I think we all know by now that I love a rom-com between bookish characters, so I was thrilled to get a copy of The Neighbor Favor by Kristina Forest. Big thank you to Berkley!
|Pub Date: 2-28-23|
Adult - Contemporary
Lily Greene has always preferred books to people. While the rest of her family is loud and boisterous, Lily is shy and awkward. She dreams of becoming a children's book editor but has been working as an assistant in the non-fiction division for years with no hope for promotion. One day, Lily decides to throw caution to the wind and emails her favorite fantasy author for advice, never thinking she'd hear back, but he replies. Over a few months, the two develop a close connection-- until he ghosts Lily.
Nick Brown is used to relying only on himself. His family life was never ideal, and he left his small town as soon as possible and never looked back. Nick has spent the last few years as a travel journalist, but his best friend/agent convinces him to move to New York after the book Nick wrote in college, under a pen name, gets bought by a big publishing house. Nicks moves into an apartment building and is instantly drawn to his quiet, beautiful neighbor, Lily-- the same Lily he fell in love with over emails months ago. Nick is unwilling to complicate things further, so he keeps their history to himself and agrees to help Lily find a date for her sister's wedding. As the pair spend more time together, neither can deny the growing attraction, but can a relationship built on a lie survive?
I adored this! Forest's writing was so engaging and easy to read. I flew through this in almost one sitting because I didn't want to put it down. I connected to Lily right off the bat. As a fellow shy, introverted bookworm, I found her so relatable. I loved the relationship with her family and how, even though they drove her crazy at times, they were so supportive of her. But the highlight here was her relationship with Nick. I'm a sucker for an epistolary novel, so I loved reading the emails between them and seeing their connection form, but it shone once they were face-to-face. It was so satisfying watching Nick finally open up to someone. I fully expected to have issues with the miscommunication over the emails, but it was handed in a very mature way, so I didn't mind it as much. It did run into some pacing issues here and there, and some scenes felt unnecessary, but overall, I thought this was great, and I'm looking forward to the next book.
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