The Neighbor Favor
By Kristina Forest
Rating: 5/5 Genre: Contemporary Romance Steam: Explicit Publisher: Berkley Romance Pub Date: 28 February, 2023 Thank you so much Berkley Romance for allowing me to read an ARC! All opinions are my own. Available: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | BookShop
The Neighbor Favor Synopsis:
Shy, bookish, and admittedly awkward, Lily Greene has always felt inadequate compared to the rest of her accomplished family, who strive for Black excellence. She dreams of becoming a children’s books editor, but she’s been frustratingly stuck in the nonfiction division for years without a promotion in sight. Lily finds escapism in her correspondences with her favorite fantasy author, and what begins as two lonely people connecting over email turns into a tentative friendship and possibly something else Lily won’t let herself entertain—until he ghosts her without a word.
Months later, Lily is still crushed, but she’s determined to get a hold of her life, starting with finding a date to her sister’s wedding. And the perfect person to help her is Nick Brown, her charming, attractive new neighbor, who she feels drawn to for reasons she can’t explain. But little does she know, Nick is an author—her favorite fantasy author.
Nick, who has his reasons for using a pen name and pushing people away, soon realizes that the beautiful, quiet girl from down the hall is the same Lily he fell in love with over email months ago. Unwilling to complicate things even more between them, he agrees to set her up with someone else, though this simple favor between two neighbors is anything but—not when he can’t get her off his mind…
The Neighbor Favor Review
Y'all the way this book enchanted me. From the truly "aw" moments of the characters to the writing to the plot and every little piece in between this book was everything I needed and more. Lilly works as an assistant in adult non-fiction but wants so badly to a children's book editor for diverse stories. Nick wrote her favorite book but hides behind a pseudonym. The serendipity of how these two "met" and their emails back and forth captured me. It was so entertaining and I loved the length of time that it went. Perfection. When these two meet in real-life it is lovely. Yes, it feels a bit like Spoiler Alert by Olivia Dade in that info withholding is the major plot point. BUT it did not feel as "icky" (?) as Spoiler Alert. Nick has an excellent rationale that fits so well with his character that you completely understand. I seriously felt so much for this fictional, fine-a** man. His life, his insecurities, and all of this thoughts in the book that are just puppy eyes adorable! I loved Lilly and her family. Creating a chaotic-ish family dynamic can be difficult in a book, but this was so beautifully done. Every single piece of this book just hit every note. Lilly was so good and I loved how she changed throughout the novel too. She's one of those characters with quiet strength and pizazz, which fit perfectly with the story. And her love of books too. I may be a bit biased but I was LIVING for all of the discussion around some older YA novels because I had read so many of them myself. The ending of this book was everything I want in a novel: COMPLETION. So often books finish the resolution on the last or second to last page. No. I want things drawn a little more out and most all of the plots concluded nicely. This book delivers on that.
Long Story Short
Do I recommend this book? YESSSS!!! After finishing this book I IMMEDIATELY texted a few of my friends and gushed about it because it was everything we wanted. The diversity in the characters, the freshness of the plot, the engaging writing, the subtle softness. Ughhhh, I loved this book so freaking much. I hope that many, many, many people pick it up!! Highly, HIGHLY, recommend this book!
If You Liked This One…
I think that you would LOVE Lease on Love by Falon Ballard (review). It’s soft and sweet and a SLOW burn too. So freaking good. Additionally, Bet on It by Jodie Slaughter (review) would be another great read if you liked this one. It’s a little heavier with the CW, but delightful. This book is so soft and comfortable that it’s hard to compare!