Review: My Life Next Door (My Life Next Door #1) by Huntley Fitzpatrick


My Life Next Door
Series: My Life Next Door #1
Author: Huntley Fitzpatrick
Published June 13th 2013 by Speak

Goodreads Synopsis
"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 evening, 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. Then 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.

Wow, just wow! I now understand why everyone seems to love this book so much.

In My Life Next Door we meet Samantha Reed, who seems to have the perfect life. Her mother is state senator Grace Reed, she goes to a private school, has good grades, etc., etc. However, she has always been intrigued by her next door neighbours, the Garrett's. Mr and Mrs Garrett moved in about ten years ago, and have eight children. They are also loud, and messy, and basically everything Samantha, her sister, Tracey, and her mother, aren't. When Jase, the third Garrett child comes into Samantha's life everything changes, mainly for the better. The Garrett's welcome Samantha with open arms, and she becomes like one of the family. Her and Jase fall in love, and everything is wonderful. Until it isn't.

I really loved the dynamics of both the Reed and Garrett families. Being an only children, I related more with Samantha, who seemed to be on her own for most of them time at the beginning. Though the Garrett's may be a slightly dysfunctional family, they all obviously love and care for each other, and would do anything for the family. The way they embraced Samantha was wonderful, and she definitely developed relationships with each member of the Garrett family, mainly Jase, George, and Andy. I did have a slight problem with how she kept her involvement with the Garrett's secret for the first half of the book, though I did understand why, what with her mother criticising them at every turn.

One character it's safe to I hated was Clay. He was a manipulative SoB, who did everything to further his own interests, going so far as to cause a crime later on in the book. He's Grace's new boyfriend, and is running the show in regards to her re election campaign. It was actually because of Clay that Samantha and Jase started talking, so I suppose that's something I should like him for.

With Grace running for re-election, Samantha had a lot of time free, which she used to spend more time with Jase, the other Garrett's, and her friends Nan and Tim. Tim was amazing - an angsty, problem ridden boy, trying to overcome these issues, and succeeding. He was really there for Samantha when she was struggling with what was happening towards the end of the book, and I actually preferred him over his twin sister, Nan, as Samantha's best friend.

Jase and Samantha's romance was downright beautiful! It never felt rushed to me. Jase always wanted to be the best for Samantha, and though he had nothing to worry about, he questioned whether he was good enough for her. I honestly could not think of anyone better for Sam. Because of him, Sam came out of her shell, became less bigoted towards the Garrett's, like most of the town were, and questioned what was right and wrong. They both brought out the best in each other, and seemed like a real teenage couple.

As with most YA Contemporary books, something happens that causes a lot of angst, and could have MAJOR implications for the protagonists. I'm seriously glad that there will be a companion novel to My Life Next Door, about Tim and Alice Garrett, so that we can see how everything worked out after the somewhat vague ending of this book.

Nonetheless, I'm so glad I bought this book at Barnes & Noble while in Florida, as it was the perfect summer read. If you haven't read this already, I would definitely get around to it asap. August just can't come soon enough, and I hope to see more of Sam and Jase's wonderful relationship in The Boy Most Likely To!

Dates Read:
June 20-21, 2015

5 Stars  

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  1. This sounds like a great Summer read filled with just the right amount of angst and romance! Glad you enjoyed this series opener.
    Lovely review, Sophie :)

    1. Thank you :) It definitely was a perfect summer read, and I can't wait to get my hands on The Boy Most Likely To.

  2. I love the sound of Jase and Samantha. Those relationships that start from friendship are a favourite read of mine! Nice review!

    Naomi @ Naomi’s Reading Palace

    1. Thanks Naomi, I hope you enjoy the book if you read it :)