My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick

Title: My Life Next Door
Author: Huntley Fitzpatrick
Publisher: Dial Books for Young Readers
Release Date: 6/14/12
Pages: 396, Hardcover

Summary from Goodreads:
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.

This book was BRILLIANT so this is a difficult review for me because I want to do it justice and convince readers to pick up this book. 

My Life Next Door was so much more than a book about first love. Amidst the romance, Huntley Fitzpatrick beautifully portrays the trials of family and friendship, and navigating the ups and downs of life. 

The budding relationship between Samantha and Jase made me feel like I was falling in love for the first time again. It was innocent and adorable and a little humorous....

"A surprise, for me?" I ask, intrigued.
"Well, it's for me, but you too, kind of. I mean, it's something I want you to see."
This sounds a little unnerving. "Is it a body part?" I ask.
Jase rolls his eyes. "No jeez. I hope I'd be smoother than that."

*giggle* or 

"I'll respect the uniform and hold off on the fraternizing," Jase says, kissing my check. "But I'll see you tonight."
"Uniform-free," I add, then clap my hand over my mouth.
He grins, but says only: "Works for me."

See what I mean? The chemistry was well done. 

Their relationship progressed at a good pace but, it was not without challenges. Samantha's mother always objected to the behavior of the Garrett's next door, so at first Samantha's instincts led her to keep her life separate even as she was welcomed completely into Jase's. But as their lives became more intertwined, Jase became a safe zone for Samantha and he gave her strength and a desire to be a better person.

Samantha had a lot of changes happening in her life that she had to adjust to. Her sister was spending the summer away from home, her mom was dating a new boy that made her act differently, her best friend was distancing herself, and her best friend's brother was a danger to himself and others. Samantha struggles to respond to these situations and keep a level head. They force her reflect on who she is and who she wants to be.  

And then the unthinkable happens and Samantha has to face the hardest decision of her life...

My Life Next Door is a powerful novel that forces you to think about your own response to life's obstacles. We explore the consequences of family pressure and society expectations, judgments and truths, and the strength of courage, selflessness and love. 

Highly Recommend. 5/5 stars easily. 

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for your review and including excerpts. I've been wanting to read this book for a while, just based on the premise. After reading the banter between Samantha and Jase, I'm intrigued.

    I come from a small family. It's just my parents, my younger brother and I. Both of my parents and hubby come from big families. At times, I actually resented my parents for depriving me of this experience. Growing up, I often wondered what it would be like to have more siblings. I imagined it would be so much fun and exciting. Better yet, I would never lack for company. I'm sure some kids from big families wish they were not. I guess the grass is always greener.


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