Monday, August 13, 2012

My Life Next Door - Huntley Fitzpatrick

Title: My Life Next Door
Author: Huntley Fitzpatrick
Release Date: June 14th, 2012, Hardcover
Publisher: Dial Books for Young Readers
Group: Young Adult Literature
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 just want to say something. I am not a fan of contemporary. I usually prefer fantasy or dystopian over realistic fiction. However, this book makes the rare list of contemporaries that I love. There are a very few authors that I like that fall under the contemporary category. They are Stephanie Perkins, Sarah Dessen, Courtney Summers, and John Green. It is hard not like those authors. They write just so many wonderful books. Now I can say that My Life Next Door ranks right up there with the best.

My Life Next Door tells the story of Samantha Reed. She is the daughter of the State Senator and has a very upscale lifestyle. For years she has watched the next door neighbors; the Garrets. They are everything her family isn't, with two adoring parents and eight kids. When Samantha starts to get into a serious relationship with one of the boys, Jase, she starts having the best summer of her life. Until an accident that involves her family and his causes her to make one of the most difficult decision she has ever had to face.

I wasn't too sure how I was going to feel about this book. I had heard so many positive reviews that I started to get excited for it. The world that Huntley Fitzpatrick sets up is just amazing. I could picture everything so vividly in my mind like a movie was playing. The characters were also just as good. Each one had their own unique and different personality from the rest. Jase and Samantha have such good qualities and they brought out the best in each other. I was so in love with the Garrets, if I had to pick my favorite besides Jase, it would either be between George or Andy. George was just so cute and adorable and Andy made me laugh so many times talking about her boyfriend and kissing. However, the only one that I didn't really like was Alice. I know that she was just looking out for Jase and all, but I just didn't like her that much.

The relationship that Samantha has with her mother was so sad at times. Her mother was hard to take and her boyfriend, Clay Tucker, was even worse. I found myself annoyed with them for most of the book, which was the point. Samantha also has two friends, Nan and Tim. They are twins and basically complete opposites. There were times that I was annoyed at Tim and Nan. I really Nan and wish there would of been more closure with her. I understood why Nan got mad at Samantha at the end. While I loved Samantha; Nan was totally right about her having a somewhat perfect life. Tim showed a lot of character development throughout the story. He was just this crazy pothead dick, but actually turned out to be an alright likable guy at the end.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. I can easily seeing this book being one of my favorite 2012 Author Debuts of this year. However, I wish there would have been more closure with her mother and Mr. Garret. There are some loose strings but not enough to take away from the ending. I felt that the ending was perfect between Jase and Samantha.


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