THE FAMILY NEXT DOOR
To prep-school teacher Diane Bittner and her teenage daughter, Brittany, The Family Next Door (2) is newcomer Josh Lorenz and his teenage daughter, Carly. Josh was the jury member who kept the man who murdered Diane's husband out of jail, and Carly's goth style doesn't fit in with the kids at Brea Academy. Jacqueline Diamond's latest looks like a recipe for disaster, and if readers overlook the over-full plot, it's gratifying to watch this unlikely foursome navigate the muddy waters of tight-knit community relationships. But the intricate histories of the large supportive cast weigh down the already complicated plot, making some moments a struggle to read.
Whitney Kate Sullivan