My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick (4.5 Stars)
"If you want a book that's definitely chick-lit. Makes you feel a dozen kind of emotions and has a boy protagonist that is probably one of the most gentlemanly guy I've ever read. This is probably the best thing for you(me)"
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.
I never really had a thing for chick-lit novels. I like to read edgy stories and very adventurous characters. But, this book made me change my perspective. It was very... normal? ^^. It just talks about a normal girl, with a complicated problem. Its pretty much a normal situation. But the plot, the characters and the life of the story was just different.
Samantha is the daughter of Grace Reed, who is running for state senator. Everybody thinks that she's the "golden child" of the running state senator. But she thinks differently. Living under her mother's very strict rules. Sam had always tried to be in good ways with her mom. She did what a good daughter would do. She was almost agreeing to her mother every opinion. Almost. She's been watching the Garretts ever since she was little. Always watching them, and wondering about them. Almost knowing all of them from afar. Never had she thought that she would meet one of them. Better yet, fall in love with them.
It wasn't really love at first sight. I knew it was a good book based on the other reviews I've read about it. But I didn't pay that much of attention to it. When I started reading it. I said to myself--"Hmm... its kinda good.". But I still didn't get that hooked up with it. It was a bit boring at the start since all it talks about is Sam's family and the whole history with the election, and long time friendship with the Mason's. But when Samantha met Jase, things got much more interesting.
The book had a different writing style from what I've usually read. Its not that big of a deal. I hardly even noticed it. But it did add a bit of unique quality to it. The plot was just average for me, but Fitzpatrick did a good job of making more lively and true. It felt like Fitzpatrick based the Garretts out of a true family. Everything about the Garretts seems so warm, homey, and fun. There was a lot of fun stuff going on with story. I had a lot of smiles and laughs with this book.
And because I loved the plot. I really really loved the characters. Everyone was awesome by my standards. I had to admit that I hated a few characters but dang, in the end they were more awesome than those I loved first. The Garrett's were fun and compassionate people. I see a lot of good morals coming from the parents. They were a very loving family. Though I had to admit that being a family that big of a size will raise eyebrows from most people, but they were very affectionate. They an epitome of a "One big happy family"
Out of all the Garrett's, George and Pantsy were the most memorable. I love the Garrett kids. But these two just stood out among all of them. George is definitely a whiz kid. I love the facts that he says. He's very smart for a young boy, but I love those moments that you can see how vulnerable he is. Makes him so dang cute, plus he made me laugh a lot. Pantsy is just a baby, but gosh, she is soooo adorable. Her first words are quite perculiar too(Something you should look out for). But still cute nonetheless. She didn't do much but she sure left a mark.
Tim was awesome. He was a big douchebag at the start, but he came around. Dang, he's even as awesome as Jase is. I really didn't like him from the start, he's a stoner, probably a bit of an alcoholic, smoker, and a bit of an arse. He was complete douche to Nan and Sam but in the end, he did a lot of awesome things. He really surprised me with how he is with Jase and Sam. He was completely different from the douche mask that he wants people to see.
Nan who was Sam's best friend really made me sad. I can't imagine how she thinks. She's so immature and childish with the way that she acts. I can't believe that she let her insecurity run over her, and made her do a bad decision. I'm definitely pissed at her, but sadly this situation is true in real life.
Jase is someone you would like for a boyfriend. A good choice too. He's a gentleman, responsible, and very funny. I like him a lot. He kinda reminded me of Caleb from Significance. I love how he really became friends with Sam. He didn't just like her for her looks, he did everything so that she would be comfortable with him. So that she could trust him. I admire him for being Sam's safe zone. He didn't pressure her at anything, their relationship was light and very friendly, he was just there for her.
Sam was "the golden child" from other people's view. But she was everything but that. She was lonely, with her sister always up and about, and her mom running. She didn't have anyone to be with. Her life next door really changed her in a good way. She became a different person when she met the Garrett's. She became stronger, and firm with her choices. I loved her a lot when she put her foot down, then she decided not to do every whim her mother wants. Might be rebellious to others, but to me. She finally made a choice for herself, a choice that could make her happy. She made a very hard decision. Between who is really important in her life. I can't imagine myself in her place, because her choice changed something in her life.
WHY WOULD I RECOMMEND IT?
It did a good justice on what really happens behind "the golden girl" image. It made a good point that not everybody can have it all. It showed that everybody is fair in all means, yet it also showed how unfair some moments in life is. It made me feel good, it made me feel grateful. It made me smile, squeal, groan, and have those "awww" moments. Its perfect for everybody in my opinion. Something really worth reading. :D
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About the author
Huntley Fitzpatrick grew up dreamy and distracted in coastal Connecticut, attended Concord Academy and Yale. She flourished in a family of bookworms where everyone always had their nose in a book. She kept an exhaustively thorough journal which frightened her boyfriends but has proved very useful in her career as a writer. Her debut contemporary Romance, MY LIFE NEXT DOOR, was published in June of 2012 by Penguin-Dial for Young Readers. Now she laughs with and eavesdrops on her six children who provide her with perspective and material. She is represented by the amazing Christina Hogrebe of the Jane Rotrosen Agency.
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