Author: Huntley Fitzpatrick| Website |
Publication Date: June 14th, 2012|
Publisher: Dial Books for Young Readers
My Interest: Teen Recommended|
Age Group | Genre: YA| Realism, Contemporary, Romance, Family
Honestly, even if I hadn’t been given a recommendation to READ THIS BOOK, then I most definitely would have picked it up! I mean, look at the cover.
This is totally a book that screams, “Cait read me.” Plus, growing up I always had a crush on the boy down the block from me, and sort of dreamed about a cute boy moving in next door. I mean, come on. Who doesn’t want to fall in love with the boy next door?
I checked out a copy from my local library. I was not compensated in any way for my words (cross my heart) nor did I promise a good rating. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are 100% mine.
Every day Samantha Reed climbs onto her balcony and watches the Garretts next door. They are loud, messy, affectionate, and numerous–everything her family isn’t. Then one summer evening, out of the blue, Jase Garrett climbs Samantha’s roof and changes everything.
As the two begin to fall in love, Samantha becomes one of the Garretts. But then her world suddenly changes, and she’s left to make a decision that will ruin one family and save the other.
I brought home My Life Next Door in a giant stack of recommendations from a teen friend. She told me I had to read this book, and that I would absolutely love it.
She was ridiculously, 100% right.
Oh my goodness. Seriously guys–I’m still loving Second Chance Summer but I’m just going to flat out tell you this contemporary has made it on my list. It’s here to stay, and definitely here to recommend.
The story is a debut from author Huntley Fitzpatrick, and I’m pretty sure I will read anything and everything she ever writes. Her setting–which is extremely important for me and a contemporary match–is fabulous. It’s not on the beach. It’s not in a destination vacation town. It’s just in an everyday, average American town and a lot of time takes place at home. Which was refreshing to me. I mean, I love escaping through my stories (obviously!) but sometimes it’s just nice to read a story that could take place right here, right now if I wanted it too.
And if I had a next door neighbor like Jase, then I totally would want this story to happen. I mean, really guys–I always dreamed about the cute boy from next door throwing rocks at my window to wake me up, and then we sneak off and fall madly in love. (I mean, the hubster did throw rocks at my window one evening three years ago, woke me up, and proposed–so I pretty much did sneak off and fall madly in love.) But I digress. I simply love how Samantha has been sort of (creepily?) watching the Garretts forever, but never took the chance to say hi until Jase was bold enough too. I feel as if Samantha and Jase are one of those relationships that’s 100% possible in life. Yes, there are definitely some obstacles in their relationship, but the characters are in no way overly annoying about their decisions or wait forever to decide things just to make the pages continue. Yes, when it comes down to the decision Samantha has to make, she does take awhile, but when you understand the situation, I’m pretty sure you would too. I wasn’t bothered by her. I honestly empathized with her and understood how hard of a place she was in. An the Garretts. Oh you guys–you will love every single on of them, especially George. I promise!
The only reservation I give with this book is that the topic of sex is prominent. Samantha and Jase are 17, and it’s on their minds, so it comes up quite a bit in the book. I know teens think like this, and I know it happens, but I guess I’m the reader that just doesn’t want to read about it. There can be plenty of kissing in YA, and I am totally fine with that– I just dislike that YA tends to feature beyond that as well. So, if you’re one of those readers like me, be forewarned. It’s in there.
But it’s not something that is going to detour me from reading and loving a good book. I’m just honest. I put out there what’s in the books because I know some parents are cautious. I’m going to be perfectly honest with you and tell you that this is a FABULOUS read. It’s a summer story that makes you remember how hard it is to be a teenager sometimes. It makes you appreciate your family and the love in your life. And it features characters would not only be your best friends in real life, but who are going to stay with you long after you’ve finished reading.
If you haven’t picked up My Life Next Door yet, read it this summer. Don’t wait.
If you like this novel, you might like….
Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson
In Honor by Jessi Kirby
Or if you enjoy: Contemporary YA, Realism, summer reads, family stories, boy-next-door romances, tension between lovers, and country club-esque settings.
Book Talk: Have you read My Life Next Door yet? How did you feel about Samantha and Jase? And what about George?!?!