Title: My Life Next Door
Author: Huntley Fitzpatrick
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
Publisher: Dial Books (14th June 2012)
“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 night 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. The 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.
Rating: *** (3 stars)
I saw a lot of My Life Next Door in the lead up to this summer, and as I thought the cover was gorgeous and the blurb intrigued me I thought I would give it a go. My Life Next Door is a sweet, adorable read with hints of laughter and some darkness.
Samantha Reed definitely has the potential to appear as entitled, but Fitzpatick does a wonderful job in making her feel very relatable even though her life is nothing like my own. Samantha is the youngest child of a single parent, who has a LOT of expectations. Her life is neat and ordered, confined into labeled boxes. The family next door – the Garretts – live a life full of love and chaos and laughter, or at least that is how Samantha views them as she watches them from her rooftop perch. In the summer before Samantha’s last year of high school everything changes: she meets Jase Garrett and his family, and as summer draws to a close she faces an impossible choice.
In many ways, this book is about choices. Samantha isn’t the only character in the book faced with a choice and its consequences, all the major characters are. This book is also about friendship and love; as the book is narrated by Samantha we only get to see her point of view, but it somehow still manages to give us an insight into the other characters that I’m not sure Samantha herself realises. My Life Next Door would have made a great summer read; it made a good early autumn one for me. The book really creates the feeling of a long, lazy summer. The plot of the book is, for the most part, that of a typical romance but there are a few interesting twists. Whilst the topics and tones of the book aren’t always light and fluffy, if you are a fan of contemporary romance or looking for a summer read then you should definitely considered this book.