Published: June 14th 2013 by Dial Books for Young Readers
Series: My Life Next Door #1
Source: Gifted from Melissa
“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.
My Life Next Door was another one of those books that was seriously hyped up, so much so that I was terrified of reading it. Contemporary is very hit or miss for me, it’s not my favorite genre and I often don’t love the same books that everyone else does but when Cass & Judith hosted the My Life Next Door readalong I knew this was my opportunity to pick it up and just do it!
I instantly loved Samantha. She was from this picture perfect household on the outside, but in reality, it wasn’t a happy home. Her mother was all about appearances, everything had to be perfect and that included her daughter. On the inside though, Sam was awkward, a bit lonely and just the perfect realistic girl next door. And The Garretts. I cannot even begin to tell you how much I fell in love with this family. I’m not sure you could read this book and not fall in love with them. They were messy, disorganized, chaotic but their family was filled with love and big hearts. George was quite possibly my favorite. Wow, that kid was just too funny. And it’s so sad because he was super paranoid and not meaning to be funny but ohmigosh I loved him. And Jase… well Jase was just sexy, and sweet and affectionate and loved his family dearly.
I loved pretty much all the characters in this book… I felt for them, I cried for them, I laughed with them. The character building was phenomenal. Especially with Sam because she really had to grow up and make a few tough decisions, so there was a lot of growth with her character.
When I went into this I thought My Life Next Door was going to be a light-hearted romance so I was stunned to find out it was so much more than that. There is a heartbreaking accident, a realistic romance and a dysfunctional family. Honestly, there was so much more to this book than I expected!
I could rave and rave about this book for hours, but really… all I have to say is if you haven’t picked this up yet, you really should. Huntley Fitzpatrick is a phenomenal author. I was completely captivated by her characters immediately and I could not put this down. I was pleasantly surprised that I enjoyed this as much as I did, really… it’s worth all the hype it gets!