June 8, 2012

REVIEW: My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick

Title: My Life Next Door
Author: Huntley Fitzpatrick
Publisher: Dial Books for Young Readers
Published: June 14, 2012
Format: Netgalley* 395 pages
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.
My Review:
My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick was definitely a perfect summer read and it surely made way for my ever growing love for contemporary novels. This book had everything I was looking for: real life issues, humor, fun, love, heartbreak, tragedy and relatable characters that ended up being a part of me all together. 

Huntley Fitzpatrick swept me away on this amazing journey with Samantha. I was captivated by her articulate and eloquent writing style and the way she made Sam’s voice so loud in my head. The plot is very interesting and well thought out and it engages the readers with the characters along the way. The whole pacing of the book was well developed in a way where I got a feel of the summer setting, I got to know the characters on a deep level and I was able to just get sucked into the intense moments between Samantha and Jase. Huntley Fitzpatrick started off really strong in the beginning and she ended the whole book with a bang.

My favorite part of the book was the development and growth of Samantha’s character throughout the book. Samantha started off as really quiet and it seemed like she was set apart from everyone else due to her overbearing, conservative, uptight and strict mother. She also seemed to keep to herself and I felt like everyone thought Samantha would be stuck up because of her privileged life. However, I thought Samantha had her own hidden and buried personality when she was out of her mother shadow. Samantha was smart, kind and thoughtful. She never judged people and she was open to everyone. She was nothing like her mother. Samantha was intrigued with the Garrett family and I could feel her longing to be a part of something like that. When she meets Jase Garrett in person for the first time, it’s like Samantha’s world shifts a little to welcome Jase, even if secretly. When she was around Jase, she was funny and for me, she felt more alive and at ease. She felt more comfortable with herself. She didn’t have to please anyone.

I absolutely loved Jase. He never judged Samantha. He was always kind and he was a complete gentleman.  He was charming, handsome, sweet, super friendly and he was just an overall good guy. Most of all, he was downright respectful. I fell in love with Jase just as Samantha did. I loved how the relationship between Jase and Samantha was developed and established in a way that was beautiful, natural and realistic. Their relationship was pure, true and heartwarming. I enjoyed them getting to know each other slowly but surely and it was so lovely to read and be a part of something like that. Even though Samantha and Jase’s world were entirely different, Samantha seemed to fit right in with Jase and his family. He and his family welcomed Samantha with open arms. I loved reading how closer Samantha got with the Garrett family, the closer she got with Jase ultimately leading into a full fledge and swoon worthy romance.

As perfect as Samantha and Jase’s relationship seemed, I knew there would be hardships and conflicts that would test their love for each other and I thought Huntley Fitzpatrick added the perfect amount of chaos and drama into the story. The problems that Huntley Fitzpatrick gave for Sam and Jase was truly heartbreaking and surely intense, but I was glad she built up to this, allowing the relationship between the two to strengthen. It was hard to see them argue, but I knew it was needed. I really felt Samantha’s pain. I saw how she struggled with having to choose and it made me want to cry out to her. To see her inner turmoil, really hurt me and I wished everything would work out for her and Jase.

Overall, My Life Next Door has to be one of the best contemporary books I’ve read in a long time. It’s filled with blossoming romance, tough choices and heart shattering realizations that really tug at one’s heartstrings. The book is all about doing what is right, standing up for what you believe in, being true, honest and fighting for the one you love.

My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
*Thanks to Netgalley and Penguin for allowing me to read this book

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  1. awww sounds like a sweet and heartbreaking book. Samantha and Jase sound like they have a nice believable build to their relationship. I hope they can overcome their hardships. Hopefully Samantha can stand up to her judgmental mother.

  2. This sounds like a great book. I really need a break from the dystopian titles that I have been reading lately, and a contemporary book like this is definitely what I need. Thanks for the recommendation.

  3. Ahh been eying this book fo like forever. and glad that u enjoyed it. grest review girl.

  4. I have been wanting to read this one and I am so happy to see how much you love it! "real life issues, humor, fun, love, heartbreak, tragedy and relatable characters" <--- exactly what I look for in a contemp as well. Great review! :)

  5. I've been wanting to read this for a while! It sound amazing, great review:)

  6. I want to read this one so bad, it looks amazing...just like your review :))


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