Thursday, November 8, 2012

Book Review: My Life Next Door

Title: My Life Next Door
Author: Huntley Fitzpatrick
# Of Pages: 304
Publisher: Dial
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?

My Verdict

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.   


  1. I hate it when I'm going into a book expecting something and getting something totally different. Good review!
    Kristen @OCA

  2. Great review - I understand what you mean about stupid romances that don't seem romantic at all. "Love" in YA fiction is often either building up to nothing or just jumping into bed!! I found your blog and really like it, thank you :) Ruby x

  3. That can be quite bothersome, when a book is different than you expected. Unless it is full of good surprises. I have yet to read this one and plan to in the next few weeks. Interested to see what I will think. :)

  4. Good blanced review. I was hoping for a lovely romance. Sorry you were disappointed.

  5. It's too bad that the romance let you down:( I agree that they WERE a cute couple, though.
    It's funny that you hated the politics, because that was my favorite part of the book. I love reading about contrasting political/social/religious views. Haha.
    Great review and I'm happy to find another blogger who didn't think this book was totally amazing. I liked it, but not as much as they did, and was beginning to feel left out:)

  6. I was about to say but the cover looks so pretty!
    But then I read your verdict and thought huh. I might like it.
    I can't stand books that after a little while the main characters are getting on... I rather have the sweet romances like Flipped (I'm always referring to that book). I think I would still try it out because I'm liking the family dynamic of Jase. I thought that his family was not going to be what they looked like to her but to have his family take her in... I think it's worth the read. Thanks!
    P.S. politics does the same thing for me. I zone out of the conversation.
    She’s Got Books on Her Mind

  7. I hate it when you do have certain expectations going into a book and then they just aren't met! I think I agree with all of the points you made - this doesn't sound like my type of book, honestly. But I am glad you were able to enjoy certain aspects of it nonetheless and liked the writing enough to want to read future books by Huntley Fitzpatrick! I hope her next book is more your style!


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