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The Neighbors Paperback – November 27, 2012

3.4 out of 5 stars 1,047 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Andrew Morrison is at loose ends, fed up with caring for his alcoholic mother and living out his life in a dying Kansas town. His break-out is to the nearby town in which his old friend Mickey lives, offering a chance to do something new. Although it’s not a big move physically, it is big enough psychologically to keep Andrew second-guessing the wisdom of his decision until he meets his neighbor, Harlow Ward, a woman who looks as if she’s the 1950s ideal of the perfect wife. She wears dresses and heels and bakes cookies, welcoming Andrew to the neighborhood. Despite his misgivings about Mickey’s sloth and squalor and the relentless chirpiness of Harlow’s devoted husband, Red, Andrew settles in and finds himself caught in a disturbing tableau. Ahlborn slowly builds suspense in this horror story of seeming suburban bliss. --Vanessa Bush

Review

“Discovering a new female, horror author is a rare find indeed, especially one who truly understand the subtlety of a good scare. …The Neighbors is a chilling look at what can potentially lie beneath the surface of classic Americana. Under the circumstance, calling Ania Ahlborn a “breath of fresh air” is probably about as appropriate as a fit of giggles at a funeral. So instead let’s just say she’s surprising and skin-crawly and as much fun as getting the snot scared out of you at your local haunted house.”
-Black Gate

"The Neighbors will have you guessing until the very end.  The characters are full of mystery and intrigue that keep you glued to the pages... I love mystery, suspense and thriller and this book delivered it all."
-Beautybrite

"Ahlborn has a keen eye for detail and through her narration, she transports you into Andrew’s world. Reading the novel is reminiscent of a vivid nightmare you wake up from: the imagery is so real, but it’s all in your imagination. The struggle the author addresses, replacing a void with the idea of a quaint and flawless home life, is very much real. The readers can relate to a character like Andrew, but maybe not to the extent of hopelessness that he has experienced."
-neontommy.com

"...tailor-made for readers who get completely excited about the creepy-crawly ‘Stephen King-y’ world. And…just between us…if you’re still afraid of Nightmare on Elm Street after all these years, wait till you get a load of the evil on Magnolia Lane!"
-Suspense Magazine

"Ania Ahlborn’s stunning and terrifying psychological thriller, The Neighbors, is a breathtaking journey into the desperate and gruesome underbelly of the suburban dream...a psychological thriller that will wrap you around its twisted finger in two seconds flat...Lit with equal parts beauty and horror, The Neighbors is an exquisitely terrifying ride through the landscape of the subconcious of evil."
-SheKnows.com
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 234 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas & Mercer (November 27, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1612184456
  • ISBN-13: 978-1612184456
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 5.2 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,047 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #215,291 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Born in Ciechanow Poland, Ania has always been drawn to the darker, mysterious, and sometimes morbid sides of life. Her earliest childhood memory is of crawling through a hole in the chain link fence that separated her family home from the large wooded cemetery next door. She'd spend hours among the headstones, breaking up bouquets of silk flowers so that everyone had their equal share.

Beyond writing, Ania enjoys cooking, baking, movies, and traveling.


Learn more about Ania on her site, www.AniaAhlborn.com.

Want to connect? Follow Ania on Twitter @aniaahlborn, or find her on Facebook at www.facebook.com/aniaahlborn.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition
The lack of character development and draggy plot only made the extremely disgusting horror scenes more detestable. The sexual deviance was creepy. Not in the way a good serial killer character is creepy. More like constant arousal and blood with poorly written dialogue occasionally thrown in. I like thrillers and well written horror. This was like an adult film "plot" surrounding the real purpose of the movie...only in this case, instead of sex it was pages and pages of nauseating bloody violence. There was also less detailed but prevalent theme of child sexual abuse. I skimmed the bloody parts but still feel queasy.
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Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
The Neighbors by Ania Ahlborn is being marketed as a cross between Blue Velvet and Basic Instinct -- but, I think a better marriage would be Disturbia weds the Stepford Wives. A strange tale of suburbia and sacrifice twists through the pages making this an engaging and captivating read. It's got cookies, drugs, dinners, tea and blood. What's not to love about this psychological twisted tale? Harlow is a true female psycho, both cunning, manipulative and determined in her manner and intelligence. She embraces the essences of a mommy dearest and American Beauty hybrid, adding both sympathy and loathing to the dimension of her character. Drew is just another sorry, young sap looking for a mother and love -- or is he? My only issue with the novel is the author's use of Andrew and Drew when referring to the same character. It can be confusing. I suppose the intent is to imply the formal transition to informal through the familiar use of the shortened 'nickname,' but it can be distracting. The impact of the exchange between Andrew and Drew throughout the novel can be argued, and a good thematic case might be made; however, I would have liked it to be a single change as intimacy evolved instead of a constant back and forth switch. Then again, it does play on the psychological indecisiveness of the characters. Well, there is only one way to settle this debate, pick up The Neighbors and read it for yourself. Tell me what you think about this stylistic technique. Did it work for you or distract you? I'm curious to know what other reads think!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Dumb story line, Just gore and guts. No plot. Don't waste your money. I bought it because I read The Seed" by the same author which was an OK book. But this one is a bomb.
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Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I love a good psychological thriller, and Ania Ahlborn does not disappoint in her second novel, The Neighbors. I have now downloaded her first novel, Seed.

It's the most perfect of the homes in a perfect Leave It to Beaver neighborhood. But what lies behind the white picket fence? And why is the house next door, the one into which Andrew Morrison is moving, the only blight on an otherwise picturesque street?

Andrew is moving in with Mickey, a friend he hasn't seen since they were children. He wants to leave behind an unhappy childhood home and agoraphobic, alcoholic mother. However, his new roommate is in some sort of disagreement with the neighbors, Red and Harlow. Andrew can't figure out why, because Red and Harlow live in the perfect house and seem to be the perfect couple.

As another reviewer mentioned, I do wish that Ahlborn would have taken it to the next level and allowed it to become even more twisted, a la Blake Crouch and Jack Kilborn. But, there is a lot of promise here and I'm looking forward to reading more from her.

Recommend.
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Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
If only author Ania Ahlborn had made this an R-rated thriller...This book has a quick pace, great set-up, perverse characters, and a wonderful cinematic thrill But the author holds back on letting the plot become too twisted and perverse, and the effect is akin to drinking near-beer instead of the real stuff, or eating a reduced-fat turkey hot dog instead of an all-beef dog loaded with chili, cheese, and relish. This book is good, but it left me wanting a more sordid tale. My appetite is whetted, but not satisfied.

I will read her book 'Sand' and see how I like that, and do recommend this book, just not fully. I'd like to see the unrated version!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The cover and the marketing for this book really got me. A seemingly perfect neighborhood with a creepy house? Yes please! And perfect neighbors who are creepy? Again, yes!!!

Andrew, or Drew, or Andy Morrison is a good boy getting away from a horrible situation. He basically gave up his life to look after his agoraphobic, alcoholic mother after his father took off with what he remembers to be another woman. When he sees his mother out of the house with a sack full of booze, Drew has had enough. An old friend Mickey, and he have connected through good old Facebook, and Mickey has offered him a room in his house at a VERY reduced price. This is Drew's chance, and he is thrilled with the picture perfect neighborhood, until he realizes Mickey's is the creepy, dilapidated house every nice neighborhood seems to have. He jumps right in, trying to clean away his, and the house's, problems. Meanwhile, Mickey sits on the couch, gaming his life away, although he is watching his old friend Drew from the corner of his eye. Through his dreams, hopes and cleaning, Drew can't keep his eyes off of the perfect house next door. And the lady of the house seems very neighborly, baking him cookies. Giving him a job. Drew's absolute dream. And the neighbor lady is SEXY!

This is where it falls apart. Every creepy scenario shows its head. Ania Ahlborn does okay, but she feels the need to include everything. Murder, mayhem, mind-control. Sex, drugs, rock and roll. The only thing missing is the mystery. You pretty much know what is going to happen as soon as Mickey starts to stir from the couch and Drew's mom apologizes and promises to clean up her act.

I will read more from Ahlborn, I think she has potential. She writes well, and Drew had some potential. So did the neighbor wife, Harlowe. A few cuts and a couple more drafts and this could have been a 4-star book.
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