Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Review: My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick

Hardcover: 395 pages
Release date: June 14th, 2012
Publisher: Dial Books For Young Readers
Goodreads Rating: 4.18
Goodreads Summary: 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.
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Seventeen year-old Samantha Reed seem to have a perfect life from the outside. She lives in a beautiful house, her mom’s the state senator and her promising future is just waiting for her. Her family is the exact opposite of the chaotic, loud and affectionate enormous family next door: the Garrets. For ten years, Samantha has been secretly watching the Garrets from her balcony everyday—observing from afar and wondering what it’s like to be one of them. Until Jase Garret, the second eldest son in the family climbs up to her roof one evening and joins her. Soon, the two got closer, fell in love and Samantha became a part of the Garrets. But when one event forces her to choose between her family and the family she grew to love, where will her loyalties lie?

Just when I lost hope of finding a good debut YA contemporary book, My Life Next Door reviews show up on my Goodreads page and reader, begging for me to prove that it’s beautiful on the inside as it is on the outside. Seriously, that cover is STUNNING. I don’t consider myself a cover whore but I do admit to being attracted to high-rated books. This book has both so it only took me five minutes before finally deciding that I need a copy pronto.

Compelling and addictive are some words to describe this book. It has every reason why I love reading contemporary and after 50 pages, I knew I was undeniably inlove. It has the right amount of upbeat mood and it is the sugary sweet romance read I hoped it would be. Setting those aside, this book offers so much more. While being a great summer read that’s perfect for unwinding, it has the substance and lessons every book should have. It’s about being the person you want to be and choosing the right decisions, even if doing so would mean sacrificing some of the things you love. Most importantly I loved how Ms. Fitzpatrick deliver these points across without being preachy. And the characters? They are all AWESOME (with three exceptions of course). I adore Samantha because she never took things for granted. She works hard even though she doesn’t need to and her character is grounded in reality. And Jase *swoons*… Samantha’s mother has overlooked the fact that Jase is the type of boyfriend she would want her daughter to have—all because he is a part of a large and messy family. And lastly, I won’t forget the most remarkable character in this book: little George! All Garrets are cool, but this little guy just stole my heart from the beginning.

Huntley Fitzpatrick just wrote my favorite debut contemporary novel this year. It is well-written and enough to keep you glued to your seat the entire time. Now what I have to do next is hunt for a physical copy and add this to my favorites-shelf.

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