Saturday, July 12, 2014

My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick

Hardcover, 394 pages
Release Date: June 14, 2014
Published by: Dial Books for Young Readers
My Life Next Door, #1
Source: Purchased
For fans of: Contemporary, Romance, Drama, Realistic Fiction, Chick-lit, YA


"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.
 

*MY THOUGHTS*

     After reading Fitzpatrick's sophomore novel What I Thought was True, I knew I had to hurry and read her first novel. I tried reading this awhile ago after it had just came out, but at the time I didn't like contemps. I put it down to read some other paranormal book. But now that my tastes have changed, I'm so glad I decided to give this book another try. Because let me tell you... If I had missed out on this story due to something small and stupid like that, I'd never be able to forgive myself. 
"The Garretts were my bed time story, long before I ever thought I'd be part of the story myself."
pg. 6
     What I liked most about this story was the characters. For there to be so many, everyone has their own personality and is completely fleshed out. I love that we got to know all of them, regardless of how old they were or how big a part they played in the book. My favorite character was George, He really served as the comic relief in this one. And I'm glad he was there, because I certainly needed his quotes sometimes.Seriously he was one of those kids you'd see on that old show "Kids say the Darnenst Things." As for Samantha, I was so proud of her. She started out as this girl who basically had everything handed to her to someone who almost had it all taken away and yet she never once gave up. She was faced with an impossible situation and she did not let it break her. As for Jase, let's be real. He's the most amazing boy I've ever read met. He was patient, kind, and loving. So many things happened that he should've walked away from them, but he kept it together. Not for himself or Sam, but for his family too.
"I guess I like things that take time and attention. More worthwhile that way."
pg. 88
     Sam and Jase's romance was a thrilling whirlwind. They fit together so perfectly. And though I'm not a huge fan of perfect romances in teens, this one was just amazing. I think it was the way that Jase was so mature for his age. He didn't seem to act like a non-emotional teen boy. I'm guessing due to the fact that he had sisters, both younger and older. He knows how other boys can be. And because of this, Samantha was lucky. There was so much difference between them, but she didn't let that hinder her from falling for him. Even if that's what she was taught since they moved in next door.
"I don't think it washes off, I say before I can think. 'What?' 'Guilt.'."
pg. 279-280
     I also loved the writing style. I said once before that I thought Fitzpatrick was one of my favorite realistic fiction writers and this one solidified the fact. It's funny that I say that because when What I Thought Was True came out, everyone said they liked it but not anywhere near as much as they liked this one. I was impressed because I really liked that one, but I hadn't read this one yet. I didn't think there was that big a difference. But now I understand. When you go from something this good, to something almost as good but not quite, you tend to be a little more judgey. But at the same time, I loved them both. But I can see where people were saying they didn't like it as much as this one. My Life Next Door seems to be in a league all its own. The entire story just flowed along with Fitzpatrick's amazing style for adding just the right amount of detail to make me feel like I'm a bug on the wall or flying next to them instead of just reading the book.
"You can't fix everything [...].' 'Yeah, well, I didn't even know it was broken."
pg. 328
     I was expecting a light fluffy read since everyone had already read and loved it, but that wasn't what I got. There's so many heart breaking secrets that come up and watching Samantha, Jase, the Garretts, the Reeds, and the Masons, sort through them all was heart-wrenching. And that's particularly what I loved the most. I know that's weird, to say you loved the heart ache the most, but it was. I love to be surprised by what happens in a story, and this one was chock full of them. 
"Maybe if I can just sleep for a thousand years, I'll wake up in a better story"
pg. 334
     I opened this one in hopes of a fluffy book to read between tour books. And what I got was exactly the opposite. I've been hanging on to this book for a few months now and I just didn't have time to read it. Now I've found myself asking the cliche question: Why didn't I read this sooner?" I loved everything about this story and after finishing it, I want nothing more than to read it again. 
Overall, I give this


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