Author: Huntley Fitzpatrick
Publisher: Dial / Penguin
Release: June 14th 2012
Buy the Book at: Book Depository / Chapters Indigo
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.
A Heart-warming Summer Read!
Samantha and her mother have quiet a complicated relationship. I am glad to see this so brilliantly executed in a YA novel. It is rare when parent are so present in YA lit an even though Sam and her mother don't have a good relationship, it is definitely one that many teenagers could relate to. I love how in My Life Next Door, characters want to right some wrongs even though it is not at all easy and that could actually betray and hurt the ones you love. I think Fitzpatrick illustrated this through Sam's story wonderfully. In addition to this relationship, there is also Jase Garrett, the boy next door whose number of siblings can barely be counted in two hands. The Garrett are a big wonderful family that Sam has always been observing since they moved next door. Samantha has never talked to any of Garrett because her mother has never like them. Yet, she never thought that one day she would actually meet the Garrett family and good lord! fall in love with one of the them.
From the beginning, I was incredibly hooked by Samantha's story. Her voice, solid and credible, kept me flipping pages with no stop, and the innocent romance between her and Jase made it all even more sweet. Yet, halfway through the book I felt that the plot slowed down for a quiet a while. But truth be told, the last 100 pages of this novel really made-up for the at-times slow pace. I never saw all the twist and turns that kept coming. Plus the outcome of this story and how everything gets solved, are definitely the things I most value on this novel. Fitzpatrick's well thought-out and heart-warming story certainly deserves all the wonderful praises that has already earned!
Having said that, My Life Next Door is a beautiful story about family, love and loyalty that will stretch every reader's heart and mind. This is a summer must-read!
Visit the author's website at http://www.huntleyfitzpatrick.com