Sydney Green is Brooklyn born and raised, but her beloved neighborhood seems to change every time she blinks. Condos are sprouting like weeds, FOR SALE signs are popping up overnight, and the neighbors she’s known all her life are disappearing. To hold onto her community’s past and present, Sydney channels her frustration into a walking tour and finds an unlikely and unwanted assistant in one of the new arrivals to the block—her neighbor Theo. But Sydney and Theo’s deep dive into history quickly becomes a dizzying descent into paranoia and fear. Their neighbors may not have moved to the suburbs after all, and the push to revitalize the community may be more deadly than advertised.
I liked Sydney right from the start when we are introduced to her at the tour of the neighborhood and she challenges the tour guide. She is very unforgiving of her attitude towards these families that have come and are seemingly taking over yet she knows when to leave things alone even though it’s unfair and very racist. She was a little bit of an unreliable character which did get on my nerves a bit but I think it was realistic when we find out what she has had to deal with.
Theo I didn’t feel as connected to as Sydney. It was an interesting perspective to put into the book for sure as we kind of get to see things from the other side of the ‘invaders’. I didn’t really know what his intentions were right up to the climax of the book. I was annoyed that he wouldn’t call out the problematic language his girlfriend would use and make excuses for her when she was obviously racially profiling people and using her white privilege to get what she wanted.
I loved the feeling of comradery between the neighbors and that sense of familiarity and comfort that can be had by knowing so much about the people around you and then how violating that can be when new people keep forcing their way in. The book was a little slow in terms of pace for a good two thirds of the book but the ending does ramp up. There was just this ominous tone that was woven throughout the storyline that kept me hooked and eager to find out what was going to happen next and boy could I not predict that ending!
⭐️4/5 stars Darker than what I was expecting!