on June 14, 2012
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
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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.
What I Thought…
- I loved My Life Next Door. It was a pretty fast read, and Huntley Fitzpatrick is a beautiful writer. It’s another one of those books for me where I felt like I was there.
- Despite the fact that they aren’t perfect, the Garretts are my kind of family. They are fun, they care about each other, they argue, they laugh and they aren’t all about money, power or looks. And the younger kids are so cute! George (age 4) was my favorite, he had a knack for saying the cutest things.
- “His bed’s really comfortable. And he never pees in it.” (to Samantha about Jase, p 36)
- I really liked Jase. He was just one of those likeable guys with an easy laid back attitude. He also put family first which isn’t something you see in a whole lot of 17 year olds. He was almost too perfect. I can’t think of anything about him that I didn’t like.
- I liked Samantha, but not as much as Jase, I just didn’t connect with her as well. Everyone seems to think that her life is perfect, her mom is a senator and her and her sister have a nice house and are fairly well off. But as we all know, just because it appears perfect doesn’t make it so. Samantha struggles with a few things but her biggest struggle was at the end of the book and it was so well written. I can’t imagine being in her position and having to make those decisions.
- Samantha’s mom may have made sure her daughters had a house, food and attended a nice school, but her actual parenting was really crappy. It was all about her and her campaign and doing the “right” things. In the very beginning she makes a comment about the Garretts being “one of those people” and that sets the tone throughout the book. If it’s not about her or her campaign, it’s not important. She also jumps into the deep end a couple times with no warning. She’s not your ideal mother.
- Clay (Grace’s campaign manager) was a pompous douchbag.
- I really liked Samantha’s friend Tim, his twin Nan, not so much. Tim had his own discover and finding himself going on and I would totally read a spin off book about him, he was that good.
- There were several instances of foreshadowing that I picked up on, but since the book is more about feeling than anything else it didn’t detract from the book at all.
- There is just one thing that bothered me about My Life Next Door and it was enough to give it 4 stars instead of 5 (and I thought about this a lot). I apologize if this is a little vague but I don’t want to spoil it. There is an incident towards the end of the book that changes things for Samantha and Jase and as the incident is resolved I felt like it was a little too fast and easy. It went a little too smooth (for the main characters anyway). Everything else throughout is very real. There are no realistic but far fetched occurrences so this one thing felt a little out of place. I just don’t think it would be that easy in real life. I kind of expected there to be some processing time, but there wasn’t. And that’s why it’s just a 4 star book.