Review: My Life Next Door

  mylifeTitle: My Life Next Door

  Author: Huntley Fitzpatrick

  Release Date: June 14, 2012

  Publisher: Dial Books For Young Readers

  Description: 394 pages, Young Adult Contemporary

synopsis

“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?

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On The Right Side Of The Wrong Bed

For as long as I can remember, I have been apprehensive of books under the contemporary genre. I have been under the impression that the pragmatism behind such books would defeat the purpose of reading, an escape from the harsh realities of life come to naught. But that was once upon a time, and this is now. My Life Next Door was a piquant and captivating read, adorable one second and electrifying the next. Though I did find myself in a bit of a tight spot as I tried to cope with the leisurely pacing, I was thoroughly impressed with the writing style, forthright with its simplicity. Though the romance in the book could easily have been classified insta-love, I was fascinated by the way the author managed to move around it, keeping me under the pretense that Jase and Samantha had known each other for years. Despite how the ending seemed breakneck and abrupt, I for once admired the unrestrained, somehow open-ended conclusion that simultaneously left me unfulfilled and satiating, introducing me to one side of contemporary once unbeknownst, but now sweepingly endeared and appreciated.

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In Silent Observance

Samantha Reed was the daughter of a politician, one of stern, draconian upbringing. Though I envied her the ease at which money flowed through, I could not deny the admiration of the fact that she was down-to-earth and plainspoken, not at all the prissy, Jase-centered girl I was expecting. Though I could have done without her constant second guessing, I found myself growing increasingly attached to her character, finally understanding the impact of the consequences she had to face on a daily basis. Samantha’s troubles were a challenge to relate to, yet easy to empathize with. Well into the book, I found her character in a state of development, ultimately admiring her eagerness to step out of the shadow of reluctance and into the light of self-confidence. She was loyal to her friends in the midst of trial and misconception, and at the same time had the strength not to let emotions get the best of her and lead her to ruthlessness. She stood for her beliefs without being boorish and impertinent, and in terms of Jase, I was impressed by the extent of her self-control. The romance was idyllic without being sloppy, and the scenes between Jase and Samantha were heartwarming without being over-sentimental. Safe to say I hold her in esteem.

“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.”

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Shot Through The Heart

Jase was, predictably, six feet of pure muscle, tufts of boyish hair, mesmerizing hazel brown eyes, and charm enough for total infatuation. I of course, was one of the unsuspecting many. Jase was a romantic, earnest and persevering son, brother, and boyfriend, chasing after an endless dream. I admired him his passion for excellence and uncompromising demeanor, which of course, served only to highlight his gentle perfection. He made sure to take things slow with Samantha, at her pace, not his, and I loved how effective he was when it came to fixing broken things, machine or otherwise. He was softhearted as well as good-looking, such that swoon-worthy would not even begin to cover it. He, however, was not the best part. George was one of the many adorable Garrett spawn, made out of pure cutesy and adorable. His childish one-liners cracked me up multiple times, and I loved how he could lighten the drudging mood in the blink of an eye. Tim was a sarcastic prig with a shitload of problems, but insofar as the book went, he was one of the most honest and realistic, slowly becoming one of my favorites. Though the rest of the characters lacked in depth, I was glad to note that the ones who mattered most made it count.

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And You’re Too Late

Overall, My Life Next Door was a breezy and interesting read, a book that would serve an unorthodox, yet perfectly logical form of relaxation for one on vacation, and looking for adventure. Though the pacing was much too gradual for my taste, I found myself thoroughly immersed in the story somewhere through the middle-end. It was predictable at times, yet it kept me excited for scenes between Jase and Samantha, Samantha and the Garretts, and just about anything remotely involving Tim. The conclusion left the door ajar, and would probably bother those who would rather a solution to each and every problem, yet I myself loved the simple resolve, and would recommend this book to all those looking for a feel good title.

If you are interested in contemporary books with a modern family twist, set against a backdrop of politics and reticent secrets that dramatically raise the stakes for everyone involved, then I suggest you waste no time picking this book up, because I can guarantee you some form of enjoyment.

“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.” 

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4 heartsmlndbadges

So what do you think of this book? If you haven’t read it, will you? And if you’re wondering what those nifty little buttons are, and what they stand for, check them out here! siggy

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20 thoughts on “Review: My Life Next Door

  1. JAAAAASE! Love him. He’s just the best. The romance in this one was so sweet ❤
    If you like Tim, you're probably quite excited for the sequel hey haha. (It's based on Tim and Alice, if you hadn't heard about it before)

  2. Got this book on my wishlist but never got the opportunity to get this yet because of all the other 100+ books on it xD But I have heard it’s a good contemporary 🙂

    I love the sound of the characters, especially how Samantha develops throughout the story. I’m also especially intrigued by the importance of family in this. I love how you described this as a good read for vacation. Fantastic review Jasmine 😀

    • HAHAHAHA well move it to the top :> Haha! It AMAZING contemporary, and that’s me being apprehensive of the genre as a whole XD Samantha has got to be one of the most amazing protagonists I’ve come across in contempo 🙂 But Jase? Jase is better 🙂 And haha yeah it IS good for vacation! I can imagine myself rereading on the beach sometime 😀

  3. I liked My Life Next Door a lot and I can’t wait to read more by this author. I saw the cover reveal for her next book all over my Bloglovin feed this week.

    I’ve nominated you for the Shine On Award here. No worries if you’re not interested. 🙂

  4. I loooove the Garretts! It’s one of the reasons I keep reading the book (at times it got a lil bit boring but thank God I didn’t stop), I want to be one of them!!! And Jase is such a loooovely book boyfriend. Up until now, I still feel giggly everytime I remember Jase & Sam’s encounter on the top of the roof HEHEH
    Nice review, Jasmine! ❤

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