Neighborly by Ellie Monago

Severe TRIGGER WARNING for this book. This book contains sexual trauma involving minors and “swinging” among semi-consenting adults. If you are sensitive to things containing trauma or sexual exploitation, please do not read this book or my review.

Love thy neighbor…

Kat and Doug are over-the-moon when they move into their dream neighborhood. It has all of the bells and whistles they think they want and need to provide their young daughter with everything she needs to succeed in life. We quickly meet the neighbors and get to know their quirks… and their secrets.

Neighborly was written by practicing therapist Ellie Monago. She has authored two novels and is a busy wife and mother. You can read more about Ellie Monago here.

This book is filled with quite interesting characters, and we are quickly introduced to them as the novel takes off. Our main character and narrator, Kat, starts off seeming very insecure and standoffish. Her husband, Doug, seems extremely delightful and charming and quite the doting husband and father. They have a four-month-old daughter, Sadie, and have just bought their first home. This neighborhood is like a character all its own, holding secrets, twists, turns, and a deadly revelation.

There are some heavy topics within this book. And I would have greatly appreciated Ellie Monago placing a trigger warning disclaimer in the book’s introduction. The story is actually really good, and I genuinely enjoyed reading this book. The twists were well placed, and the overall writing is very smart. Monago is a practicing therapist, as she can describe emotions and feelings extremely well. She makes you really feel uncomfortable with certain instances, which work within the writing but leave you shocked as a reader. Be prepared to have your breath taken away, several times, not necessarily in a good way.

Please read this book with caution; as I mentioned at the beginning of this review, this book contains several trigger warnings.

Overall, I did enjoy the book. I was taken back by how certain plot points were just dropped in my lap, but I think the “shock” factor was intentional. I would be willing to read a novel by Ellie Monago again, but this time I will go into it with a more prepared frame of mind. I give this book 3 out of 5 stars.

You can find Neighborly by Ellie Monago on Amazon.

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