Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Book Review: My Life Next Door

Title: My Life Next Door

Author: Huntley Fitzpatrick

SPOILER FREE description (as explained here): 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 History of My Life Next Door: Released on June 14, 2012, it was right on time for its summer setting. My Life Next Door was published through Dial Books for Young Adults. It soon grew, grabbing the attention of many romance fans looking for an escape.

On the Author, Huntley Fitzpatrick: Growing up in a home full of story lovers, Fitzpatrick always looked for books that made her feel something, more specifically "let me fall in love…with the story and with the boy". After losing faith in her writing career, she received some great advice from Madeleine L’Engle, the author of Wrinkle in Time and course teacher. Madeleine said, “You are a writer. So write!”. Quite a while later she took that advice, writing this debut novel. 


My Life Next Door was just the thing to get me out of my reading slump, along with giving me a platform to deal with this April snowfall in my hometown. It transported me into a summer I won't soon forget. At first glance, the novel might seem a little shallow. I mean, there's a girl on the front snuggling up to a hunky guy, a cover some avert away from. However, what hooked me the most about this novel was not its romance, but it's other components.

This occurred with the characters as well. Don't get me wrong, Jase and Samantha were great protagonists, but I found myself looking forward to Tim's scenes more and more. His character development was such a breath of fresh air. I also quite enjoyed Clay Tucker's villainous raid. His trickery and way with words never ceased to disgust and intrigue me.

Living in a house that's constantly the host of packs of boys, I could definitely identify with the Garrett's household. I loved the parallel Fitzpatrick drew with the two very different families without making it cliché. In many ways she walked along the line of familiarity while still surprising you enough to not get bored.

So while summer may seem a far way's away, I always have My Life Next Door to transport me there.

Who would I recommend it to?

To readers who are Sarah Dessen fans, anyone with overbearing parents or a large family. 15 and up.

Favorite quote:

"No words for a long time. Which is fine, because even the most important ones-I love you. I'm sorry. Forgive me? I'm here-are only stand-ins for what you can say better without talking at all."

Read My Life Next Door? What did you think of it? Was there something I didn't touch on in my review? Leave a comment below!

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