Recommended Read, Review

Review: Her Big City Neighbor by Jackie Lau (2020)

Cider Bar Sisters, Book 1

Heat Factor: Yup, there is some boning.

Character Chemistry: “Why is she trying to be my friend? She is so perky!”

Plot: Amy moves to the Big City, enthusiastically embraces Big City Life…and her new neighbor. 

Overall: This is some A+ grumpy/sunshine action and it’s just what I needed.

To start with, I feel I must mention that initially, the writing style was a little bit off-putting. We meet Amy, who has just moved to Toronto from a small town, and she is so excited! So she walks down Bloor street to RamenStop and eats some fresh ramen, and then she keeps walking to Baldwin Village and gets some taro ice cream from Ginger Scoops. Taro ice cream! Can you believe it?!?! But then I realized – Amy’s chapters are told in this expository, detail-heavy way on purpose. These details are what she gets excited about. And when she talks to Victor, her hot but grumpy neighbor, she talks exactly the same way. She’s exploring Toronto, and wants to bring everyone along for the ride. In the end, the writing grew on me, but the level of detail may not work for all readers. 

With that said, Amy and Victor make a really fun pairing. Amy is sunshine and rainbows and joy – not because she’s naive, but because she chooses to be. Victor is a truly miserable grump who has closed himself off from the world since the death of his brother, and pretty much does nothing outside of work but stay home and mow his lawn. As with any good grump, he is extremely annoyed when perky Amy moves next door and tries to befriend him, but she grows on him. (As a grump with several extremely perky close friends…I feel you Victor.) 

Victor definitely needs some therapy, like, yesterday, but in this case it didn’t bother me too much, because his struggle with grief really defines his character arc. And Lau isn’t flippant about the solution, but rather treats his process with empathy. 

Here’s what you really need to know about this book: after I finished reading it, I immediately started reading another book by Jackie Lau. And then I read another one. And another one… 

I voluntarily read and reviewed a complimentary copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own. We disclose this in accordance with 16 CFR §255.

Buy Now: Amazon

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