Confessions of a Neighbor

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Reviews of Confessions of a Neighbor, A Ballet Book Thriller by Heather Nadine Lenz



5.0 out of 5 stars – One of the better contemporary reads I’ve picked up in a long time

 Madison H. October 13, 2017

“Now here is a really great, well-written book with a truly thrilling story. I could not get enough of this book. The main character, Ella, is a 16-year-old girl that goes through unimaginable circumstances. She is trying to pursue her career as a ballerina but after being rejected at several auditions and losing her only 2 close relatives, she finds her self suffering from depression and isolation. Her older, married neighbor, Owen takes an unhealthy interest in her. After a dinner invitation and some alcohol, she wakes up in his room unsure about exactly what happened. Well, she ends up pregnant and very unhappy about it. She avoids her daughter after birth but once she finally does hold her, she completely falls in love. What happens with the child is even more suspenseful. The entire story is full of thrill and suspense. It is definitely one of the books that I finished faster than I had wanted to because I just couldn’t slow down my reading. It is definitely a great read that is wonderfully written and I highly recommend it.”

5.0 out of 5 stars – One of the better contemporary reads I’ve picked up in a long time

on October 20, 2017
“One of the better contemporary reads I’ve picked up in a long time. I’d never heard of Heather Lenz before but was turned on to this book buy a friend of mine, who, like me, is a self-professed bibliophile.

Suspense and mystery are my go-to genre, with Lee Child and Jonathan Kellerman among two of my favorite authors, and I can tell you that engaging plot development is a hand-crafted skill that few writers really possess. Heather Lenz definitely has that skill. She builds up a beautiful crescendo of emotional breakdown within the main character, Ella, and we suffer through her own mental collapse as she navigates her increasingly unstable personal environment. Exactly the kind of stuff you want to from a suspense novel. It almost in a way reminds me of the breakdown of Princess Mary in Lermontov’s “A Hero of Our Time”, as far as watching the heroine wilt away into a sad state of despair, while keeping her hopes and dreams within reaching distance. And of course, you’ll have to read the book yourself to see how it all works out 🙂 Definitely a recommended read, you won’t regret picking this book up..”

5.0 out of 5 stars – I will read this one again and again!

on March 30, 2017

“Amazingly well written! I had a very difficult time putting it down. The characters were complex and very well developed. The book was paced like a roller coaster; it built up the suspense, then lulled you into a false sense of security, and then began the suspense again! I will definitely be reading this one again for many years.”

5.0 out of 5 stars – Gripping Tale of a Stalker

By Blanca Rosa on February 09, 2017
“Ella is feeling particularly alone after the death of her grandmother, the last in her family. At only 16 years old she is trying to make her way as a ballet dancer, studying and training hard whilst working in a restaurant to make ends meet. This novel is full of twists and turns and the feeling of menace steadily grows. Ella has no idea that the seemingly innocent practice of spying on her neighbour will put her in grave danger. Fortunately for Ella, as well as being the victim of master manipulators, she has a kindly guardian angel who is keeping one step ahead of her and smoothing her path through life.”

5.0 out of 5 stars – I highly recommend this novel!

By Denise Lucas February 22, 2017
“Confessions of a Neighbor written by author Heather Nadine Lenz was a refreshing thriller/mystery story. The story is set in Switzerland, which adds a very different cultural take to the story. The reader follows the main character Ella, through her struggles with the loss of her mother and grandmother and her triumphs throughout the book. Ella is a ballet dancer who tries to help her neighbor, Owen, who she witnesses being abused by his wife. The story takes a strange turn as Ella may be suffering from some mental illness issues, and realizes that the neighbor who she was trying to help, may not be the person she thought he was. Fear is a common theme throughout the novel, and at points I found myself getting goosebumps. The author did a terrific job on making the characters realistic, relatable, and believable. I thoroughly enjoyed this story and was enthralled from the first few pages. I highly recommend this novel!”

Hard to Put Down

on March 19, 2017
“Confessions of a Neighbor by Heather Nadine Lenz follows the young life of Ella. Ella is quite young, only sixteen, and has recently lost both her mother and grandmother. She lives alone in a studio apartment, and is struggling at life, trying to become a real ballerina and support herself with a waitressing job. Compulsively lonely and alone, Ella begins to watch her neighbors across the way through their window and witnesses what she thinks is spousal abuse, this time the man being abused by his wife. Once down this voyeuristic path, it is hard for her to stop. With plenty of twists and turns to the story; Ella actually meets the man who is being abused; and lots of tension throughout, this is a compelling and gripping story about stalking that takes on a life of it’s own. Lenz does an excellent job of creating tension in the story, and fleshes out the character of Ella quite well. An interesting read that gives the reader a peek into life in Switzerland, which is a great addition to a thoughtful and creative story.”

5.0 out of 5 stars – Sensational – Gripping to the last page

on March 18, 2017

“A novel that is full of twists and turns, and full of menace. Ella has no idea that the seemingly innocent practice of spying on her neighbor will put her in jeopardy. Fortunately for her, she has a kind guardian angel keeping one step ahead of her, and easing her path through life. At only 16 years of age she is trying to make her way as a ballet dancer, studying and training hard whilst working in a restaurant to make ends meet. But even for the meek, live is not always easy. A really good read that I enjoyed from start to finish.”

5.0 out of 5 stars – Top-notch thriller – superbly crafted

on February 28, 2017
 “I love young adult books anyway and this did not disappoint me whatsoever. I found it engaging and exciting and unlike a lot of YA books, not the norm. The story is about Ella, a ballet dancer who has lost her grandmother and has no family. She is depressed and rightfully so. She then meets a charismatic neighbor, Owen who seems like someone she could fall for until she finds all of the cameras in her flat. After running away to Zurich, she hopes to be rid of her stalker. However, once she thinks that everything she ever wanted is coming true, there is more than what meets the eye and the story becomes quite twisted around to a plot you are not expecting. In summary, Confessions of a Neighbor by Heather Nadine Lenz is a good mystery suspense thriller that does not disappoint.”

5.0 out of 5 stars – Two thumbs up.

on February 22, 2017
 “Really fun read with enough twists and turns to keep it interesting. This author reads as someone who has written many novels. I can hardly believe it’s only her second book. It is probably the author’s close connection to Switzerland and the world of professional ballet that makes all the little details so believable. It’s the macabre that really draws the reader in. The main character is so young, and one one hand so accomplished, and independent while at the same time obviously so vulnerable and naive. Love all the little details that make the story so crisp. This book is a definite keeper, and I can’t wait for the next one from this author.”

5.0 out of 5 stars – Sometimes It Feels Like Someone’s Watching Me!

on February 7, 2017

“The author draws the reader into an incredible tale of loneliness, struggle and perseverance. I knew that Ella was young but was shocked it wasn’t even a year after her grandmother’s death when we meet her. My heart went out to Ella being 17, working and trying to follow her dream. She was extremely vulnerable and suspectible. She tended to overlook the lies that Owen spouted when she saw evidence of Irma’s abusive nature. I felt that neighbor watching habit she had developed was just as unhealthy as her growing addiction to alcohol. I was so glad when she started to open up to others and reconnecting with life. The story pace is pretty steady even with it changing perspective from Ella, Irma, Owen and Mr. V . Owen and Irma were very creepy and I couldn’t believe the elaborate scheme they were running. Ella was very hard on herself once she realized that she had developed a victim mentality but I also felt some of it was due to her being so young. It is a thriller with several twists and turns, not predictable at all. It definitely kept me guessing what was going to happen next. Overall, good read for anyone who loves a good mystery thriller.”

5.0 out of 5 stars – A good suspenseful novel!

on February 7, 2017
“Confessions of a Neighbor” is a novel written by Heather Nadine Lenz. This middle length book has an attractive cover that catches any reader’s attention.
This is an absolutely gripping story; I kept on reading it at the edge of my seat. The main character of this novel is a woman called Ella; she is left alone in the world after the death of her grandma. Alone and desperate, she is lost and puts all her energy in her passion, ballet. Although she thinks she’s alone a stalker is after her and there is when the action and suspense begin. The plot of the story is quite interesting and attractive to readers. I enjoyed it a lot and I really felt the suspense. I would certainly recommend reading this family drama that turns into a suspenseful story.”

5.0 out of 5 stars – Will keep you up at night!

on February 7, 2017
“Confessions of a Neighbor is a great novel to read if you’re home sick and aren’t getting any sleep anyway. The book is both thrilling and exciting, but will give you a touch of paranoia as you follow the life of the main character. I think the beauty of this plot is it relies on the reader to get invested in the story and to begin piecing together bits and pieces. This is when the real scare factor kicks in.
There’s a good amount of background information given in this book, but it doesn’t get confusing, nor does it take away from the thriller aspect of the book. Rather, it helps you see that the main character isn’t as paranoid as she feels. After a marathon of this book, you will be checking your home a little closer, just in case you might have a stalker too. I’d recommend this book to anyone looking for a bit of a thrill or those who love complex plots that don’t just hand out all of the answers.”

5.0 out of 5 stars – Sensational!

on February 7, 2017
“So, wow! I loved this story! Normally I would have read something like this in two days, three tops but having a cold got in the way.First of all, I really liked Ella. I found her smart, lovable, and tortured after the death of her mother. Everything about her felt so real, and I think deep down, everyone can relate to her one way or another. Her determination was contiguous. Owen, her neighbor, I instantly liked (even if at times I felt guilty about liking him!) but that’s just a testament to how well Heather wrote her characters. The tension, the chemistry between Ella and Owen was there and i LOVED it! This story definitely surprised me, the twist and turns where there and kept me on my toes. Heather definitely has a knack for writing thrillers, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see this on Best Seller lists in the future. WORTH THE READ!”

5.0 out of 5 stars – A tale of heartbreak, fighting for what you want, and love!

on February 6, 2017
“What appears to be a story of triumph, is actually a story that encompasses so many different things that it makes for a book that is impossible not to like. The protagonist of the book, Ella, is a young girl that has faced heartbreak, obstacles, and depression, which have left her alone and struggling to make her dreams happen. All she wants is to be a ballerina. Then we meet a series of men and women that enter into her life, seemingly at the perfect time. This leads you to question each of their intentions, since everyone seems quite suspicious at times, and some motives are easier to pinpoint than others. When it comes to the real bad guys in this tale, it is hard to feel sorry for what ultimately happens to them. This book is frightening, hopeful, well written, descriptive, and something that you will stay with you.”

4.0 out of 5 stars – It was amazing

By LyndaVee on February 6, 2017

In this story the stalker becomes the stalked. Young Ella thinks there is no harm on spying on her neighbour. He is a good looking man who seems to have a toxic relationship with his wife. Ella can’t help herself watching as this marriage seems to be unravelling in front of her eyes and she finds herself attracted to this poor abused husband. However, as in the best psychological thrillers, all is not what it seems and Ella finds that she cannot trust her own judgement of other people. It doesn’t help that she is very young and vulnerable after the death of both her mother and grandmother and after a life spent fleeing from town to town and country to country, apparently escaping the Russian mafia.

4.0 out of 5 stars – Twists and Turns at Every Corner

on February 5, 2017
“Confessions of a Neighbor” is Heather Nadine Lenz’s novel that contains heartache, loneliness, fear, thrill, terror, and manipulation. This book honestly has so much going on that you keep going up and down and hoping that something positive will happen for Ella, who has suffered emotional trauma just from the loss of her grandma and then is lulled in to a false sense of security by her neighbor. She is manipulated by emotions and doesn’t realize what is happening until it is too late, but she is miraculously able to escape, or so we think. As you read, you feel for Ella because no matter what happens she can ot seem to escape the fear and negativity that is surrounding her, but this makes the story more believable because everyone has experienced similar in their own life. I could not put this book down (similar to “Gone Girl”) and was definitely surprised more than once while reading this book.”

5.0 out of 5 stars – A must read!

on February 5, 2017
“A confession of a Neighbor by Heather Nadine Lenz is the story of a young ballet dancer named Ella, that wants to be able to live with her income as a ballerina. She has no one in the world and is very insecure, it seems she has finally found someone to be with, but she discovers he is a stalker so she runs away to Switzerland where she is starting to have what she wants and suddenly weird things start happening again. The plot is full of mystery, twists and turns is a commonplace story that can happen to anyone. The characters are well developed and real. The story flows easily in a rapid pace that makes you want to know what will happen next. Is a thriller and it involves you in the plot that is full of manipulation and psychology, plus the description of the settings that are part of the city and costumes of the country where it takes place makes it a must read.”

5.0 out of 5 stars – Intense, Inspirational Mystery!

on February 3, 2017
“Confessions of a Neighbor, is a wonderful suspense story that takes you for a ride of the roller coaster of unexpected events one after the other, so beautifully that it’s hard to put down. The story is about a young 16 year old girl Ella, who has a dream to be a ballerina, but losing her close ones breaks her heart and leaves her lonely and sad. Then she became a victim of being stalked, and she is worried and scared. The book is her inspiring journey of fears, insecurities, her loss and determination and love to pursue her dreams. The author has done a beautiful job in creating a sense that makes you feel the emotional ride of Ella as you read the book. The detailed description of beautiful scenes of Switzerland is a bonus. All in all an intense, emotional mystery.”

4.0 out of 5 stars – Seventeen and alone in the world

on February 2, 2017
“Ella is a seventeen-year-old Russian who has been on the run from the Russian mafia, or so her mother has told her, but it turns out her mother was a little insane. At the start, as far as she is aware, she is alone, her family all dead, and she works as a waitress while training to be a ballerina. She watches a neighbor through her lounge window, and sees the wife throwing crockery at the husband, and, silly girl, she gets involved. No more, or it would spoil. What we have is a slightly convoluted start (her sanity becomes questioned) then a sequence of events in which Ella seems to be the perpetual victim. A little more decisiveness and common sense would have saved a lot, but then no story. So we have a story of a young victim, and a growing up. The last third, when the book comes together, is quite clever and well thought out. The character of Ella is very well drawn, there are some villains that seem superficially charming, and the writing is clear, apart perhaps at the beginning. I would have preferred more clues as to why Ella did what she did. Still the story comes together quite nicely, and it is an interesting read.”

5.0 out of 5 stars – Amazing Mystery/Thriller Ballet Novel!

on February 1, 2017
“Confessions of a Neighbor written by author Heather Nadine Lenz was a refreshing thriller/mystery story. The story is set in Switzerland, which adds a very different cultural take to the story. The reader follows the main character Ella, through her struggles with the loss of her mother and grandmother and her triumphs throughout the book. Ella is a ballet dancer who tries to help her neighbor, Owen, who she witnesses being abused by his wife. The story takes a strange turn as Ella may be suffering from some mental illness issues, and realizes that the neighbor who she was trying to help, may not be the person she thought he was. Fear is a common theme throughout the novel, and at points I found myself getting goosebumps. The author did a terrific job on making the characters realistic, relatable, and believable. I thoroughly enjoyed this story and was enthralled from the first few pages. I highly recommend this novel!”

5.0 out of 5 stars – What a creepy story!

on February 1, 2017
“The poor main character has really bad luck, and some incredibly creepy people in her life. Both the bad guys and the good guys follow her and keep her under surveillance without her knowledge. The story happens on two levels. One is the emotional, where the main character fights to bring herself out of depression over her mother and grandmother’s death. The other is a secretive and evil plot that’s revealed bit by bit. The villains of the piece are well crafted and don’t reveal themselves until late into the book, making this a suspense filled thriller. The author also does a good job of showing the main character’s life evolving, while establishing the underlying plot against her. This was a compelling book that kept me interested until the end.”

5.0 out of 5 stars – For devotees of suspenseful emotional thrillers involving an appealing, naive young woman.

on January 31, 2017
“Confessions of a Neighbor ISBN: 9780998012902, Plum Tree Press, an e-book by Heather Nadine Lenz.
Plot: A prologue describes Ella struggling to survive in freezing water while attempting to save her very young daughter from drowning. The actual tale then begins with a lovely seventeen-year-old who was struggling with a massive load of problems: 1) the recent loss of her only family, her mother and most loving grandmother. 2) the three had moved constantly to different cities/countries because her mother was ‘fleeing the Russian Mafia’; 3) she is struggling to attempt to succeed in ballet, like her mother who was a featured ballerina in several ballet companies. 4) she had no idea of her father’s identity; 5) money was scarce, necessitating her working as a waitress while attempting to maintain her ballet training schedule; 6) she was attempting to deal not only with the overriding depressing effects of losing the two most important people in her life, but also had absolutely no supportive friends; 7) she mistakenly becomes involved in a relationship with a neighbor that gradually develops into a devastating nightmare; 8) the fact that she ultimately discovers that her mother suffered from a delusional problem which adds still another dimension to her distress The story gradually unfolds describing the manner in which each of the problems eventually is met and dealt with and provision of further detail would be a great disservice to the prospective reader.
Discussion: The author has produced a volume that provides an intriguingly convoluted plot that certainly would have been highly placed on Oprah Winfrey’s recommended reading list. It has all of the elements of a suspenseful thriller with abundant elements for sustained emotional stress being suffered by an unsophisticated young woman.”

5 out of 5 stars – Confessions of a Neighbor is a very beautiful book that speaks about the value of relationships and …

on January 31, 2017
“Confessions of a Neighbor is a very beautiful book that speaks about the value of relationships and friendship apart from a number of things. The story is about the struggles of a young girl who finds herself alone in the big world, but, it is also so much more! It gives sound advises on how to stay safe and secure and how to use the resources to the best of your abilities. The best point for me was the grandma’s letter which was left or the young heroine. I read this letter aloud to my young children and hope that they follow them. The whole book is also sort of instructional and shows what could go wrong in the life of a young woman and how she should react in such situations. The story touched me at a deeper level and I felt a connection with all the favorite characters. The book is highly recommended for all ages but specially for young adult.”

5.0 out of 5 stars – Wow – what a read!

on January 27, 2017
“I was initially totally blown away by the original and unique concept behind this book when I accidentally came across it in the Amazon Kindle marketplace. I am so glad that did download it, because it turned out to be a roller-coaster of a read. I was gripped from start to finish. What really pleasantly surprised me when I picked up this book at first was the fact that the story is written in third person perspective. This is very hard to find in the Kindle store for some reason. Call me old fashioned, but I just love third person narratives – all the best books are written this way and this book, Confessions of a Neighbor, is no different from those either. I love the depth of the characters and their real and gritty backstory. I really enjoyed reading this book and would look out for more by this author.”

5.0 out of 5 stars – Creepy GREAT!

on January 27, 2017
“From the PROLOGUE, author Heather Nadine Lenz grips the reader, and you won’t be able to put this book down. Suspense, fear, and full emotional “YOU CAN SURVIVE, Ella!!!” will propel you through this book. Ella’s will power is impressively shocking. It’s one of those books that you will lose track of time reading. That’s what I call a great book! Wow!!!”

4.0 out of 5 stars – Is someone watching?

on January 27, 2017
“Confessions of a Neighbor by Heather Nadine Lenz takes us into the world of ballet and stalkers. Ella has lost everyone in her life. Her mother and grandmother both passed away when she was only 16 years old. Since then, it has been up to her to find her way in the world. Her ballet is amazing and she has an audition coming up. The problem is her salary as a waitress is barely enough to get her by. She is exhausted and looking for someone to lean on and help her get by. Owen seems like he may just be the man for the job. He is Ella’s gorgeous neighbor and they have just started talking to each other after a chance encounter on a train. He is everything that she could have hoped for. That is until she finds the hidden cameras all over her flat. It doesn’t take her long to figure out that Owen put them there and that he has been spying on her for quite some time. She flees and tries to start up her life again in a new city. But that’s the problem with stalkers. They never really go away. Confessions of a Neighbor is a high intensity book. While it doesn’t pack lots of action into the pages, the action comes from the reader’s imagination as they connect the dots and see what is really going on. The novel moves at a steady pace and the author has done a great job of developing the characters in the story. Ella is strong and the reader will find it easy to sympathize with her situations. Owen is the best kind of villain: the one that you don’t even really know is the villain until it is too late. Fans of psychological thrillers will like this because it comes with its fair share of head games. It might even keep you up at night wondering if someone might just be watching.”

5.0 out of 5 stars – Highly recommended!

on January 13, 2017
“Wow, what an incredibly gripping story! A young ballerina Ella spirals into depression after losing her mother and grandmother, and slowly starts rebuilding her life when strange things start happening. Ella accidentally stumbles across her neighbor, Owen, who she witnessed being abused multiple times by his wife; however, soon Ella starts suspecting that the man who she was trying to help is not who she thought he was…“Confessions of a Neighbor” has all the perfect ingredients for an enthralling mystery/thriller: Ella’s inability to separate reality and her memories in some cases, thinking that she might have inherited her mother’s paranoia; a twisted plot that she never thought she was a part of; and last but not least the whole atmosphere of deception and fear which prevails in the story, making the hairs on your neck stand up while reading certain parts. Ella was indeed a real, multi-dimensional protagonist who I couldn’t help but relate to and admire her will-power in the end of the novel. Also, I very much appreciated quite a different setting: the novel takes place in Switzerland, and an insider’s look into a different lifestyle made this an even more pleasurable read. Highly recommended.”

5.0 out of 5 stars – This was a wonderful read! This is a fast-paced suspense ballet thriller …

on November 28, 2016
“This was a wonderful read! This is a fast-paced suspense thriller that I had a hard time putting down. The author has a wonderful way of developing scenes that captivate the senses of sight, sound, and smell. Her plot development builds a close-knit family of supporting characters for an orphan chasing a dream while overcoming adversity. Truly a story filled with surprises and satisfaction for the reader.”

-Reviewed by Melinda Hills, Readers’ Favorite

“Amazing scenery, vivid descriptions, and intense emotions are just part of the appeal of Confessions of a Neighbor: A Mystery in Switzerland by Heather Nadine Lenz. In this hard to put down story, you develop a real attachment to Ella and suffer along with her as she deals with issues from her past, her insecurities about the future, and the everyday struggles of trying to live while following her dreams. Wonderful descriptions of setting and ballet add a lot to the realism of the story. Well done! Psychological manipulation plays a large part in the story and Lenz sets the scene slowly and deliberately, then shocks you when the trap is sprung. This is a book that is well worth reading on many levels.”

-Reviewed by Kim Anisi, Readers’ Favorite

“Confessions of a Neighbor by Heather Nadine Lenz tells the story of Ella, a hopeful 16-year-old ballet dancer whose dream is to one day be able to make a living as a ballerina. Fate, however, has other plans for the young woman who lost her mother as well as her grandmother far too early. She is lonely and ends up falling victim to an evil scheme. Fortunately, she also has someone who is secretly looking out for her well-being. But the eyes of that secret helper cannot be everywhere. I enjoyed reading Confessions of a Neighbor by Heather Nadine Lenz.”

– Ballet Thriller Reviewed by 

“This is a disturbing and entrancing book at the same time, perhaps because it reveals the vulnerability that anyone can have in their lives. The modern age is a frightening place where information is impossible to bury, and leaving your past behind is harder than you think. Ella is a talented and passionate ballerina that has been dealt an unfair hand in life, and we see her very real struggles on the pages of this novel. Not only does she have personal demons and professional fears to juggle, but the unwanted attention of a neighbor and the rising sense of fear in her days adds an extra dash of suspense and tension to this taut thriller. The pace is slow and methodical, like a slowly building threat, and just when readers are beginning to plateau, a new depth to this mystery is revealed.”