with it.

It's actually one of those books, that the longer I sit with it, the more I appreciate it.

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Reading Progress

September 30, 2020 – Shelved
September 30, 2020 – Shelved as: to-read
January 29, 2021 – Started Reading
January 30, 2021 –
8.0% "Quirky!
I like it ☺"
February 4, 2021 –
9.0% "How this is narrated, in my mind is reminding me of Desperate Housewives! It's so quirky ((in a good way))!"
February 4, 2021 –
February 6, 2021 –
53.0% "This spiraled so quickly!
Children telling lies 🙁"
February 10, 2021 –
February 10, 2021 –
91.0% "This really has a lot of interesting food for thought in it. Definitely more than your standard domestic drama.

February 11, 2021 – Shelved as: arcs-read
February 11, 2021 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-11 of 11 (11 new)

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message 1: by Elyse (new) - added it

Elyse  Walters so cute !

megs_bookrack Elyse wrote: "so cute !" I'm excited for this one. I can't believe it's almost release date.

message 3: by Brandy (new)

Brandy Oooo... *taps fingertips together for a menacing effect* The Lottery by Jackson BLEW MY 9th GRADE MIND! In a good way. LOL

megs_bookrack Brandy wrote: "Oooo... *taps fingertips together for a menacing effect* The Lottery by Jackson BLEW MY 9th GRADE MIND! In a good way. LOL"
I haven't read that one actually!

message 5: by Brandy (new)

Brandy It's a MUST READ short story.

message 6: by Brandy (new)

Brandy One of those, "dang, I didn't see THAT coming!" endings.

Denise I really liked this one!

megs_bookrack Brandy wrote: "One of those, "dang, I didn't see THAT coming!" endings." Ohhh, nice! Adding!

megs_bookrack Denise wrote: "I really liked this one!"Nice! Glad to hear you enjoyed it, Denise! I need to start it ASAP!

message 10: by Debra (new) - added it

Debra I look forward to your thoughts

megs_bookrack Debra wrote: "I look forward to your thoughts" Thank you, Debra! I got halfway through today. Hoping to finish by Monday :)

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