The Neighborhood by Stylo Fantôme

RATING:
Neighbors: READ IT
The Neighborhood: BUY IT

Note: This was originally intended as a review for The Neighborhood (A Twin Estates Novel Book 2) by Stylo Fantôme, but I don’t want to assume that you’ve read Neighbors (A Twin Estates Novel Book 1) yet, so this will be an entirely spoiler-free review for both books.

Stylo Fantôme may have done something I never thought possible. She made me love a cliffy. Not just tolerate, but love. Neighbors ended exactly where it needed to end. I was thrilled to have the opportunity to jump into The Neighborhood immediately following {as do you}, but I have to believe that even if that hadn’t been the case, even though I would have certainly wanted more, I would have felt equally as satisfied with the fact that it ended where it did.

Neighbors is the story of Katya + Liam + Wulf, a love triangle of sorts. Katya Tocci, a twenty-three year old up-and-coming baker, reserved and sweet, and perhaps a bit naive to the ways of the world, meets Liam “Eden” Edenhoff, her neighbor, after her roommate sets up an online dating profile for her that is nothing like Katya {think librarian on sexual steroids}, except for the picture. Wulfric Stone is a man she knew as a child having grown up next door to him.

When the profile elicits a response outside of Katya’s norm, she decides to embrace the new non-Katya and Neighbors is a glimpse into that journey. Giving you any more would certainly suck the joy out of discovering this world for yourself. Suffice it to say,  the ending of Neighbors truly was the end of not just a chapter, but the end of the story as we knew it to be.

The Neighborhood picks up exactly where Neighbors left off.  Surprise. Betrayal. Heartache. Both of these books are a complex story of a young woman finding herself, discovering her sexuality, learning that what you see is not always as it seems and that people will often surprise you, for better or for worse.

Katya is still involved in a love triangle with these two men — Liam and Wulf. Liam, the carefree, happy-go-lucky, oftentimes immature, sexy neighbor and Wulf, the dark, difficult, broody, sexy man that she has crushed on since she was a teenager. Throughout the story, my own questioning of Katya’s choices and decision were  oftentimes addressed by Ms. Fantôme, almost uncannily. I would think, “Why would she do that?” or “Why would she believe that?” and then seemingly almost immediately, Katya would ask the same questions of herself. That doesn’t often happen for me and it definitely had a positive impact on my connection to Katya. However, I did often find her young and naive, but that is simply because she is those things. She’s twenty three, an only child and even though she lives with her best friend, Tori, in San Francisco and is for all intents and purposes an adult, she has led a very sheltered life.  And while I found myself frustrated at times with Katya, I knew that she would grow into a character that I would love—she simply had to grow up.

What could be seen as a coming-of-age story, The Twin Estates Novels does have that little-bit-of-something that feels a little darker. That little edge that Ms. Fantôme generally serves up in much greater quantities in her work. It worked here. I don’t often find myself seeking out coming-of-age tales, but with it all being just a little left of center, I ate it up.

As of 1.18.17, Neighbors and The Neighborhood are both available on Kindle Unlimited.

About Mila Grayson | KUBR

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