Book Review: Back in the Burbs by Avery Flynn & Tracy Wolff

Title: Back in the Burbs
Author: Tracy Wolff, Avery Flynn
Release Date: March 30, 2021
Genre: Adult, Contemporary Romance
Rating: ★★

Synopsis

Ever have one of those days where life just plain sucks? Welcome to my last three months—ever since I caught my can’t-be-soon-enough ex-husband cheating with his paralegal. I’m thirty-five years old, and I’ve lost my NYC apartment, my job, my money, and frankly, my dignity.

But the final heartache in the suck sandwich of my life? My great-aunt Maggie died. The only family member who’s ever gotten me.
Even after death, though, she’s helping me get back up. She’s willed me the keys to a house in the burbs, of all places, and dared me to grab life by the family jewels. Well, I’ve got the vise grips already in hand (my ex should take note) and I’m ready to fight for my life again.

Too bad that bravado only lasts as long as it takes to drive into Huckleberry Hills. And see the house.
There are forty-seven separate HOA violations, and I feel them all in my bones. Honestly, I’m surprised no one’s “accidentally” torched the house yet. I want to, and I’ve only been standing in front of it for five minutes. But then my hot, grumpy neighbor tells me to mow the lawn first and I’m just…done. Done with men too sexy for their own good and done with anyone telling me what to do ever again.

First rule of surviving the burbs? There is nothing that YouTube and a glass of wine can’t conquer.


Review

Back in the Burbs is a slow-moving yet somewhat funny story of Mallory who is trying to pick up the pieces of her life after she finds her ex-husband cheated on her. Her whole life revolved around him, from her job to her money and living situation so it’s difficult for her to wake up one morning and have absolutely nothing. Luckily her Aunt Maggie has left her a beautiful Victorian house in the burbs that has seen better days but holds promise, as does the hot neighbor across the street.

This book was nothing like I expected it to be. I thought I would get this hilarious story about home improvement shenanigans and hot neighbor hookups. Instead I got Mallory who is trying to get back into the swing of things again but is constantly drowning in self-pity. We get cleaning montages but no actual home improvement challenges. The romance was very slow moving as well with no steamy scenes until the end of the book. I also wanted to see her take her ex to the cleaners but none of that either.

It had potential but dropped a lot of the interesting plot lines from the beginning of the book that could have made the story great. Friendship, romance, family issues were all introduced but never really followed though on. I wanted to see these relationships grow and evolve, to see Mallory evolve, instead we just kinda epilogue our way into an ending that really left a lot to be desired. Some things are never even mentioned again like what happens with the house which kinda seems important?

The Martin family is a hot mess. It was actually upsetting how rude Mallory’s own parents were to her about her divorce and her ex cheating on her. We get a smidge of resolution there or maybe understanding is a better word, but even then a major plot line is never mentioned again after is disappears from the story.

I came out of this book feeling like I enjoyed it but as I write this review it’s apparent I really didn’t. Super disappointed because I was really looking forward to this one but it was a classic case of show don’t just tell me. It had potential but just was not for me.

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