Friday, June 29, 2012

Review: My Life Next Door by Huntly Fitzpartick

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.

My Thoughts: 

I have been waiting to read this book for a while, so when i finally got a hold of it, i devoured it in one sitting. (which i do with all my books..well..the good ones). It has taken me a while to review this. sorry. I had to sort through it in my mind. then i waited too long and it's not too fresh in my mind but i am going to tell you what i though. 

I know that in order to have a story, any story, there has to be some kind of conflict. Whether it be internal or external or whatever. I was surprised by what the actual main conflict in this book turned out to be. I am not exaggerating when i tell you I DID NOT EXPECT THAT AT ALL. 

You go into this book thinking it is only going to be a lighthearted love story with a Romeo and Juliet vibe. The Author, however, has other plans for you. 

I am going to focus on the Romeo and Juliet angle first. I love love loved Jase Garrett. He was not a bad boy. He did not play games. he was a GOOD GUY. He loves animals. He is like Shrek. The kid has layers. ( I feel awkward calling him a man..because i am nineten and ...he seems like a kid. i dunno. kid sound weird too.. eh) The boy has layers. (better). He sees his beautiful recluse neighbor watching his family from her tower (couldn't help it) and just decides to go for it. 

Samantha is a very like-able character as well. She knows her mom doesn't like the Garrets. Her perfect mom who always drilled into her and her sister to do the RIGHT thing. Samantha can't help herself and hangs out with the neighbors and finds herself falling in love- with the entire family. As her relationship with her mother deteriorates, she becomes closer and closer to the wild family she had seen for so many years, but never really known. 

In other news, this book BROKE MY HEART. I am not going to divulge what did it. But let me tell you this. Samantha is put into a desperate situation that no one should EVER be in. My heart hurt for her . I mean, she is seventeen and her whole world is turned on it's head. She has to question everything she had been taught. She has to be more courageous than any seventeen year old should ever have to be and she has to make a choice- one that is no where as easy as you might think.

This story has certain elements in it that you would not expect to find in a book written for a young adult audience. I mean, wow. The depth of heartache and the Politics were like... a slap in my face. A carefree, lighthearted, romeo and Juliet puppy love story? Oh, Ryan, if only. You are so naive. 

If you are in the mood for a book full of animals, sweet teenage boys, and more than one family full  to the brim with family drama....this is the read for you. I loved this book.

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