I decided to do a double book review for these 2 books as i think they are pretty similar. When i finished Things i want my daughter to know, i discussed it with a librarian, and the best way to describe it was, like an episode or 2 of heartbeat. I loved heartbeat, and enjoyed the fact that it was easy to follow and it was all wrapped up at the end. This book started off quite sad, but then moved on to watching the daughters deal with their mum dying, referring to a journal she had written and the letters she wrote for them. Sometimes it seemed slightly contrived, with things only happening just for a twist in the story line but not really flowing. Although I enjoyed reading this I'm not going to keep it, like i do with most of my other books.
The Girl next door, is based in new york, in a block of apartments, and follows their lives over a year. It took me a while to learn who all the characters were and their backgrounds ( there is a description at the front of the book that i had to refer to a couple of times!). The lead characters have just moved to new york, and it seems like the husband changes his personality as soon as he arrives, and becomes quite self centred and his wife becomes quite clingy. The other characters are quite stereo typical, the gay couple are stylish, the quiet librarian, the layabout rich boy, the focused girl from the sticks, the wannabe bitchy socialite and the standoffish older English lady. We learn a little bit about most of these characters, but i don't feel the gay couple added anything to the story, and were only added 'to be gay'. i would however have liked to know more about Charlotte the librarian. There is also a sub plot involving 2 couples and their children. Again i enjoyed this book, but it's not a keeper.
3 Stars out of 5 for them both