Title: My Life Next Door
Author: Huntley Fitzpatrick
# Of Pages: 304
Publication Date: June 14, 2012
Level: Young Adult
Rating: 3 Hearts
“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?
I feel like I really need to explain myself with this book, because it was really good I just don’t think it was a good fit for me personally. I think the main problem was that I went into this book expecting one thing and it ended up being something completely different. Maybe I would have enjoyed it better had I not heard so much about it beforehand, I don’t know.
For example, I had heard that this was a “wholesome” romance, but I guess everyone’s definition of wholesome is different. I was expecting one of those, spend the whole book anticipating their first kiss kind of romances, not a sex after a couple weeks romance. So that was one of the big things I was disappointed in. Don’t get me wrong, Sam & Jase are a cute couple and it was a sweet romance compared to a lot of relationships I’ve read about in YA, it’s just wasn’t what I had been expecting, so I couldn’t help but feel let down.
Another thing that was hard for me to get past was all the politics. Samantha’s mom is a Senator, so naturally there is campaigning talk and events. I’m going to be completely honest and say that I absolutely can’t stand politics. I’m one of those people whose eyes glaze over whenever people around me start talking about it.
There was one aspect of the storyline that really tugged on my heartstrings and that was Samantha and Nan’s friendship. I don’t want to go into too much detail or spoil anything for those of you who haven’t read it yet, so I’ll just say that it was a part of the story I was really able to connect with. The thoughts and emotions that Samantha experienced during this time were so spot on it was crazy.
While I may not have been a big fan of the story itself, I must say that I did enjoy Huntley Fitzpatrick’s writing, it’s emotional depth, and her ability to create unique and memorable characters. It’s no wonder that Samantha watched the Garretts all the time. They were such a personable, rowdy, fun, and loving family it was impossible not to like them. I will definitely be checking out her next novel.