My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick
Release date: June 14, 2012
Summary: Samantha’s mother has always disapproved of the Garrett family. They have too many children, too messy of a yard, and not nearly enough organization—plus, they live next door. Samantha, on the other hand, has always been fascinated with the Garretts. When she finally meets one of the Garrett boys by chance, she realizes what she’s been missing, and discovers that she doesn’t share her mother’s opinion of them.
My thoughts: Huntley Fitzpatrick is the next big voice in contemporary YA, I can just feel it! My Life Next Door is, hands down, one of the best pieces of realistic YA I’ve read in awhile. A big part of this love is due to the fact that while reading, you feel like you’re actually a part of the story—you’re so fully immersed that you don’t even feel like you’re reading words on a page. There’s something about Samantha’s voice that is connecting, that enables Huntley Fitzpatrick to bridge the gap between mind and page.
The honest storyline is fantastic, with twists that take the characters in unexpected directions. My Life Next Door is just like life: unpredictable and not always happy. But the happy parts of the novel are definitely the best. The romance, specifically, is the kind that’s sweet and heart-warming to watch evolve. I love the way Fitzpatrick handles the development of love between Samantha and Jase—it feels just right.
Though the story is near perfect, with its many moments of thought-provocation, the characters are what make My Life Next Door an absolute gem. The cast is quite large (consider the fact that Jase has seven brothers and sisters), but every single character stands out. By the end of the book, you’ll be able to say something about each of Jase’s siblings. About his parents. About Sam’s friends. Because they’re all unique, funny, and memorable. My favorite of all the characters (aside from the main two) would definitely be Tim, Sam’s drug-addicted acquaintance who turns out to be the most hilarious and quick guy on the planet. Fitzpatrick’s attention to even the smallest of characters is amazing.
If you like teen fiction, you absolutely must pick up My Life Next Door. I promise you’ll love it—it’s impossible not to!
For those who like: romance, family drama, laughs
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