Series: My Life Next Door #1 Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Contemporary, Realistic Fiction Publication.Date: June 14, 2012 Pages: 400 (Kindle) Published By: Dial Books For Young Readers Website: Huntley Fitzpatrick My Life Next Door on Goodreads My review copy: Bought
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"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. (Goodreads)
The Garretts were my bedtime story, long before I ever though I'd be part of the story myself.
I'm not sure I can pull off being just friends with someone whose clothes I want to rip off.
Oh God. Did I actually just think that? I steal another look at Jase in his jeans. Yes. Yes, I did.
"You have to kiss me," I find myself saying.
"Yeah." He leans closer. "I do."
They say you never know what you'd do in a hypothetical situation. We'd all like to think we'd be one of the people who gave up their life jackets and waves a stoic good-bye from the slanting deck of the Titanic, someone who jumped in front of a bullet for a stranger, or turned and raced back up the stairs of one of the Towers, in search of someone who needed help rather than our own security. But you just don't know for sure if, when things fall apart, you'll think Safety first or if safety will be the last thing on your mind.
My Life Next Door is exceptionally cute story. I'm a sucker for "love next door" stories. I have no idea why, it's not like I ever had any cute neighbors around me to crush on. So I'm not living some childhood fantasy. I just think it's cute that of all places, these people find love next door. Also, it's pretty convenient.
After years of watching the Garretts from her rooftop perch, Samantha finally encounters the second eldest child, Jase. They strike up a quick friendship that blooms into a romance. It wasn't a slow burn, but nor was it an all consuming "love" at first sight relationship either. I really enjoy the relationship between Samantha and Jase. It came across as an adult relationship between two teenagers, but given the upbringing they both have it is real and true to their characters.
Huntley adds little details to make the story even more believable: a first date with a younger Garrett, Samantha's sister going away for the summer, dinner dates, the much younger Garrett's constant questions/bickering, Tim's drug problem, etc. These details really add to the enjoyment of the story and bring even the smallest Garrett, Patsy, to life.
Overall, Jase is swoon worthy and this is the perfect summer read. It's quick, easy, and while there are hard hitting moments, a wonderfully told story. I'm so thrilled that Huntley is writing a sequel/companion, The Boy Most Likely To, that involves another Garrett and a major player from My Life Next Door.
Note: If you haven't read My Life Next Door and would like to avoid a semi-spoiler, I would wait to check out the synopsis for The Boy Most Likely To. I've semi-spoiled a few books for myself by checking out the synopsis for later books in the series and it seriously sucks.