About the Book:
Title: The Neighbor Favor
Author: Kristina Forest
Page Length: 416
Publication Date: Feb. 28, 2022
Publisher: Berkley Books
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 an editor of children’s books but has 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 e-mail turns into a tentative friendship and possibly something else Lily won’t let herself entertain–until he ghosts her.
Months later, still crushed but determined to take charge of her life, Lily seeks a date to her sister’s wedding. And the perfect person to help her is Nick Brown, her charming, attractive new neighbor, whom she feels drawn to for unexplainable reasons. Little does she know that Nick is an author–her favorite fantasy author.
Nick, who has his reasons for using a pen name and for pushing people away, soon realizes that the beautiful, quiet woman from down the hall is the same Lily he fell in love with over e-mail 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.
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When Lily emails her favorite author, she never expects him to message her back, but Nick is enchanted by Lily, and an online relationship begins. But when Nick suddenly ghosts Lily, she is devastated. Moths later, Lily meets Nick in the elevator of the apartment building where they both live. Not knowing Nick is the author who ghosted her, Lily begins to fall for Nick and invites him to her sister’s wedding. When Nick declines, Lily convinced him to help her find a date, but is that really what Nick wants? Afraid to get into a relationship, Nick keeps trying to push Lily away, but he can’t deny his ever-growing feelings for her. How will she react when she realizes that Nick is the man who ghosted her all those months ago?
I loved Lily and Nick’s story! They are both such fantastic, layered characters. Nick and Lily have very different backstories, and Nick especially struggles with trusting people and letting his guard down. He’s afraid he’ll make her life worse. He’s got such low self-esteem and a lack of worth. Even when he talks about being an author, he disregards his talent.
Lily, on the other hand, comes from a very supportive and loving if often smothering and over helpful, family. I especially like her relationship with her sisters. Though they are all so different and at different phases of their lives there is a wonderful bond between the trio. I love their texts and conversations and how they band together during the good times and bad. Lily knows that there will always be people there for her when she needs it. It takes his growing relationship with Lily to realize that Nick has this too, though it’s with his friends, not his family.
Though this is primarily a love story, there are some amazing messages about sisterhood, setting boundaries, starting over, and opening oneself up to love. Nick and Lily grow and change a lot as they make career, family, and relationship obstacles. I love that Lily starts to take charge of her career situation and begins to speak up with those who often steamroll right over her. And Nick faces relationships in his past, which changes him. Both have baggage and fears and struggles, but their arcs are excellent, and they show tremendous, healthy growth over the course of the story.
This was a great contemporary romance. It was fun and flirty and heartwarming, and there are some fantastic pop culture and literature references. Special thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with a copy of the book. All thoughts are my own.
- The romance!
- The sister relationship.
- The character growth.
He wondered if he could ever look at Lily and not feel like he’d been struck by lightning.
I would recommend The Neighbor Favor to readers who like contemporary romances with:
- meddlesome families
- talk about books
- fun email exchanges
- New York setting