Title: Back in the Burbs
Author(s): Tracy Wolff & Avery Flynn
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Would I Recommend? Yes, but only to a specific reader
Sometimes life sucks. Sometimes, you get stuck in stupid relationships and situations. Sometimes you don’t believe in yourself or have the confidence to succeed. Sometimes you don’t trust anyone.
Meet Mallory. A thirty-something female who can’t seem to get a win. She caught her husband cheating, her favorite Aunt Maggie died, her family can be opinionated, and Aunt Maggie left her a house. A house in need of a lot of work and money put into it. The term “hot mess” could not describe Mallory or her situation any better.
When she arrives at the house, she learns that Aunt Maggie had her own problems. She may have seemed okay and invincible, but things aren’t always as they appear. Not only that, but she just moved in next door to Nick. He may be hot, but his first impressions were not great. Mallory has a lot on her plate; connecting with old high school classmates, meeting new people, lawyering up against her cheating soon-to-be ex-husband, oh yeah, and repairing a house with little to no money or time…yikes.
So…how does all of this turn into a romance situation? When life gives you wine, Youtube, and the hotties in the neighborhood, there is a lot that can happen.
Listen, when I first read the synopsis of this book, I was not interested. I thought, “ugh…another 30-year-old navigating life and talking about the struggles of being an adult.” I am an adult, and I know the struggles that it has. I read to get away from that, not to immerse myself in it again! Honestly, it sounded boring and not my cup of tea.
No joke, I told my co-worker a week before how bad I thought the book would be. However, I listen to books and needed something to listen to. This one was free, so I figured what the heck.
This was not what I was expecting.
When you first start the book, Mallory comes across as whiny and helpless. But if you have ever been cheated on, caught them in the act, and have it be a completely toxic relationship, then you kind of get it. Have I been in that situation? Yup! Did I probably have a very similar monologue? Yeah, probably. Once you get past that first little bit of monologue and struggles, the “whininess” slows.
Throughout this story Mallory is starting to rediscover herself, what she wants, and “retrain” herself from what she was programmed to do. I really did enjoy seeing the character during this transition and how she morphed into something a little healthier. Not only that but the sass and independence she is striving for was wonderful.
I think what I enjoyed the most was that I related to the character. While I did not go through the same situation as Mallory, that transition and finding someone and yourself was relatable. I also really enjoyed Nick and his process of dealing with someone who is going through ALOT!
There were two scenes in this book that I loved!
- The first sex scene. Mallory is super insecure with how she looks. She lacks all confidence and realizes that her last relationship was horrible (especially with sex). Something with Nick brought her to life and it was something I wasn’t expecting.
- The final dinner scene. I don’t want to spoil it, but if you have a “Lord of the Rings” movie situation, then you’ll appreciate it. Nick’s dad, clueless as can be, but it adds so much humor to it.
Do I think this is a good book?
Would I have physically read the book?
Likely not. The narrator did an excellent job bringing the characters to life. I think that the first little bit of the story would have deterred me from finishing it.
Would I recommend this to anyone and everyone?
If you have ever been insecure about yourself, gone through shit, and struggled with past relationships….then this will likely bring a little humor to your life. There is not a lot of sex, but there is a lot of growth within Mallory (and Nick). It was refreshing to see things from a different perspective, yet one that I could seriously connect to. I don’t know what that says about me, but that’s okay!