Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Review: My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick

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.

You know that gloriously terrible moment when you’re halfway through reading a book, and you pause in thought, collecting all of the thousands of little story strings in your mind and think ‘wow, this is a lot of stuff that could hit the fan right now and it would be like Chernobyl-sized disaster’? Yeah. I had that. Then four pages later, it did. Magnificently. More so than I ever thought possible. I was right in the absolute worst way. Don’t get me wrong. I LOVED this book. I also wanted to punch MANY THINGS in the last 150ish pages. But... in a good way. Now let’s move on from the drama for a bit.

Being an only child, reading about a HUGE family like the Garrett family is up there with the Weasleys. A giant, messy family that is filled so much love and cuteness that it makes me want to jump inside the book and live with them -- like, what’s one more addition, right? And the Garrett family has got just about the best characters ever. Like George. George might be four, but oh, man, I am claiming that crazy kid now. He’s gonna be one WEIRDLY AWESOME teen. And then, of course, there’s Jase. Patient, older brother and second father, Jase. I’ve read many a drool-worthy boys in my day and this, friends, is one of them. Wowza.

Then of course, Samantha’s family is mirror opposite. Samantha is a perfect overachiever, all fueled by her incredibly neurotic mother. Seriously... NEUROTIC. Oh, and mom’s new, almost equally neurotic boyfriend, Clay, who creeps the Southern out of me. Mom and mom’s BF create that situation that I usually DESPISE of social class-based tension.

As if this book doesn’t grab my heart with all of these characters, it has to add in Tim Mason. Wonderfully broken, constantly screwed-up Tim. Tim is one of those characters that we are lucky enough to see the entire character arc within the course of the novel and that isn’t easy to do. Nan, Tim’s sister and Sam’s best friend is obviously the starting connection, but it’s clear to see who the better Mason child.

This is basically the PERFECT summer read with some fairly tense drama mixed in with lots of smiles and cute moments. If you need a goo vacation read, I highly recommend this. You can’t be disappointed. Lastly, the artistic person in me has to mention the fantastic cover. It is simply gorgeous and really matches the story. Bonus points on that!

If you liked/ or if you liked this, you’d like: Megan Meade’s Guide to the McGowan Boys by Kate Brian.

1 comment:

  1. This is a fantastic review. I just finished reading this book and I agree with every word you said. I thought that Jase would be my favorite character but in the end it turned out to be Tim, although I wish that the author had delved more into what caused Tim to turn to drinking and drugs at 12 years old. Having effed up parents can't be the reason for something as hardcore as that. I would say that this, and the sex (this book is written for teens and maybe I am too old and uncool at 29 but I would not be happy with my teen-aged child reading a book in which it is written as an expectation that they would have sex at 17) are the only two blots on an incredibly wonderful story. I hope that this gets made into a movie; God only knows that if the crap contained between the two covers of Twilight and 50 Shades was, a story as amazing as this could easily fill the theaters. I loved this author's writing style, she pulled me deeply into the story and made me feel intensely the entire time I was reading. Like you I wanted to pick the children up and hug them and I wished that I could walk over to their house and have dinner with them. I can't imagine how the author would write a sequel to this story, but I want her to because I want to spend more time in a world where Jase and Sam exist.