Monday, January 1, 2018

The Social Neighbor by JL Mac

I had seen this in my "recommended books" for a while and I decided to give it a shot. I expected a bodice ripper with some sort of social media gimmick. What I got was a well thought out and developed romance novel that had none of the usual "surprises". Florance is a struggling author with a quirky best friend and a lot of emotional trauma. Graham is a successful businessman with his own demons to fight. Matt is the roommate who has always been there for Florance.

The prologue confused me at first and I almost sent the book back after the first few pages because I thought I had accidentally bought something else. But I continued on and quickly realized that this book was not going to be the usual boy meets girl. I read a lot from this genre and was excited to see a book that doesn't follow the usual pattern. The first few chapters I kept waiting for the earth-shattering "kaboom" which signaled the start of a relationship and the unrealistic "we're in love, even though we just met" scenario. But it doesn't come. The storyline moves slower and more realistically than other books in the genre. They get to the "I love you's" eventually, it is a romance, but the path is so much more intriguing than usual. Even after the, I love you it's not a straight course of bliss. JL Mac does a great job of giving the reader enough information so that they think they know where the story is headed but it's only after the shock of reading it does the reader realize how much they didn't know. I ended up reading the book in 2 days because I couldn't put it down. I'm still in shock over some of the things that were revealed and how the author was able to hide the secrets from the reader without the reader feeling like they were missing something.

The characters are well thought out and believable. Even when they do stupid things. This is a book that tells a story, it doesn't try to teach a moral. Written in a trade-off format the reader gets to see what each character is thinking and why they made the choices they did. There were a few things that broke up the storyline, and not in a good way.Some of the details were off like kicking an object with a foot that's in a cast and using "he" when I think the author meant "she".

Overall I really liked the book and I'm looking forward to reading other books by JL Mac.