My Life Next Door

Huntley Fitzpatrick
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.

Reviews

Reviewed: 2020-07-01

MY LIFE NEXT DOOR is a fun, fast read filled with romance, family, and friendship. 
Samantha Reed is your average seventeen year-old girl, save for the fact that her mother’s a politician. Her mother has forbidden Samantha from talking to the next door neighbors, the Garrets. But one day, the Garrets come into her life, and change it forever. Soon, Samantha has to choose between the family she’s born in, and the one she’s grown to love, which includes the love of her life.

This was an incredibly good novel. I’d been wanting to read it for a while, and when I finally got it, I devoured it in one sitting. Literally. I read the entire novel on a 10 hour car ride. MY LIFE NEXT DOOR is the author’s first novel, and it really is an amazing debut.

Being contemporary, the novel is very character driven. From the success-driven politician, to the lowly hardware store owner, every character is fleshed out and unique. Which is quite a feat for a novel with as many characters as this. It can be a little difficult to keep track of the Garret children, as there are 8 of them, but it gets easier throughout the book.

While I loved Samantha and Jase, my favorite character was probably Tim Mason. He was an incredibly interesting character, and I always wanted to know more about him. Lucky for me, Tim is getting his own novel this summer.

The overall plot was a bit predictable, but the details were able to be a surprise. While I knew bad things would happen, I couldn’t tell exactly what was down the road. The novel was able to both surprise and entertain me, a rare feat when I’ve read so many books.

Contemporary is in no way my favorite genre, but this novel reminded me of why I love parts of it. The toughest part of contemporary is balancing the fluff with the seriousness. Huntley Fitzpatrick manages to do it brilliantly. Seamlessly going back and forth between scenes of romance, and great tension.

MY LIFE NEXT DOOR is perfect for fans of Kasie West, Katie McGarry, and Robin Constantine. A perfect summer read for fans of all ages. While there is some sexual content, it is mostly alluded to. Fun, flirty, and expertly crafted, MY LIFE NEXT DOOR is a read you’ll remember.

Reviewed: 2020-06-30

 

I actually really enjoyed this book. I breezed through it because I just wanted to see how everything would resolve itself. I wanted to see how Sam finally started to interact with the Garrets, I wanted to see if Sam recovered her old friendship with Tim. I wanted to see how Sam dealt with her unease with her mom’s new boyfriend, how she handled a new relationship. I was actually quite happy with everything, over all.

The romance was super expected, and it happened fairly quickly, though still realistically. They’re a couple of teens enjoying a summer romance, of course they fall in love quickly. It was nice, though, to see how they developed their relationship, particularly on Sam’s side, who was terrified of being caught with someone her mother disproves of, and then forcibly introducing them to each other.

My favorite plot line, though, was about Sam’s relationship with the siblings Tim and Nan. I read a review where someone said they were frustrated that Sam didn’t really make much of an effort to recover her twelve year friendship, but I thought it made sense. There were hints that they were friends mostly because Sam was friends with her brother and that it then just shifted to Nan. But Sam remembers all those times when Nan would make casual comments that aren’t all that friendly either. And she recalls that Nan was never there for her, not in the way that Tim is once he’s sobered up. I really enjoyed how Sam’s relationship with those siblings worked to parallel one another.

Rating: 4/5 Stars

It was a cute contemporary, with some heavy themes that really brought to light how class differences could affect relationships, as well as examining familial and platonic relationships are important to a teen and how they all form a network that can hurt her.

It was nice, sweet and romantic. Not life changing, but interesting and enjoyable.
 
Reviewed: 2019-11-29
I really enjoyed this! Sam and Jase are SUCH great characters and I really enjoyed seeing them fall in love (even if it was a little bit of insta love). A lot of things surprised me about this book, and it just gave me the warm fuzzies all the time. I AM STILL SMILING. So great. So wonderful. Bless.
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