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.show more
by Lisa De Souza