Monday, June 14, 2010

Review: Strange Neighbors by Ashlyn Chase

What a great week here in Hawaii.  After not feeling well, and just being run down from the moment I got here, it is nice to finally be looking forward to getting out in the beautiful sun for awhile!  In two weeks, my best friend "Doc" will be flying in for a week-long break from med school. Then, the night she flies out, my other good friend Kris will fly in for a week-long visit.  While I'm sure I have some appeal for my friends, I feel much more confident that this beautiful environment is the real "final straw" on their decision to come visit.  (No, I'm not offended at all.  At least I get them here to visit!)

Reading has been really good for me this year.  As you might recall from years previous, I don't always do so great in the summer.  However, since really trying to reach my daily 10,000 step quota (which it took me over a week to finally accomplish here), I've been able to combine reading and walking.  I know.  It sounds crazy, but I really love grabbing a book, and taking off for a walk. 

On that note, of walking and reading, during the 48 hour marathon I finished up Strange Neighbors, which I read over the course of several long walks.  It was a fun read, and allowed my imagination to run a bit wild!

Synopsis:  Merry McKenzie was determined to live her own life, single and in the big city of Boston, as a nurse.  However, upon moving into her building, she not only meets a hunky pro baseball player that she learns has some paranormal tendencies, but so do most of her neighbors!  Strange things happen, such as shape shifting, bewitching, and vampire action.  Merry loves her freedom, but develops strong feelings for her ball player neighbor.  How will she manage losing her freedom, and all the weird behavior she sees in not only the people who live in her building, but from her own boyfriend?

Review:  To put it simply, I found this book to be cute and engaging.  The relationship between Merry and her ball player Jason, picks up so quickly that you really do start flipping through pages to see where they are headed.  Also, the number of quirky neighbors and things we learn about their lives and, in some cases, their connection to Merry, give the story a lot of energy.  I found the story to be cute, fast moving, and easy to connect to.

The only drawback I found was in the quick connection between Merry and Jason, which left over half of the book for some new angle to pop up to keep the tension going.  I thought the author handled this challenge well, by creating other tensions between the couple, because of all the paranormal activity that popped up to weird out our main character.  In some ways, I think the sexual connection between the two characters was also supposed to keep you reading, but until things were up in the air between them towards the end of the novel, I felt like "he caught her, now what."  Don't get me wrong.  The book is a really cute escape read, and if you like a mixture of paranormal creatures that live in the same world, then this book is perfect for mixing all of those elements.

*FTC Disclosure:  This book was provided by Sourcebooks for review only.

Thank you to Sourcebooks for providing me with an opportunity to review another fun book!  Strange Neighbors came out on June 1st.  Check out Strange Neighbors for more information on purchasing the book for yourself.


  1. I agree. I think she could have let Jason and Merry's tension last longer and drag it out further then she had. I felt like she lost steam and just through whatever and it kind of went off in it's own direction. Almost lost in a way. It was fun. That's about it for me! Good review

  2. This book sounds pretty cute. These stories are usually pretty good for a summer read!

  3. It does sound very cute, but I don't know... I tend to have limited patience with those types of books.

  4. Sounds like a good book to get help you feel like new. It's always nice to be able to escape into a good book. Have a great time with your friends in Hawaii! :)

  5. Jaime--Thank you for validating that quick hook up bothering me! I'm glad it wasn't just me. It was a fun book, but I wasn't so into that quick get together.

    Amused--It is a fun book, and a quick escape read.

    Heidenkind--I will say that it was fun to read, and even though they hooked up pretty quick, there is a twist towards the end too. Not my most favorite in paranormal, but a bit different from others, so I have to give her credit for playing with the genre a little.

    Samantha--Thanks! It was fun escaping into something different. :)

  6. I had never heard of this book before. I'm so happy Sourcebooks provided you with a copy for review, because I now really want to read it.

    Also, I admire you for being able to keep up with the 10.000 steps a day!