Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Review: My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick

My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick
Release Date: June 14, 2012 
Publisher: Dial Books for Young Readers 
Source: Library 
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.
If there is one book I think all of you guys should read this year, it should be My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick. After all the hype surrounding this book, I wasn’t sure how I was going to like it. I ended up loving it a lot with a few minor problems! My Life Next Door is a quick, sweet, and addicting read!

Lets start with the characters who really carry this book! Samantha, our protagonist, is a good girl who gets the good grades and always listens to her mother. She just wants to know the Garrett’s, her neighbors whom her mother can’t stand. She had such a refreshing voice because there wasn’t much angst. I did have an issue with her: the “big” issue that comes into the book really confirmed my belief that when it came to her mother, Samantha didn’t really have much of a back bone. Say what you will about her being a teenager but can I point out that many teens do speak up for what’s right? The whole deal of what her mother did and how to tell the others involved took way too long.

The Garretts, though, I loved with all my heart. From Pasty to Alice and especially George, I loved it when they were in the picture. Jace was also a great guy. He was sweet and sincere and he loved his family and was willing to admit it in front of others. From the moment he and Samantha meet, I couldn’t help but fall for him! They had so much chemistry and awkwardness (thank you, Huntley Fitzpatrick for the safe sex) and cuteness. Another favorite part? They had their arguments so their relationship was built on trust and not just physical interactions!

The plot, while slow at times, it gave a lot of room for the reader to get to know the characters better. Plus, Samantha and Jace's relationship was able to develop and it was nice to see. I will admit, the random parts of Samantha's relationship with her best friend felt...weird. It was as if when Samantha wasn't with Jace or thinking of Jace, she was having issues with her friend. I think both story lines could have worked well together. Also, I felt (like I said before) that the impossible decision came way to fast in the end. It felt hurried even though it took place over some time and I wasn't happy with how Samantha handled it. The safe sex was a good inclusion, something I don't see in YA often!

Overall, I really enjoyed My Life Next Door. While sometimes slow, it will make you laugh and smile and the romance between Jace and Samantha has a wonderful build up. Huntley Fitzpatrick’s writing was great, giving each character their own personality blending together to make the story a incredibly enjoyable read!
Cover Comments: 
I actually love this cover! It's such a summery feeling cover and I LOVE the lighting for it! It's all just so good together! 
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