Saturday, 22 December 2012

Review: My Life Next Door

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?

Title: My Life Next Door
Author: Huntley Fitzpatrick
Publication Date: June 14 2012
Publisher: Dial Books
ISBN: 0803736991
Length: 396 Pages
Add it to your TBR PileGoodreads
Buy ItAmazon US / Amazon UK

Source: Purchased (Kindle Edition)
Cover Love: So cute! Love Sam and Jase being together on one side of the fence that has separated them for ten years.
Point of View: 1st person, following Samantha

My Rating: 5 Stars

(Insert a sigh of contentment here)

That sound you just heard is exactly what you will be doing once you finish My Life Next Door.  I have been seeing this book around Goodreads for a few months and I finally made the decision to read it.  I only wish I had made this decision sooner!

There are so many loveable characters involved in this story.  However, there are also some pretty down right evil characters as well.

Samantha has lived a sheltered life and you could say she comes from the 'right side of the fence'.  She has a sister who is just a bit older than she is and they live with their Mom, Grace.  Their father walked out when Grace was pregnant with Samantha.  To say that Samantha's mom has issues is a bit of an understatement.  For example, she is obsessed with the vacuum cleaner.  When they leave the house she goes behind them to ensure that the carpet is vacuumed (the lines of a freshly vacuumed carpet must always be viable) and this is repeated several times a day.  However even with these little 'quirks' her mom has managed to become pretty successful, the help of her own trust fund helped tremendously I would assume.  She entered into politics and managed to become a Senator in their state of Connecticut.  Grace likes things controlled, orderly and neat.

Enter the Garretts.  They move into the house next door when Samantha is seven.  From the moment they move in it is clear to Samantha that she is not to socialize with them.  They are a large family and her mom wants her and her sister to have nothing to do with them and she is always making rude and snide comments about them.  However, Samantha finds them fascinating and has always found herself watching them.

The Garretts have eight children (five boys and three girls) and they are Joel, Alice, Jase, Andy, Duff, Harry, George, Patsy.

I loved every single brother and sister in the Garrett family.  I loved them and I loved their parents who are two of the most caring and loving parents ever.  With a family this large they obviously struggle with money but to be honest looking in you would never know it.  The kids all play instruments, they go to sailing camp, science camp, etc... it is obvious that Mr and Mrs Garrett would do anything for their children and they do everything they can to help them make each of their dreams become a reality.

My favorite of the children (well, other than Jase) is George.  He is so cute and adorable... he is the kind of kid you just want to pick up, hug and squeeze their little cheeks.  He is a walking talking encyclopaedia and everything scares him.  He is worried about black holes, bacon being made out of Wilbur or Babe,  Eskimo Pies being made out of actual Eskimos and so on.  There were many times that I laughed out loud at something that little George had to say, he was in fact cuteness overload.

“Did you know that in space it's very, very cold? And there's no oxygen? And if an astronaut fell out of a shuttle without his suit he'd die right away?"

I'm a fast learner. "But that would never happen. Because astronauts are really, really careful."

George gives me a smile, the same dazzling sweet smile as his big brother, although at this point, with green teeth. "I might marry you," he allows. "Do you want a big family?” 

So for ten years Samantha watches them all from a far.  Then one day it all changes and she meets Jase.  I absolutely loved their unfolding romance.  They are both so sweet and everything is new for the both of them which was lovely.  Usually you will find that one or the other person is experienced so you are never able to see how a first love can be viewed from both people.  There were so many sweet and romantic scenes and I promise you that you will fall in love with Jase.  There is no question about this at all.  It was refreshing to have a boy who was so sweet and kind all the way through the book.  I am not saying I don't love a good bad boy and they do have their place in the Young Adult genre but Jase is in a league all his own.  Never once did I not trust him or find myself questioning his actions.  He was thoughtful and respectful the whole time... Honestly I just loved him.

Two other side characters are Samantha's friend Nan and her brother Tim.  There are a lot of revelations in My life Next Door and I think one of the biggest one came from these two.  I hate spoilers so I will just say that I am happy with how this storyline ended up.

I really just want everybody I know to read this as soon as possible so that I can gush about it with them.  There is a lot of growing up that happens from page one all the way to the end and it was a joy to read.  This was the first book by Fitzpatrick that I have read but I will be on the look out for others because she has done such a beautiful job with this story. 

“In movies, it's all beautifully choreographed, set to an increasingly dramatic soundtrack.

In movies, when the boy pulls the girl to him when they are both finally undressed, they never bump their teeth together and get embarrassed and have to laugh and try again.

But here's the truth: In movies, it's never half so lovely as it is here and now with Jase.”


  1. I'm glad to see you liked this one. I was a little underwhelmed by it, but I may have to give it another try. Sometimes when I read things the second time everything clicks better.

  2. George sounds like such a cute kid! But Jase sounds even cuter of course :) The whole book just sounds very cute and I can't believe I still haven't read it!

  3. Yay! I'm so glad you liked it. I want to read it, but haven't yet. Loved your review.

    Here's mine

    ~Danica Page
    Taking it One Page at a Time


I would love to hear what you have to say! I read and try to respond to every single comment I receive. Knowing there are people out there reading is what makes this all worth it... : )