My Life Next Door by: Huntley Fitzpatrick
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.
I have no idea why I have waited so long to read this book. I had heard amazing think about it, and it definitely lived up to the hype. It was all around astounding and wonderful.
Samantha is a good girl, with perfect grades and she never gets into trouble. With a seemingly perfect home life with her mother being a senator, she has always wanted more love and rightness from her family. After watching her rowdy neighbors with loving parents, she meets one of the Garrett children, Jase. Sam finds herself making excuses to spend all her time with Jase and his sweet family. After tragedy strikes, Sam must make a choice between the family she has grown up with and the friendly family she has recently discovered.
I really liked Samantha, most of the time. She was really sweet, and I am glad that her mother’s values did not affect her. She was crazily well-rounded, excelling in academics and athletics. She always finds the best qualities of a person and does not give up when all is seemingly lost. There is one point in the book where she does make me mad because she takes too long to come to a very obvious decision. Other than that, I found her to be a pretty awesome protagonist.
Jase, my new book boyfriend. He is beyond sweet and caring, This boy does not have a selfish bone in his body at all. Although I have it bad for bad boys, there is definitely a lot to be said for the good boys. He is very hunky, thanks to the hard workouts for football he does. He gets along and takes care of his younger siblings so well; it’s inspiring to watch. He is kind and considerate with everyone and their feelings, and he just loves with his whole heart. I honestly can’t say enough good things about Jase.
The whole Garrett family was perfect. Every child was integral to the family and how they connected together. My favorite was cutie pie George. It was great to see a family in YA that was not broken or dysfunctional. Their parents clearly loved each other and each of their kids unconditionally. I felt that they did not deserve the hatred of stupid people; they are too good of a family for that. Another character I loved was Tim. At first he annoyed the mess outta me, but he definitely redeemed himself after hanging out with the Barretts. I guess that family impacts anyone it touches. His sister, Nan, was the exact opposite. I liked her to begin with, but then she got a permanent spot on my people-I-don’t-like-in-this-book list. But who tops that list is Sam’s mother and boyfriend Clay, more specifically Clay. Her mom wasn’t that bad in the end, but Clay was just a political climber.
The plot was intriguing and exciting, and I was hooked from the beginning. There were many things that I didn’t expect, which I always enjoy. I thought the writing was cute and being inside Sam’s head was funny and interesting. The romance was so sweet and adorable. Jase was exactly what Sam needed to break out of her shell and let loose. It developed at a nice pace, and it didn’t feel rushed at all. It just felt right and natural.
Between a perfect romance and an exciting plot, I couldn’t put this book down; I read it in one sitting. Jase is pretty much the most perfect boy ever and this book will be on my mind for a while. My only regret is that I wish I had read it earlier.
Favorite Swoon-worthy Quote: “Oh my God,” Jase whispers. “It’s like I’ve just gotta…I can’t help myself…I-“ He hooks his index finger into the waistband of my shorts, moving me closer. His lips descend on mine, familiar now, but more and more exciting.