My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick
This book was totally worth the wait. I ordered it a month and 2 weeks ago, and I finally got it on Friday. I devoured this in a day and a bit. I loved this book so much! It was so beautiful. The author wrote about secrets, pushing your boundaries, consequences, family, mistakes and first love. My Life Next Door was a funny, heart-warming, beautifully written debut from Huntley Fitzpatrick. I am so glad I read this book and will be recommending it to all of my friends.
Samantha Reed watches the Garretts all the time. Something she is not proud of, but not ashamed of. When one of the Garretts climbs up to the spot where she watches them from, Samantha is shocked and wary. Her mother has never approved of the Garretts, so when straight-laced Samantha is offered an opportunity to look into the life of the Garretts, how come she’s finding herself saying yes?
This book was absolutely beautiful; beautifully written, beautiful story, beautiful characters.
I have a feeling this review is going to be long so here we go!
Well, Jase. HOLY SHIT JASE. *fangirls* Ok, so I don’t normally fangirl (ok, maybe I do…), but Jase Garrett was one hell of a human being. Described as too good looking to be true, I found myself falling hard for him. But, unfortunately he is a fictional character (aren’t they all?). He was sooo sweet and nice and thoughtful. Every girl who reads this book will want a boy exactly like Jase. Thanks again to books, my boy standards have just been highly raised; if you’re not like Jase – bye bye. Apart from being totally swoon-worthy, Jase was a good, solid, well developed character. He had plans for the future and truly cared about his family.
I really, really liked Sam. She was different from many other YA characters. She was very focused and obedient when it came to her mother, but when she saw the chance to change things, she did. She disobeyed her mother and went with the “Garrett boy”. But, she stood up for herself, AND she didn’t need Jase to stand by her and help her when she was standing up for herself in front of her mother. Sam made some good choices and some bad choices in this book. As a character, Sam turned from a straight-laced obedient daughter, to an independent seventeen-year-old woman. I enjoyed reading the book in Sam’s perspective. She had a good inner voice.
Ok, the Garretts. Maaaaan, they were awesome. Such a well written, well developed family. There’s Joel, Alice, Jase, Andy, Duff, Harry, George and Patsy. I loved George!! He was so so so cute :). (George also happens to be my nickname). Even though she was a bit of a bitch to Sam at first, I grew to like Alice. She was a good sister. She also proved to be more than meets the eye. I thought she was going to be a… selfish bitchy, slut, with no goals or ambitions, but she was working towards being a nurse and was a good big sister. I also really loved Andy! She was a typical teenage girl, obsessing over clothes, make-up and boys. She was also a good sister. No matter what, the Garretts always managed to pull through and stay together, through everything.
Sam’s mother, Grace, was interesting. Actually, she was a bitch. She hardly ever thought of anyone other than herself. The only times she would communicate properly with Sam was to talk about school and holiday plans. She didn’t even allow Sam to have much of a holiday. She was a pretty crappy mother who didn’t notice her own daughters discomfort and her growing disobedience and confidence. Sam’s sister, Tracy, wasn’t around for much of the book, but I still liked her. Sam thought highly of her. Grace’s new boyfriend, Clay was a dick. He was horrible! Normally, I love reading about Southern characters, but I couldn’t give a rat’s ass about Clay. He didn’t care about Grace, he cared about the political campaign, and I do not know how Grace put up with it! Eventually, Jase and Sam told it how it was and put him in his place. Thank God, he totally deserved it.
Sam’s best friend, Nan was alright at first. She wasn’t a very big part of the book, but still. She didn’t do anything to make me like her or dislike her. Nan’s twin brother, Tim was awesome. He was such a funny character! He had his issues, but he straightened out. He helped Samantha and was a very loyal friend and employee. When he got an opportunity to clean himself out, he took it, which impressed me because not very many people, in real life and not, are able to do that.
Sam and Jase’s relationship was one of the best I have ever read. It was smooth and slow. They both genuinely cared about each other and loved each other, and they let it show. Jase welcomed Sam into his family and life with open arms, and accepted that it wouldn’t be as easy for her to let him in. He spoke to Sam about that, though. He wasn’t afraid to tell her what he thought, but he was kind about it. He was never rude or pushy. He had Sam’s best interests at heart. I loved their relationship so much. In fact, I’m sure everybody did. It was a genuine, honest to goodness relationship, full of trust and love. I loved the fact that Sam warmed up to Jase and his family quickly, too. She seemed like such a tight ass at the beginning, someone who didn’t believe in love, and was too focused on school and marks to have a boyfriend, but she proved me wrong! She was just as amazing as Jase in the relationship. The only problem was the sex. It was messy. The author should’ve either written it better, or not included it at all. But then Fitzpatrick would mention something and it left me, and my friend Georgie, wondering, Did They? Didn’t They? I’m sure every single girl on this planet is envious of Jase and Sam’s relationship.
I thought this was going to be an easy going summer contemporary, and it was, but it had a HUGE twist. I won’t tell you the twist, because I had NO IDEA when I got to the part, and I want you, reader, to feel the surprise I felt. It was crazy. I don’t necessarily believe it was a good or bad idea, I was just shocked. Although it was pretty heart-breaking, it opened everyone’s eyes, and maybe some good came of it, I suppose. This part of the story was very surprising, but very interesting.
After reading sooooo many reviews on this book, I was prepared for some shitty, quick, messy ending, and was surprised when it didn’t come. I kept waiting for the surprise ending, but it didn’t come, well for me anyway. I turned the page and was thinking “oh dear God, is this where it ends, oh now I understand why people were saying crap about the ending!” but, the book kept going. I guess I could say that I wanted more from the book, but that’s just because I loved it so much! I didn’t want it to end at all, but I think Huntely Fitzpatrick wrapped it up nicely.
I loved My Life Next Door. It was an amazing debut and I want to read everything by this author, no matter what! I loved the characters, the setting and the story. The twists and turns had me bitting my fingernails! My Life Next Door is exciting, but nice and smooth. It is a quick, but nice, read. I couldn’t have asked for a better book.