Lovin' los libros

A book blog dedicated to young adult and new adult novels

Review: My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick

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My Life Next Door
   by: Huntley Fitzpatrick

Publication Date: June 14, 2012
Publisher: Dial Books For Young Readers
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Age Group: Young Adult
Source: Gifted
Page Count: 394 pages
Order Links: Amazon | B&N
My Rating: 5/5 stars

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, messy, affectionate. And every day from her rooftop perch, Samantha Reed wishes she was one of them . . . until one summer evening, Jase Garrett climbs up next to her and changes everything.

As the two fall fiercely for each other, stumbling through the awkwardness and awesomeness of first love, Jase's family embraces Samantha - even as she keeps him a secret from her own. Then something unthinkable happens, and the bottom drops out of Samantha's world. She's suddenly faced with an impossible decision. Which perfect family will save her? Or is it time she saved herself?

A transporting debut about family, friendship, first romance, and how to be true to one person you love without betraying another.

All I can ask is WHY? WHY did it take me so long to read this book?! This is going down as one of my all-time favorite contemporaries and I am seriously kicking myself for not starting it the second I got it for Christmas this past year! However, with that all being said- it really did make the perfect beach read this past week.
Pacing: I devoured this book. I mean, DEVOURED. I did NOT want to put it down and was mad when I had to! I was hooked from the first page and I loved Jase and Sam's relationship. It had this sweet innocence to it and I really felt it developed the way it was meant to. They have their ups and downs and obstacles to overcome and I really like that Fitzpatrick included those, as it makes their relationship that much more realistic.
Storyline: Samantha Reed has grown up watching the Garrett family next door, and even though her mother looks down at them, Sam can't help but wish she had what they did. Where Samantha's family is small and believes in keeping up with appearances, the Garrett family is large and doesn't care what others think. They have love and joy in their lives and THAT is what matters. Samantha has always watched from afar until Jase Garrett makes contact with her and changes everything. Suddenly, Samantha finds herself welcomed into the Garrett household and falling for the sweet, kind boy next door. As their relationship develops, Sam must find balance in her life- with a mother who is running for Senate and expects her daughter to act a certain way and the boy who wants to be a part of her life as she is his. As Jase and Sam navigate the waters of young love and everything that comes with it, will they be able to overcome their own insecurities, as well as a huge secret that threatens to tear them apart?
Characters: I honestly loved (almost) all of the characters in this book! They all have so much to offer and they really add depth to the story, as well as make it even more memorable. Being as character driven as I am, I loved the role each one played and how it furthered the development of the novel. Samantha is welcomed into the Garrett household with no reservations and she gets to experience what a true family should be like for the first time. Their lives aren't perfectly ordered like hers is, but it's a beautiful sort of chaos. I especially loved Jase's 4-year-old brother George. He is simply adorable and he really added to the cuteness factor of this book. Mr. and Mrs. Garrett don't let other people tear them down with their snide comments about their large family and what it's like to provide for them, etc. They are happy and in love and even though they may struggle financially, they don't let that burden their family.
Jase is without a doubt, a new favorite book boyfriend. Being raised the way he has, he is absolutely the best type of guy. He is kind, caring, and hard-working- something too few boys are these days. He has been raised to take care of and provide for his family and I love that he isn't afraid to step up when he is needed. Jase really likes Samantha and he is a bit hurt that she doesn't bring him around her family like he does his. He's afraid that maybe she's ashamed of him and that he's just the boy next door- the boy who doesn't know if he'll be able to afford higher education.
Things with Samantha's mom are complicated. Her mother has turned her nose up and judged the Garrett family from the moment they moved in next door. Sam's mom is all about keeping up appearances and it is amazing the lengths she goes to in order to do so. She puts Sam in a very bad position and I can't even believe she would ask her own daughter to carry such a burden for her. Her mom's new boyfriend and political advisor Clay worms his way into her life and Sam sees her ironclad mother change right before her eyes.
I like that Sam isn't a perfect heroine. She makes mistakes and she doesn't confide in Jase when she should have for fear of what would happen if she did. She never wanted him to feel like he was a secret, but has been so conditioned by her mother that she is afraid to take that leap on her own.
Another character that pleasantly surprised me was Tim, Sam's best friend Nan's brother. Tim is headed down a dangerous road of drugs and alcohol, making extremely reckless and poor choices. I wasn't sure if he would redeem himself, but he really ended up coming through for Jase, the Garretts, and even Samantha. I am really excited for his book next!
Final Thoughts: I really just loved this book. There are no other words to say about it. It's just a good, sweet story about falling in love, discovering who you can count on, and who will be there at the end after everything you know has been tested.

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  1. Yaaaaaaaaaay!!! This is one of my all time faves so glad you loved it :D I freaking adore little George. What was that one line something about "you can sleep in Jase's bed. He doesn't pee in it." or something (it's been a while) aww I just wanted to squeeze him and put him in my pocket lol. I didn't realize Tim is getting a book that is so exciting. I was pleasantly surprised by him myself. Awesome review my dear! :)

  2. Eeee this sounds so good! Perfect summer read, fab review love I'm excited to stick this on my TBR for this summer!

  3. I loved this one as well!! I also beat myself up for not reading it sooner after finishing it. I thought that it was such a lovable and sweet contemporary! I cannot wait for the sequel to come out next year!
    Great review :D

  4. LOVE everything about this book! I'm so excited for Tim's book!

  5. This is a book I've been wanting to read forever, Jessica. So I was thrilled to see your review...and now feel like I'm really missing out! *ha* I'm going to have to crack this one open asap! Lovely review!!


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