Reviews

The Perfect Neighbors by Sarah Pekkanen

connieaw's review against another edition

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4.0

Great summer read.

kbranfield's review against another edition

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4.0

4.5 stars.

The Perfect Neighbors by Sarah Pekkanen is a compelling novel about the secrets of four neighbors living in idyllic Newport Cove, one of the twenty safest communities in America.

The oldest of the friends, Gigi Kennedy is happily married to husband, Joe, who is running for Congress while juggling his day job as a lawyer for an environmental company. She is a dedicated mom to their two daughters, fifteen year old Melanie and twelve year old Julia but she has a few secrets she would rather keep under wraps. Her biggest concern at the moment is her volatile relationship with Melanie, who has morphed from an innocent, happy young woman into a secretive, argumentative teenager Gigi barely recognizes. While she is very supportive of Joe’s bid for office, she is not at all happy with the intense media scrutiny and she is rather suspicious of her husband’s twenty-two year old campaign manager, Zach.

Recently returning to work after staying home with her two children, ten year Mia and seven year old Noah, Kellie Scott is rediscovering herself. A real estate agent who is indulging in a not quite so innocent flirtation with her good-looking, married co-worker, Kellie is growing increasingly unhappy in her long-term marriage to her high school sweetheart, Jason. Instead of focusing on Jason’s positive qualities, all she can see are his flaws and Kellie cannot help but wonder if she can endure a future filled with the same old things year in and year out.

An über successful businesswoman, Susan Barrett is struggling to move past her ex-husband Randall’s betrayal. While she is grateful he is still an active part of their son Cole’s life, she cannot help but resent the new life he has created with his girlfriend Daphne. Living the same neighborhood as her ex, Susan spends her free evenings sitting outside his house where she tortures herself by imagining what might be happening behind closed. Stunned by the happy couple’s latest news, Susan cannot help but reflect on why her marriage failed.

Newcomers to Newport Cove, Tessa Campbell and her husband Harry are a bit of enigma. An overprotective mom of two, Tessa tries to keep her distance from their new neighbors. Although she quickly succumbs to the warm welcome from Gigi, Kellie and Susan, she remains very tight-lipped about her family’s past. Of course, her new friends are a little curious about why Tessa keeps such a close eye on her two children, nine year old Bree and seven year old Addison. However, it is not until Harry’s shocking panic on Halloween that the three women seriously begin to question what is going on with Campbell family.

While the various events with Kellie, Susan and Gigi occur in the present, the truth about Tessa’s past is slowly revealed through a series of flashbacks. Going all the back to when Bree was a few months old, an interesting picture begins to emerge as Tessa struggles with single parenting since Harry is frequently out of town for business. Completely stressed and overwhelmed, she sees danger lurking behind every corner and after a few overreactions about her children’s safety, Tessa questions her judgment. All of her worries culminate in a shocking act that precipitates the family’s sudden move to Newport Cove.

Despite the outward peaceful appearance of Newport Cove, the enclave’s newsletter is quite entertaining as neighbors complain about barking dogs and the mystery dog pooping on various residents’ lawn. A curmudgeon homeowner goes to great lengths to ensure everyone stays off his lawn while another neighbor goes out of her way to stick her nose into the newsletters’ various announcements, questions and grievances. Despite the sometimes nitpicky complaints, there is a strong sense of community as everyone goes about their day to day lives. Readers will easily relate to the nuisance complaints (because who hasn’t experienced these things in their neighborhood?!) while at the same time, they will also appreciate the close-knit friendships between Kellie, Susan, Gigi and Tessa.

The Perfect Neighbors is an engaging novel of friendship with a captivating dash of mystery. The different storylines about each of the women are absolutely riveting and there is plenty of anticipation over how each of the women’s issues will be resolved. While all of the story arcs are interesting, the suspense about the reasons behind Tessa and Harry’s sudden move to Newport Cove is what keeps the pages turning at a blistering pace. Old and new fans of Sarah Pekkanen are sure to love this newest release.

noemielise's review against another edition

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5.0

This is quite a good story, following four mothers, their secrets, their struggles. You keep wanting more, guessing what will happen next.

winona_reads3's review against another edition

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3.0

cute summer read
similar to Moriarty story lines, characters weave but all connect.

fantasyreader223's review against another edition

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3.0

Seemed a little too predictable I did like Susan's character a lot!

jsingh's review against another edition

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dark emotional mysterious reflective medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.0

I love Pekkanen's style. It's so sleek yet relatable. This was an entertaining read! I felt like it was a little slow to start but I got more into it as the plot thickened. I think Kelly's storyline was my favorite.

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cupcakegirly's review against another edition

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3.0

I enjoyed the Desperate Housewives vibe this story had going on, especially since it wasn't over-the-top dramatic. Four different women. Four different secrets. All of them written in a realistic and relateable way. I was more invested in one character over the others, but each woman's story held my interest and kept me turning the page.

I really liked the friendships in this. The women were supportive of each other but also didn't shy away from calling each other out when necessary--in such a way that didn't cause permanent damage to the relationship. Basically, they behaved like adults.

"Marriage is like a muscle. You have to work at keeping it strong so it doesn't atrophy."

**Thank you to the publisher for providing an ARC in exchange for an honest review.**

canary224's review against another edition

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mysterious medium-paced

3.0

pikasqueaks's review against another edition

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this was like a watered down desperate housewives, which made for very gentle and encouraging noise for morning runs.

lisaeirene's review against another edition

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2.0

Not very good. I wanted something light to read for a summer vacation and this was pretty mindless. There wasn't a lot of substance to it, too many characters, I only kind of cared about a few of the characters and the other stories were boring and I skimmed a lot. It just wasn't well written, wasn't engaging or interesting and there really wasn't much of a story.