Happy Tuesday, and happy release day! There’s more than a few exciting releases that are out today but todays post is focused on How To Love Your Neighbor by Sophie Sullivan. I got the chance to read an advanced copy last fall and it did not disappoint. I can wait to pick up my preorder of the physical copy and do a reread soon!
This book was absolutely adorable. I loved the enemies to lovers/sunshine and grumpy tropes, with a bit of forced proximity since Grace and Noah had to spend quite a lot of time together working on the same project. I really enjoyed the contrast between Grace and Noah’s personalities, it made their banter incredibly entertaining every time they interacted. The dynamic with the two of the was excellent and made the story quite interesting.
Grace grew up learning to do a lot of things on her own so she has an incredibly varies skill set. I like that she was a strong independent female lead, it’s admirable as a reader. She’s quite the handyman and ins’t afraid of doing everything herself which comes from having to fend for herself as a child living in a trailer park with a neglectful mother. On top of the skilled handyman Grace is going to design school while working multiple jobs and overall living a very busy life. I love Graces determination and motivation with everything in life and her passion for fixing up her new home. I found her to be quite the loveable character. Same with Noah on a different end. He seems cold and tough on the outside, but there’s definitely layers to him. He can be just as passionate about his work, when he finds the right project, and loves giving back to the community. I loved seeing the different sides of his personality and seeing the sweet side that he certainly has.
Both Grace and Noah had fears and troubles with relationships as growing up they both had less than adequate examples of them. Neither of them want to end up like their parents - for Noah his dad, and for Grace her mom - and that was obviously something that held them back from getting serious in a relationship. I liked that they were able to work through their fears even if it took them a while. I think that taking a while to work through those fears was good so it didn’t feel like things got rushed to solve issues in the book. It’s not always easy to work though fears, especially if it’s something that developed as a child so it made the story feel more realistic.
It was easy to see that Grace had a rather strained relationship with her mom, but being the only biological family she had left was the little piece that kept them connected. It made me glad that she eventually did stand up to her mom and not let her get away with what she had been doing. I liked that there was solid conversation between Noah and Grace about knowing that it’s okay to ask for help, and just because it a family matter doesn’t mean she has to handle everything on her own. Asking for help was definitely a hard thing for Grace to accept let alone go through with but I’m glad that she did eventually allow it.
With both Grace and Noah I enjoyed seeing the character development throughout the book. They both grew as individuals and as duo.
Something I was not expecting in the book, but did like is the fade-to-black scenes. When it comes to adult romances I’m always prepared for the romance scenes so it was a nice change to not have them this time. I liked how it kept the focus on the non-physical aspects of the relationship.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book, it had me going through all the emotions the entire time. It was a super cute and easy read that I found perfect for when I wanted to sit down and read a book in one-sitting. I will absolutely be reading this again and can’t wait to get my physical copy.
Thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for the ARC.