Book Review: Dangerous Neighbors

Dangerous Neighbors

Beth Kephart

Egmont USA

192 pages

Very few of us know what it is like to be a twin.  The unbreakable bond that comes along with such a relationship is unfathomable, even if the two people in question are unaware of it.  Katherine has had a tumultuous relationship with her twin sister Anna over the past few months, as Anna attempts to break free of the tight knit relationship the sisters share.  Although Katherine is deeply frustrated and irritated over Anna’s defection, her whole world collapses when Anna dies and she is left alone.

Dangerous Neighbors begins after Anna’s death, as Katherine struggles to cope with what has happened.  She is desolate and completely without hope, which pervades the emotional backdrop of the book.  Although it is a theme that could take place anywhere, at any time, the setting is actually Philadelphia in 1876, during which time the centennial celebration is taking place.  I was anticipating a rich historical background with some good drama and enlightenment, and the setting did not disappoint in that respect.  I have an issue when it comes to reading YA historical fiction, that issue being that it is just not a genre I often pick up.  There is no reason as to why that is.  I enjoy historical fiction.  I enjoy YA fiction.  Apparently it just doesn’t come together for me all too often.

Jen, from Devourer of Books, was kind enough to send me a copy of Dangerous Neighbors after I commented on her blog that I wanted to read it.  Quite possibly she was just getting sick of me commenting on every review post of Kephart that I planned to read her but just hadn’t gotten around to it yet!  However, I am going to be honest and say that I wasn’t as impressed with this book as much as I had hoped to or expected to be.  I was kind of expectant, given that Jen’s review clearly mentioned that it was not her favorite Kephart book.  I went into it totally intrigued by the synopsis, and while there were interesting parts in the book, they happened few and far between.  Not to be a total copycat, but I agree with Jen’s theory that maybe Kephart focused too much on her writing style and not as much on following through with the plot. There were way too many holes and too much dead space.  For a book that was only two hundred pages, there were times when it felt a lot longer.

I wouldn’t say that Dangerous Neighbors has turned me off of Kephart completely.  In any normal circumstance, I probably would not read anything else by an author after reading such a lackluster book, but given the fact that Kephart is a pretty well revered YA author around the blogosphere, I would definitely be willing to give her another go.

Other Reviews:

Devourer of Books

Dear Author

Books, Movies & Chinese Food

Write Meg!

Word Lily

You’ve GOTTA Read This!

Caribous Mom

Booking Mama

I received a copy of this book from a fellow blogger.

3 Responses

  1. I haven’t read Kephart yet either, but I rarely read this particular kind of book, so it will probably be some time before I get to her. 🙂

  2. I’ve never read Kephart. I, too, like YA and historical fiction but don’t often read historical YA fiction!

  3. I really appreciate this review because most of what I’ve seen about Kephart’s books on the blogs is glowing. I’m looking forward to reading her books, but I’m glad to see a review that isn’t all gushing. A friend let me borrow this book, so I’ll be reading it in the new year!

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