About the book:
Title: My Life Next Door
Author: Huntley Fitzpatrick
Genre & Age Group: Contemporary, romance, 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.
Source: Public library
How I Found Out About It: Goodreads
I had heard such good reviews of this book, so I decided to finally jump on the bandwagon! And I have to say, I was not at all disappointed by this book. It was really slow in the beginning, to the point where I was about to fall asleep, but when it eventually picked up near the middle, it was fantastic!
Basically, this book centres around a 17-year old girl named Samantha, whose mom is a local senator. She’s lived right next door to the Garretts, a huge family of ten for ages, but she doesn’t really know any of them, as her mom doesn’t approve of their customs and values. The Garretts were a messy, noisy, and loving family, which was the total opposite of Samantha’s- small, quiet, organized, and a bit distant. When one of the Garrett boys closest to her age, Jase, jumps up onto the roof to sit with Samantha, they instantly bond and form a relationship, one that would have huge risks if her mom knew about it. When an accident happens and secrets are at risk, will Samantha be able to successfully stay with Jase? Or will all bonds be broken?
I thought that Samantha was a really great character! She was very wise and definitely knew her boundaries, but was still not afraid to take risks and be daunting. Even though she jeopardized a lot by getting together with Jase, whose family her mom wasn’t keen with, she was still absolutely willing to get to know (and love) him, despite whatever obstacles came her way in the process. She was just a really accepting and friendly character, which is the type of protagonist I most enjoy reading about in YA.
Jase… He’s so dreamy. Despite the hugeness and rowdiness of his family, I thought that he was such an amazing guy, whose relationship with Samantha I totally ship (hmm… what should I call it… Jasemantha?❤️). He was a great listener, and seemed to really care about Samantha. Since he was a middle child in a family of eight kids, he seemed to have learned lots of great values from both his older and younger siblings, which he definitely uses in the book. He’s a really honest guy and doesn’t hide much, seemingly unlike many young adult book boyfriends. Jase is always straight to the point and sincere, which just makes him so likeable! His 4 year old brother George was just adorable, I love him💜. But having met a lot of 4 year olds as a camp counsellor and sometimes a kindergarten volunteer, I thought he sounded way older than he actually was, maybe like a 7 year old. Maybe that’s just because he had so many older siblings who influenced him, I have no idea. He also had an adorable baby sister named Patsy, and I just thought that it was so sweet that she wanted to read If You Give A Mouse A Cookie over and over again!😆I really liked that book as a child too, and I’m glad to see babies in YA fiction who willingly read😉.
I have to admit that this isn’t the lightest of contemporaries, so if you’re looking for a bubbly, happy read, this isn’t it. The romance is to die for, but the book still covers some more serious issues such as politics, family troubles, and characters who smoke. If you’re fine with that, then I would 100% recommend this book to you! It would make a great read for the summer, as I know I really enjoyed being curled up on the couch at my cottage reading this.😄
Rating: 4/5 Stars!