Title: My Life Next Door
Author: Huntley Fitzpatrick
Publisher: Dial Books for Young Readers
Publication date: June 14th, 2012
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?
Rating: 5 stars
Without a doubt, My Life Next Door is my FAVORITE summer read of 2012. I had went into this book thinking I'd probably like it, but I honestly didn't think I would love it this much!
I've heard that this book is comparable to Anna and the French Kiss, but I don't think the style of writing and the story is as chick-lity and light as Anna--to me, it's more reminiscent of Sarah Dessen's novels. This book has the perfect blend of family problems, romance, friendship, and change. It's got something for everyone. All the wonderful elements of the story are just woven together so well, so flawlessly that I was completely flabbergasted that this was a debut novel! In my experience, it takes most authors maybe 1 or two books to really hit their stride in writing, and the last time I read a debut of this caliber would have to be John Green's Looking for Alaska.
The cast of characters in this book were all just so.... perfect. And I don't mean perfect as in, they're all flawless and nice, but perfect as in they'r very REAL. They're 100% believable.
The Garrett family stole my heart. Every single one of them. But especially Jase, the love interest (big surprise there!), and George, the toddler with a fascination with discovery channel.
Samantha was a great protagonist--I was a little iffy about her at first, but as the story progressed, she showed a lot of character growth and I grew to love her. Her mother, was a pretty difficult character for me to like because I just didn't like her whole attitude and she did a LOT of things I didn't agree with. And I never ended up liking her. BUT. At the same time, I could understand why she made the decisions she did. Lord knows I didn't want to empathize with her, but I couldn't help it! Darn you Huntley Fitzpatrick....
And on a side note, the most intriguing character of the novel for me was Tim, who is the brother of Samantha's best friend. He started off as a very annoying druggie, but he underwent SO much character development that by the end of the novel, that he became one of my favorite characters of the novel!
I can't possibly end this review without talking about the romance.... I mean, guys. Come on.
The romance in this book was sooooooo good! Like, OMG-why-can't-this-boy-be-real good. To be honest, I didn't expect too much from Jase after reading the blurb because he sounded like the quintessential nice guy next door who's all perfect and helps the main character realize she needs some change and blah blah blah. But boy was I floored when I started reading about him! He turned out to be so original and his swoon-factor was off the charts! His and Sam's relationship was very realistic and absolutely beautiful.
The only thing I wasn't crazy about this book was the ending. It felt a little sudden and a bit too open-ended for my taste. Overall, though, this book was freaking AMAZING. I can't wait to see more of Huntley Fitzpatrick's writing!