My Life Next Door

My Life Next Door

Book rating: 05 Hardback

By (author) Huntley Fitzpatrick

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  • Publisher: Dial Books for Young Readers,US
  • Format: Hardback | 394 pages
  • Dimensions: 150mm x 213mm x 36mm | 499g
  • Publication date: 14 June 2012
  • Publication City/Country: New York, NY
  • ISBN 10: 0803736991
  • ISBN 13: 9780803736993
  • Sales rank: 13,439

Product description

A gorgeous debut about family, friendship, first romance, and how to be true to one person you love without betraying another ""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, numerous, messy, affectionate. And every day from her balcony perch, seventeen-year-old Samantha Reed wishes she was one of them . . . until one summer evening, Jase Garrett climbs her terrace and changes everything. As the two fall fiercely in love, Jase's family makes Samantha one of their own. Then in an instant, the bottom drops out of her world and she is suddenly faced with an impossible decision. Which perfect family will save her? Or is it time she saved herself? A dreamy summer read, full of characters who stay with you long after the story is over.

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Author information

Huntley Fitzpatrick lives in South Dartmouth, Massachusetts.

Customer reviews

By Safari Poet 28 Sep 2012 5

It looks like Samantha Reed has the perfect life-proof that looks can be deceiving. Her mother, who is a senator and running for re-election has always liked everything in her life-and by extension, her daughter's lives-to be a certain way.Their family home looks more like a show house, she expects nothing but the best grades and every thing should be done with the "perfect family" image she feels her constituents expect in mind. One evening while Samantha is outside her bedroom window on the ledge-after a strange encounter with her mother's new campaign manager-contemplating and watching the Garretts (the next door neighbours and family of ten), Jase climbs into her life. Samantha slowly starts to live her life instead of existing in her mother's.

I thoroughly enjoyed every page of My Life Next Door. I love being able to sense a difference between the Samantha we meet in the beginning and the one on the last page. The relationship between her and Jase is one of the most realistic I've read. It develops and doesn't just happen. Fitzpatrick writes a teenage relationship how it could honestly progress and not an edited version where they have the mind and feelings of someone their age, but don't feel genuine in certain aspects.

Like Samantha, I never saw the twist and difficult decision she has to face coming. Difficult doesn't begin to describe the situation and position she's put in, but then you find out that the major plot has a another twist of its own-raising the stakes that much more.

This debut is a touching and true story about more than first love that ably captures the teenage voice. It's proof that you don't need any supernatural elements to be completely riveted. I can't wait to read what Huntley Fitzpatrick has in store next.

I think fans of Katie McGarry's Pushing the Limits would enjoy this.

By Christy @ Captivated Reading 09 Aug 2012 4

My Life Next Door is a sweet, although somewhat harsh, look at a young girl's life.

It's a story not JUST about a relationship with the neighbor-boy, but a story about a relationship (or lack of relationship), that a girl has with her mother, as well.

Samantha Reed's mother, is an independant woman raising two girls and as soon as the Reeds move in next door, she's quick to show her disdain. They are overrun with children. Their house and yard is not the tidy place that SHE keeps. There's a line drawn for Samantha. So, she watches them. For years.

When Samantha is older and her mother decides to run for public office, therefore keeping her from home more, Samantha has a chance run-in with Jase from next door. He's friendly, kind, a little flirtatious, and HANDSOME. He is her undoing.

At this point things change for Sam.

I'd like to say that her mom comes to terms with their relationship, right away, and they all live happily-ever-after. But, there's so much more to this story.

Samantha's mom's new boyfriend--who also seems to be running the campaign--enters the picture and things just get all crazy from there.

My Life Next Door is, at its core, a beautiful love story, that shows the reader that no matter the obstacles (and there are some MAJOR obstacles, here!), if true love is meant to be, then it will be.

I loved every page of this book. I had such a difficult time putting it down. It was original and intense. And I'm eager to read more from Ms. Fitzpatrick.

My Rating: 4.5/5

By Lisa De Souza 19 Jul 2012 5

This is a story about first love, friends, relationships and family, all added together to give its reader a very lovely, heartwarming, and fantastic story that will leave you wanting more even though it is a stand-alone.

"One thing my mother never knew, and would disapprove of most of all, was that I watched the Garrett's. All the time."

I've been highly anticipating reading this book since I saw it on goodreads last year and put it on my to-be-read list and my 'highly anticipating read' shelf. Yes, I have a shelf named as such.

The first thing that grabbed me was the summary. I'll say that most of the time it's the gorgeous covers of books that catch me but more and more lately I've been taking note of the summaries and whether they grab me or not. This definitely did! And I was lucky enough to get my greedy little hands on an ARC.

I'll honestly say that this is one of the best YA contemporary books that I've read in a long time and most likely the year.

Yes, I'm not gonna lie. This was such a great book for me. The main character Samantha has lived next door to the Garretts' for a little over ten years and she has watched their lives go on from the balcony of her bedroom. She's imagined what it would be like to be a part of their lives from afar because perish the thought that her mother, the wanna-be senator, finds out that she's cavorting with THOSE people.

The Garrett's are such a chaotic, loving, amazing family. But they've always been known as the family that has too many kids. Mr and Mr Garrett have eight kids. And I loved them all, especially the little ones, like Duff, Harry, George and adorable, little Patsy, whose first words were "Poop" and "Book", respectively. But they're so down to earth and such great and caring parents.

So one night as Samantha watches them from her perch outside her bedroom window, Jase, the Garrett's seventeen year old son, joins her for the first time. Sigh. This is the start of a beautiful friendship and soon-to-be relationship between Samantha and Jase.

Where Samantha is this somewhat reserved and kind of preppy, due to her upbringing. Jase is sweet, caring, responsible, and such a great role model for his younger siblings to look up to...

What I really loved about this story was that there wasn't any insta-love, no love triangle, and Jase, he was a pretty awesome, down-to-earth, and super normal guy. He wasn't broody or possessive or bad. He was... gasp... normal!

Who would have thought, huh?

He and Samantha develop this great relationship, even though she's a little overwhelmed by his huge family. And Jase is accepting of Samantha's friends and even her mother's awkward and unwelcoming behavior.

So when tragedy strikes, and Samantha feels like she's lost it all, will Jase's love for her be able to stand up to this kind of test? I most definitely had my doubts, but I was hoping for an HEA, so even though my mind was saying, logically, that this couldn't be this way, my heart was saying that **** happens and it's how we deal with it that shows the world what kind of person we are, and that sometimes love can get us through the tough times.

My only problem with this book was Samantha's mother and her attitude, and the fact that after everything, even though she seemed somewhat subdued, it's like she hadn't even changed her ways for the better. But I guess that sometimes you just can't teach and old dog new tricks.

So in closing, I will say that this is definitely a book that people need to add to their summer reading list!

My favourite YA contemporary debut novel for 2012.

Hands down.

By Brenna Staats 05 Jul 2012 5

I've already mentioned this to a few people, but My Life Next Door is TOTALLY reminiscent of Sarah Dessen's The Truth About Forever - which is not only my favourite Sarah Dessen book (seriously, I'm such a fangirl) but one of my favourite books of ALL TIME.

So just picture my epic excitement when I pick up this highly anticipated new contemporary YA release only to discover that it completely reminds me of one of my FAVOURITE books. But yet still different enough to stand all on its own. My Life Next Door is one of those perfect summer reads that will leave you itching for a reread as soon you've finished it.

Reasons to Read

1.One of the best, most realistic romances I've ever read:

Huntley Fitzpatrick seriously blew me out of the water with her portrayal of Jase and Sam's relationship; I LOVE that we don't spend hundreds of pages agonizing over whether they'll get together or not. I adore how strong and trusting and open they are with each other; they really want to build on a strong foundation for their relationship, and they put effort into figuring things out and trying to work together. It's beautiful and flawed but so real, and something that many people could actually aspire to. And Jase is just such a sweetheart- so reasonable and thoughtful, and Sam is so quietly strong and brave in her own way. They just MESH and I love them. And I think you will too!

2.Plus, that romance? SA-WOON:

(If you don't get that reference, you really need to read The Truth About Forever ASAP.) I hesitated making TWO of the reasons worth reading this about the romance, but Huntley does steamy well - yet still kind of awkward and sweet, all rolled into one.

3.A gorgeous story about growing up:

Here's what's really key about the book though, is how much Sam changes and develops over the course of the novel. Much like Macy (in Truth About Forever), Sam is perfectly put together, organized, driven, and lives directly under her mother's thumb. But of course this isn't enough and she's longing for something more. So something has to change, something eventually has to give and conveniently enough, the Garrets next door are complete opposite from her own family. Sam learns so much about growing up and what happiness and love means - and not easily, either, mind you. They're hard lessons for her and those around her to learn but it's incredibly touching & ultimately, unforgettable.

Most importantly though, is this idea of acceptance and appreciating or tolerating something different from your own norms. And how poignant that theme is - and at such the right time as well. The Garretts and the Reeds are completely different - but as Sam learns, that isn't necessarily a bad thing.

My Life Next Door doesn't QUITE hold the same charm that The Truth About Forever does, perhaps partially because of nostalgia on my part and partially because I think some of the secondary characters could have been fleshed out a bit more. And I wasn't entirely sure about how I felt with the conclusion; in some areas, I thought it was just right and ideal, but in others it didn't feel quite whole and rather unresolved.

But this is a remarkable contemporary, a perfect summer read of change and transition that is sure to be loved by many readers for a very long time.

Review quote

"One of the best books I read this past year. . . . Wonderful, uplifting and beautifully written." -- Kristan Higgins, "New York Times" bestselling author