My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick
Release Date: June14, 2012
Age Group: Young Adult
Received From: NetGalley
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 don’t know what it was about My Life Next Door, but from the moment I first heard about it I needed to read it. It was one of my most anticipated debuts of the year. That might have ultimately lead to my lackluster thoughts on the book. I think my hopes were just a little too high because I didn’t love it nearly as much as I wanted to.
There were things about My Life Next Door that I really liked. The setting was great. Huntely Fitzpatrick does an excellent job of bringing the town to life. I loved the Garretts. The entire family! They were realistic and so easy to relate to. They were also very nice. Which was a great contrast to Samantha’s family, who aren’t nice at all. I really liked the chemistry between Jase and Samantha. I felt liked that their relationship actually developed. It didn’t happen super quick.
There were also a few things about the book that I didn’t like. Samantha fell a little flat for me. I think other characters in the book were much for fleshed out than she was. She also annoyed me from time to time. She didn’t stand up for herself or others –namely, Jase– very often. I do understand that that was part of her growing up and learning but it still bothered me. Probably because I loved Jase so much and I didn’t want to see him hurt at all. I also had an issue with Samantha’s best friend. She was one of those BFF’s full of backhanded compliments and really snobby things to say. I really wanted to slap her on several occasions.
Although I did have a few issues with My Life Next Door I still enjoyed it for the most part. It was a good debut and I’ll definitely read whatever Fitzpatrick writes in the future.