My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick

My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick

Release Date: June 14, 2012
Publisher: Dial Books for Young Readers
Series: My Life Next Door, Book 1
Rated: YA 14+
Format: ARC
Source: Author
Buy: AmazonThe Book Depository

"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?

A transporting debut about family, friendship, first romance, and how to be true to one person you love without betraying another.

One of the most coveted YA contemporary books of 2012, I was desperate to get my hands on this one. Luckily, Huntley Fitzpatrick was super sweet and actually sent a copy, and I'm telling you: Holy macaroni, this book was AMAZING. Almost like a modern-day Romeo & Juliet, minus the brawl, deaths and men in tights.
Original contemporaries are so hard to come by these days, but this one is such a gem amongst many of the clichéd stories we have in the world of YA. While I knew I was pretty much going to like this one before reading it, I had a small fear that the writing would be cheesy, the story would be to similar to others and the romance would be instant, leaving out development of the relationship. But I'm glad my fears were put to rest because this one is absolutely irresistible. Huntley Fitzpatrick's writing style is amazing, and you have a fabulous blend of the fluffy romance that everyone loves, along with the more profound side of contemporaries.

Then suddenly, I hear a voice, right near me. Right below me.
Startled, I almost lose my balance. Then I feel a steadying hand on my ankle and hear a rustling sound, as someone, some guy, climbs up the trellis and onto the roof, my own secret place.
"Hey," he says again, sitting down next to me as though he knows me well. "Need rescuing?"
–p. 13 (ARC* copy)
*text is subject to change in the final copy

The romance between Samantha and Jase totally worked. I loved the chemistry between them– it just worked! While I liked Samantha, I only liked her later on in the book, when she meets the Garrets. It's interesting how she interacts with the different siblings, and I liked the contrast between the two families... gave the story a lot more edge, rather than an easy-going, ordinary story. It's honestly no surprise that I loved Jase from the start: the good guy, good looks, looks out for his family, so what's not to love?

The Garrets are brilliant. They were sweet, open and humble, and you can't help but fall in love with the family like Samantha does. I can see why she envies them, because compared to her strict and opinionated mother, and a sister that rarely makes an appearance, they're clearly what the Reeds are not.

As I'd mentioned before, the story does take a slightly more serious turn. I appreciated this, because while I do love my share of fluff, when a book contains more serious matters, it makes it so much more profound and stands out from the rest. This presents such a large shift, especially for several of the characters, and really changes the mood and atmosphere of the book. Nonetheless, it was engrossing, wondering what's going to happen next and how things will turn out in the end.

Blissfully sweet and heart-warming, I fell head over heels for My Life Next Door. Huntley Fitzpatrick's debut has made me swoon and beg for more. The next book in the series promises the point of view from another character in the book, one that I'm excited to learn more about and an interesting romance that will blossom. I can't wait!

▪ ▪ ▪ Thank you so much to Huntley Fitzpatrick for sending a copy for review! ▪ ▪ ▪

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