My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick

8:00 AM

Title: My Life Next Door
Author: Huntley Fitzpatrick
Release Date: June 19, 2012 (hardcover)
Publisher: Dial
Pages: 396
Source: Bought

Overall:  5 Stars

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 Thoughts: 
Huntley Fitzpatrick's debut novel, My Life Next Door, captures a summer of self-discovery, changing friendships, first love, and difficult decisions. As soon as I finished reading it, I was already considering the book to be one of my favourite YA contemporary novels released this year!

On the outside, everything about Samantha Reed seems perfect, but under the surface, she feels stuck in the routine of her life. Her older sister is moving on with her future and spending the summer away with her boyfriend, and her career-driven mother is often away from home, working with her new campaign manager. Throughout the novel, Samantha truly grows as a character though. She may have once been content to always follow her mother's rules without question, but she begins to make her own decisions and tries to make her realize that she's not a little girl anymore.

The Garretts are everything Samantha's family is not; they're loud, chaotic, and openly affectionate with each other. Her mother may not approve of their large family, but they're genuinely good people. They're a close-knit unit, and when Jase and Samantha being dating, they embrace her with open arms and warm hearts. It's when Samantha is among the Garrett family that she finally feels comfortable in her own skin – she's not expected to be the perfect daughter that her mother wants her to be.

I honestly think I fell for Jase Garrett the very first moment he decided to climb up Samantha's trellis and formally introduce himself. He's incredibly sweet, funny, attentive... and positively swoon-worthy! Jase may not live a rich lifestyle like Samantha, but he wouldn't trade any of his family members for anything. His younger siblings, especially George, were also adorable and made me laugh! 

My Life Next Door is perfect for readers who are unwilling to let summer escape from their grasps, and I have no doubt I shall be reading it again and again in the future. I'm definitely eagerly awaiting Huntley Fitzpatrick's next YA novel!

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