Book Reviews

Cobble Hill by Cecily von Ziegesar: ARC Book Review

This is a spoiler-free review.

Cobble Hill by Cecily von Ziegesar

Expected publication November 10th, 2020 by Atria Books.

My rating:

Rating: 3 out of 5.

From the number-one New York Times best-selling author of the Gossip Girl series, a deliciously irresistible novel chronicling a year in the life of four families in an upscale Brooklyn neighborhood as they seek purpose, community, and meaningful relationships—until one unforgettable night at a raucous neighborhood party knocks them to their senses.

Welcome to Cobble Hill.

In this eclectic Brooklyn neighborhood, private storms brew amongst four married couples and their children. There’s ex-groupie Mandy, so underwhelmed by motherhood and her current physical state that she fakes a debilitating disease to get the attention of her skateboarding, ex-boyband member husband Stuart. There’s the unconventional new school nurse, Peaches, on whom Stuart has an unrequited crush, and her disappointing husband Greg, who wears noise-cancelling headphones—everywhere.

A few blocks away, Roy, a well-known, newly transplanted British novelist, has lost the thread of his next novel and his marriage to capable, indefatigable Wendy. Around the corner, Tupper, the nervous, introverted industrial designer with a warehouse full of prosthetic limbs struggles to pin down his elusive artist wife Elizabeth. She remains…elusive. Throw in two hormonal teenagers, a 10-year-old pyromaniac, a drug dealer pretending to be a doctor, and a lot of hidden cameras, and you’ve got a combustible mix of egos, desires, and secrets bubbling in brownstone Brooklyn.

Smart, sophisticated, yet surprisingly tender, Cobble Hill is highly entertaining portrait of contemporary family life and the colorful characters who call Brooklyn home.

Thank you to the publisher, Atria Books/Simon & Schuster Canada, and NetGalley for providing me with an e-ARC of this book. All thoughts are my own.

I was so excited when I first heard about this new book written by Cecily von Ziegesar!

As a preteen I adored her Gossip Girl series (both the books and the tv show inspired by it). I remember borrowing at least 5 books from the series at a time from the library and reading them all in quick succession while sunbathing out on my porch on hot summer days.

I loved the way von Ziegesar described the cityscape of Manhattan in her novels. She always made it sound like such a magical place, full of incredible possibilities! The first time I travelled to New York City in college my roommate and I binge watched the show while we were there, and then made sure to visit many of its filming locations during our travels. It was so much fun to be in the shadows of such memorable characters as Blair Waldorf and Serena van der Woodsen. (And yes, we definitely posed for a photo on the Met steps. 😉)

So you can bet how elated I was to hear that she had written a soon-to-be published adult novel, featuring another NYC district, this time the Brooklyn neighbourhood, Cobble Hill.

The novel, aptly titled, focuses on four families who live in Cobble Hill, whose lives cross paths in the most unexpected of ways, and whose influence on each other leads to a variety of shenanigans.

Maybe it’s just because my preteen reading habits have predisposed me to like everything von Ziegesar writes, but I really enjoyed Cobble Hill! I found the variety of characters not too excessive to be confusing, but not too narrow to be boring, and the hijinks they got into the perfect balance of relatable and ridiculous that kept me hooked until the very end.

And, as to be expected from the woman who brought us Blair and Serena, the characters in this story were the perfect mix of interesting, applicable and flawed – making them feel fresh, genuine, and compelling the entire time.

While this book wasn’t overly deep or filled with philosophical truths about the world at large, I thought it was a fun and light read that kept me engaged until the very last page. I highly recommend it to anyone looking for an easily enjoyable read!

Have you read any recent books by authors you loved when you were younger?

Were they any good?

Let me know!

Liza is a twenty-something book blogger who spends way too much time with her nose in books and feels way too much. She loves cooking, baking, reality tv show watching and, of course, reading. She can be found most often with a cup of tea in one hand and a book in the other. Her blog, Literary Liza, features bookish content like reviews, recommendations, and author interviews.

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