Title: My Life Next Door
Author: Huntley Fitzpatrick
Expected publication: June 14th 2012 by Dial Books For Young Readers
Source: ARC sent by the publisher for review
Summary: "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."
First line: "The Garretts were forbidden from the start."
Thoughts: Sweet baby, can I just please fangirl for a moment and tell you guys how much I loved, loved, LOVED MY LIFE NEXT DOOR? As far as summer reads go, it doesn't get much better than this. There's a bit of everything for even the most picky readers. It has the perfect amount of romance, a little bit of drama to keep you on your toes, the most wholesome characters you will ever meet, and also the worst.
The story starts off with Samantha doing what she does best...watching the Garretts. You see, ever since the Garretts moved in, Samantha's mom told both her daughters to stay away from them. Why? Because the Garretts have a lot of children and are messy. There goes the value of the neighborhood!
One night, Jase randomly climbs up to meet Samantha on her roof and everything changes.
From the very beginning, you get a very clear picture of what each character is about. Samantha is the good child who is dying to break loose, wanting to have fun but not exactly knowing how. Tracy (her sister) is the wild child and isn't afraid to express it. Their mom...uptight state senator who, let's be honest, is more than a bit selfish and self-centered.
Then there are the Garretts. While some characters may stand out more than others (Jase, Alice, put-some-pants-on George, and even boob/poop little Patsy...boob!), each of them still have their own personalities and rolls to play. This is one of the many things I loved about this novel. None of the characters were similiar enough to get confused with another. The author brought them all to life as if the Garretts were have always been your neighbors. I felt like I knew them personally and in all honesty wish I did. Yes, I didn't like Grace (aka Samantha's mom) nor Grace's "manfriend"...nor Samnatha's supposed best friend for that matter, but I did love every single one of the Garretts as well as Tim.
TIM! How fun was Tim? Seriously loved this kid. He's flawed, but so, so funny and just an overall riot. If it wasn't for Tim, the story wouldn't be as entertaining as it was. Needless to say, he was definitely one of my favorite characters, awkwardness and all.
ROMANCE! Yes, pleaaaase! Let's talk about the romance. Sure there's a lot of lust but OH MY GAAAAAAWD, it was so good. I loved how Samantha and Jase's relationship progressed from strangers who watch each other, to semi-friends, to more than friends, to more than more than friends, to...you get my point. I loved how Jase watched Samantha's every move and thought before speaking. He was incredibly observant and oh so sweet, making my heart melt into a puddle of puppy love goo. What I wouldn't give for a Jase Garrett of my very own.
Now, I will say that there is an incident in the book (as stated in the summary) which aggravated me to no end. When it happened, it was sudden (as it should be), but everything that happened after felt so rushed. I didn't like how any of the characters reacted to the situation, and it tore me up inside. The worst was Grace and her manfriend. They must not have a soul because neither of them grew nor even cared to fix their wicked ways. Okay, Grace did a bit but even so, it wasn't enough. Blah! Frustration is just pouring out of me just thinking about it.
I know, I know, I'm very passionate about this book. End rant. Okay, time for some fun!
Quick Quirky Quote Quipster Time!
"Wow. I've never met a boy, at a school or anywhere, who cut through the small talk so quickly."
That's right, Jase certainly is one of a kind.
"Okay, now his face is close to mine. If I were to raise my head and tilt over just a bit..."
OH MY KITTENS AND PUPPIES, FREAKING RAISE AND TILT YOUR HEAD!!!! AHHH! AHHHH! AHHHHH!
"'You have to kiss me.' I find myself saying.*fans self* *pants* *continues with the fanning of self*
'Yeah.' He leans closer. 'I do.'".
Overall, I devoured every page of MY LIFE NEXT DOOR. My very so fabulous friend Hannah asked whether or not she should buy it, and in a very unladylike, almost animalistic nature, I replied "_____ YEAH!"(use your imagination). I really could go on and on, but it looks like I already have. Just buy the book and read it, for my sake and for your's.