My Life Next Door
by Huntley Fitzpatrick
Hardcover, 395 pages
Published June 14th 2012 by Dial Books For Young Readers
Buy the book: Amazon | Book Depository
A gorgeous debut about family, friendship, first romance, and how to be true to one person you love without betraying another
“One thing my mother never knew, and would disapprove of most of all, was that I watched the Garretts. All the time.”
The Garretts are everything the Reeds are not. Loud, numerous, messy, affectionate. And every day from her balcony perch, seventeen-year-old Samantha Reed wishes she was one of them . . . until one summer evening, Jase Garrett climbs her terrace and changes everything. As the two fall fiercely in love, Jase's family makes Samantha one of their own. Then in an instant, the bottom drops out of her world and she is suddenly faced with an impossible decision. Which perfect family will save her? Or is it time she saved herself?
A dreamy summer read, full of characters who stay with you long after the story is over.
The first time I saw this book on Goodreads, I squealed in delight. I thought it had the cutest premise ever. Not the most original one out there, but a cute premise is cute. It sounded like something I'd like at first then dislike for a while but will ultimately love in the end. So, did I like it a first? Yes, yes I did. Did I dislike it for a while? Oh, yes. But did I ultimately love it in the end? YES!
Although I predicted my feelings for this book, what really went on in the book was far from predictable. My Life Next is Door is well-paced but kinda dragged for a bit around the middle part. The romantic relationship between Jase and Sam started out early in the book but it didn't feel like insta-love at all (thank goodness!); but it was also sort of alarming because when a relationship is already perfect in the first quarter of the book, you just know that something big is about to happen. And indeed, something big did happen. But I'm not going into more details there. All I can say is that it will definitely shock you. It will make you cry for a while and then make you want to cuddle all the characters.
Samantha was quite a relatable protag even though it was a little hard to connect with her at first. I didn't love her character but I liked her and I enjoyed seeing her character grow. Between Sam and her older sister, she was expected to be the responsible one. I thought she was going to be a boring character but when she met Jase and the rest of Garretts, it was then that her life started to become interesting. She learned that there was more to life than the life her mother had painstakingly built inside the fence. Her relationship with Jase was both innocent and passionate and it was delightful to see them work around their relationship and learn more about life together. Another character I liked was Tim. While Samantha and Jase appear to be the most loved characters in this book by majority of the readers, I found Tim more amusing and dare I say, adorable, despite his foul language and alcoholic self. I hated him at first because he was a selfish addict who cared about no one; he even went so far as endangering the lives of her sister and Sam. I wanted to pluck him out of the book and throw him into rehab. However, as the story progressed and we get to see more of him, it was just hard not to love him. The character that I found the most convoluted though, was Clay Tucker. I didn't like the guy and his ability to talk himself into everything and into anyone both fascinated and scared me.
Then there's also the Garretts family. One does not simply forget to include the Garretts when writing a review of My Life Next Door. Because seriously? That family is full of awesome and cute. Each of the family members have personalities that are far apart from each other but all of them are simply adorable. George and Patsy are my favorites! They are too cute they make my knees go weak. Seeing their family together was aww-inducing; the chaos, the banters, the FUN! Makes you want to have a Garretts family of your own. If you're looking for a quick heart-warming read with adorable characters and an unpredictable solid plot, My Life Next Door is the book for you.
Rating: 4/5 stars