Published by Dial Books For Young Readers on June 14th 2012
Genres: Dating & Sex, Drugs, Alcohol, Substance Abuse, Emotions & Feelings, Family, Friendship, Love & Romance, Siblings, Young Adult
"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.
What I LOVED…
I re-read this book as part of my Huntley Fitzpatrick celebration leading up to the release of her latest book, ‘The Boy Most Likely To’ on August 18th. I read ‘My Life Next Door’ about a year and a half ago and absolutely adored it. My love for this book grew even more after I finished my re-read, and it’s totally established its spot on my list of favorite Young Adult contemps! There’s just so much to love about this book. Here are a few of my faves…
Location, location, location: As a born and bred New England girl, I absolutely adored the touches of authentic seaside life that Huntley weaves throughout the book. The area in which this story takes place is so dreamy and romantic, and so perfectly summertime in New England.
The Garrett Family: Sigh…this family is just perfect. They are loud, messy, chaotic and intense, and you’ll never find another family who love each other so fiercely. It’s apparent that Huntley has strong family bond of her own, because the relationships that she creates between all of the members of this wild clan are totally relatable and authentic. So much of “My Life Next Door’ is filled with real, every day moments, and I couldn’t get enough of the dynamics of the Garrett family and how amazing they were.
Swoony romance: Well, of course there HAD to be a good dose of romance in this book. We all know how much I love me some swoon, and ohhhh Jase Garrett, how you make me swoon! He’s a family man, he takes care of those he loves and he knows exactly what to say and do to make everything better. Seriously, Jase is made of awesome and I adored him so much for the love and patience he showed Samantha. Truly, he’s a keeper!
What I love most about this book is the fact that although all of the characters from this book are different from one another in their own way, they’re all going through something that is forcing them to face a hard truth. Samantha is realizing that life doesn’t always have to be what someone else has planned for you, and her mother is learning that being perfect doesn’t always mean being right. Jase is discovering that sometimes life gives you hope in the most unexpected of places, and his parents are faced with the fact that there isn’t always safety in numbers. What makes ‘My Life Next Door’ so special is that even in times of hard truths and turmoil, it’s what you make of the moments that really shapes the outcome.
WHAT DIDN’T WORK…
I honestly can’t think of anything in this book that didn’t work for me. Even though I HATED Samantha’s mom with the fire of a thousand suns, I still appreciated her role in the story. She was a catalyst for so much that happens, and even though I would constantly cringe because of things she said or did, I knew her character served a very important purpose. Ugh…she made me so angry though!! Oh, and her boyfriend is just THE.WORST!!!!
MY “BOOK FEELS” MOMENT…
As much as I love the dynamic and romance between Jase and Samantha, and even though there are plenty of swoony moments between the two, the moment in the book that had me reaching for the tissues was a quiet moment between Samantha and Tim in which he is a loyal and honest friend to her (and Jase) by encouraging her to do the right thing. It’s in this scene that we realize the true depth to Tim, and it was here that I knew I needed to read more about him. Thankfully, Huntley heard the calls and ‘The Boy Most Likely To’ comes out in just over a month.
I loved this book even more the second time around! It’s the perfect swoony romance That has you falling in love with the Garrett family and cheering for Jase and Samantha Until the very end. Add this one to your summer reading list today!
Exciting news…enter below to win your very own signed paperback of ‘My Life Next Door’ ANNNNND an ARC of ‘The Boy Most Likely To’!