Title: My Life Next Door
Author: Huntley Fitzpatrick
Published by: Penguin Young Readers Group
Genres: Young Adult Romance, Contemporary
In-Series/Stand Alone: Stand Alone
“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.
After I finished reading Allegiant, I was in mourning for days. I needed a contemporary novel — a happy novel with no death and destruction — to cheer me up, and that’s how I came across My Life Next Door.
Where can I even start with how much I adored this book?! It completely took me by surprise. Let me tell you one thing — this isn’t your average contemporary novel. It’s not a book you’re just gonna read and forget about later — it’ll stick with you; probably forever. It’s sweet and romantic and funny and BRILLIANT.
I loved every single character. They were so brilliantly, perfectly, and wonderfully written; they almost felt real. What I loved most about this book was the character development — we have Sam, who grows up with the pressure to be perfect from a strict mother; Jase, the boy next door who (trust me) has the key to your heart; and the entire Garrett family, made up of eight children and two lovely parents. The Garretts are loud, fun, hilarious, and SO adorable; like a family straight out of a magazine. This book doesn’t just focus on the growing romance between Jase and Sam. It’s much more than that.
It’s a story about growing up, making one’s own decisions, the importance of family, and living life without regret. That being said, this book is terrific. Huntley Fitzpatrick truly is talented. I laughed, cried, and remained blissfully happy after reading this. Go out and borrow it / buy it / download it — you’ll fall in love just like I did; I guarantee it!
“You’re walking along on this path, dazzled by how perfect it is, how great you feel, and then just a few forks in the road and you are lost in a place so bad you never could have imagined it.”
“He instantly covers my fingers with his own, giving me his slow, intoxicating smile. I feel a pang, as though I’m handing over a part of myself I’ve never offered before.”
“They say you never know what you would do in a hypothetical situation. We’d all like to think we’d be one of the people who gave up their lifejackets and waved a stoic good-bye from the slanting deck of the titanic, someone who jumped in front of a bullet for a stranger, or turned and raced back up the stairs of one of the towers, in search of someone who needed help rather than our own security. But you just don’t know for sure if, when things fall apart, you’ll think safety first, or if safety will be the last thing on your mind.”
“No, because of instinct. You can tell who to trust. People can, just like animals. We don’t listen as well as they do, always, but it’s still there. That prickling feeling when something’s not right. That calm feeling when it is.”
“The Garretts were my bedtime story, long before I ever thought I’d be part of the story myself.”
*DISCLAIMER* If you have not read this book yet, I’d really recommend not going through the comments section in case there’s a spoiler. You can always come back here later to discuss after you’ve read the book! (Or contact me if you want to talk about it beforehand)