Monday, July 30, 2012

Review: My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick

Summary/Cover Image from Publisher's Website:

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.
Review:

This one had been on my wish list for a long time prior to reading it. It sounded like just my kind of a read...an romantic and fun contemporary read similar to one of Sarah Dessen's books! Thankfully, it was nearly perfect. Romantic, spellbinding, and simply unputadownable, My Life Next Door is a one of a kind debut, one that has left me pumped to read more by Ms. Fitzpatrick!

My Life Next Door had so many good things going for it, and even though I read this one all the way back in May, the plot and characters are still clear in my mind, which is always a good sign, in my opinion.

One of the things that made me love it so much was the main characters. Samantha Reed was an interesting main character. From the start, I couldn't help but be enamored in her world as well as rooting for her to finally break out of her shell. For so long, Samantha had been the picture perfect daughter. She always did the right things, talked to the right people, and dated the right boys, but when she meets the Garretts, her long time neighbors, everything changes. Suddenly, Samantha becomes a different person...someone who's not afraid to live, and to put it simply, I loved the new Samantha! The Garrets were always memorable. Even though there was so many of them, I had no problem keeping track of them. They were like the classic TV family...messy yet lovable and hilarious. I couldn't get enough of them all, especially Jase Garrett, Samantha's love interest. He was such an amazing guy. Sweet and adorable, Jase did so much to help out Sam, and they're relationship together was realistic

The plot in this was also a lot of fun. I loved finding out more about the Garrets as well as seeing Samantha evolve as a person as well as Samantha's relationship with Jase evolve as well. The dynamic between Sam and her mother and sister was also well done. The tension between them was easily felt, and in the end, I felt that everything ended just as it should...better yet not perfect. The thing that really got me about the plot, though, was that major twist at the end. I didn't see it coming, and while it really moved the book along towards the end, I wasn't always the biggest fan of it. It seemed weirdly placed and a little too soap opera like for me. However, I did enjoy the ending 100%. It was bittersweet yet the perfect way to end the book.

Lastly, I loved Huntley's writing! Very similar to Sarah Dessen and Simone Elkes. She really managed to develop her characters and plot lines and her writing just truly captured the summery feeling of this book.

In all, I simply adored My Life Next Door, and I highly suggest you pick it up as well!

Grade: A-

My Life Next Door (Amazon/ Barnes and NobleGoodreads) is now out!

Source: Publisher via Netgalley

14 comments:

  1. I loved this book too, it was such a great read. Great review!

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  2. I've heard only good things about this one. I am glad you enjoyed it as well :) Great review!

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    1. Thanks for commenting! I hope you enjoy it as well if you read it-- it's truly a fantastic read.

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  3. Very nice review! I've been itching to read this one for a while now, but glad to hear that you really enjoyed it. The awesome combo of good characters and good plot sounds fantastic! Thanks for the review!

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    1. Thanks, Vivian! It's a fabulous read so I hope you enjoy it if/when you read it. :D

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  4. Great review! I've had this on my to-read list for awhile now and your review makes me want to read it even more! Though I have to say I usually do not like major twists at the end of a story.. I guess I'll have to wait and see!

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    1. woohoo that's awesome to hear. I'm the same way with major twists at the end, but even though the twist was a bit unexpected, it doesn't detract from me recommending it one bit. Hope you enjoy it if/when you read it.

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  5. I wasn't a big fan of the twist either, it seemed like it came too late and was too much drama.

    "They were like the classic TV family...messy yet lovable and hilarious." -- completely agree!

    Nice review, Lauren! :)

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    1. Glad too know I wasn't the only one. I felt like the book would have been even better without it...it just seemed way out of place.

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  6. I'm about halfway through this and it's starting to pick up for me. I'm really worried about Sam and Nan's friendship-I don't want Sam to only have her boyfriend as a friend.

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    1. Yay I'm happy to hear that! And yeah, I was worried about that part as well, but trust me, it all works out in the end. :)

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  7. I've only recently gotten into YA contemporary books (I usually read YA and adult paranormals), and I really liked this one. I agree with you that the twist at the end came a little out of nowhere, but it didn't bother me too much. I also agree with you about the Garrets and Samantha and I really liked Fitzpatrick's writing style.

    I would looooove it if there was a companion novel with Tim as the main character. Yes, he had a lot of problems, but I loved him and his snarkiness, even when he was at his most messed up (though I did want to smack him at times).

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    1. Glad to hear you're getting into YA Contemporary books! It's one of my favorite genres in YA, as you'll probably know if you read this blog! :) Anyhow, I don't know there was just something that bothered me about the twist. It just seemed so thrown in there and just used so that the Garrets and Sam's mom could finally come to an understanding. But omg, I never thought of your Tim companion novel idea, but that would be AMAZING! I think it would be lots of fun to get inside of his head...he's messed up for sure but I see promise in him.

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