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Wednesday, August 14, 2013

My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick

Publisher: Dial
Release Date: June 14, 2012
Source: Bought (Ollies Bargain Outlet)
Edition: Hardcover
Pages: 394
Rating: A+

"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?

My Life Next Door was one of the lovely books I brought on vacation with me this summer. I remembered reading a ton of raving reviews of this book and thought it would be the perfect poolside read... and it was! I took this book everywhere with me for 2 days in Mexico. Even when I went in the pool to cool down, I had to take it with me and hide in the corner (to prevent any book damage, of course.)

Has anyone seen the movie Cheaper by the Dozen? Well if you watch that movie, subtract a few children, imagine the family being 10x more fascinating and endearing, and use "the girl next door" type of character for narration, you'll have My Life Next Door. While My Life Next Door isn't the most action-packed read, I was still finding myself flipping the pages as fast as I could.

I found myself rather obsessed with the mesmerizing characters that Fitzpatrick thoughtfully created. The whole Garrett family is so hilarious that I found myself laughing out loud quite often while reading about them. I typically don't show any emotion when I'm reading a book, unless I'm reading something sad (cry baby alert!), but I completely wore my heart on my sleeve during this adventure--I couldn't help it!

The main character, Samantha Reed is pretty much perfect, not in the annoying way though! Samantha isn't like most teens I read about in YA. She's very level-headed and wise beyond her age. Oh... and Jase? He is also perfect. He's even more perfect than Samantha. Jase is amazing and everything any girl could ever want in a guy. He's sweet, funny, and has officially made it into my top 5 list of book boyfriends.

I won't spoil anything for you guys, but I do need to say that there is something that happens towards the end of My Life Next Door that is a bit somber, but realistic and very appreciated. Huntley Fitzpatrick knows how to write a book. Scratch that! Huntley Fitzpatrick knows how to write a freaking good book. If you enjoy a fun and tender contemporary, then definitely pick this one up. I couldn't recommend it more.

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