Thursday, May 17, 2012

My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick

My Life Next Door
Huntley Fitzpatrick
June 14th 2012
395 pages (hardcover)
Dial Books for Young Readers
Source - Netgalley
“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?
From the rooftop of Samantha Reed's house, the Garrett's seem completely unlike her own privileged family. So, when she gets the chance to step into a world she's only looked in on from the outside, she takes it. Soon enough, she finds herself falling in love with each of them, Jase most of all. Yet, her mother's race to be reelected as Senator keeps tensions high at home, and Samantha's struggling to find balance between the life her mother expects and the life Samantha experiences next door with the Garrett's. But when an unforgivable act occurs, she has to decide: should she tell the truth, or keep a terrible secret?

My Life Next Door is a surprising debut. It begins with a sweet romance that builds and grows with each page. Fitzpatrick takes care to flesh out each character, making it all the easier to enjoy them. Samantha's fascination with the Garrett family is infectious, especially once she becomes a part of their lives. While budding young love is large part of the story, familial relationships and friendships become equally important once they are tested as the line between what's right and what's wrong grows more painstakingly obvious after tragedy strikes. A heartfelt and endearing story, My Life Next Door is sure to be a hit. 

Highlights: The relationship between Samantha and Jase1 was surprisingly enjoyable, despite the quickness. Interactions with the Garrett's were my favorite part of this book. Side characters were very nicely written (especially Tim, Clay, the Garrett's), because each had their own personalities with flaws and strengths. Even Grace (Samantha's very strict and slightly scary mother) proved to be more complex than I imagined. 

Lowlights: The conflict the summary hints at took place very late, around 3/4 into the story. It was frustrating to deal with the shift in tone once it arrived. I felt like I was reading a different story after the conflict happened. I enjoyed the book more before that part of the story arrived2

Note: References to drugs, alcohol, et cetera. Some cursing, mostly by Tim. A (safe) sex scene. 


1 *swoons over Jase*
2 A compelling conflict, but it felt like it was happening too late in the story to make a genuine impact on me. It was annoying to know something bad was going to happen and have to wait so long for it. Honestly, I'm probably in the minority on this point.


Cover + Summary from Goodreads


  1. Glad you overall enjoyed this one Lea :) ! It sounds amazing and I can't wait to meet Jase .. Great review :)

  2. I know how frustrating it can be if you already know that something bad will happen but it takes ages to get to it. Makes me want to say: don't write it in the summary if it's this late - it spoils the whole book. :D

    Nonetheless I'm glad you enjoyed it! Can't wait to read it myself. :) Thanks for your honesty!

    Fictional Distraction

  3. Despite that little problem you had with the conflict coming a bit too late, I'm glad you really enjoyed this! So excited to read it. Love the review. :)

  4. Even though the issue with the late conflict annoyed you, I think it seems like a good summer read. Your review definitely has me intrigued- I will have to get a copy this summer. Thanks for the great review!

  5. Ahhhh, awesome review! :) I really want to read this one. ^___^

  6. Can't wait to read this one! I didn't know about the tragedy part, but it sounds intriguing. Great review!

  7. I've been really looking forward to this one, so I'm glad that overall, you enjoyed it! Brilliant review, Lea :)

  8. Awesome review! I requested this one from Netgalley but haven't heard back yet... Glad you mostly enjoyed it, even if the conflict was kinda off. (Plus, you've piqued my interest because now I'm DYING to know what said conflict is.)

  9. This looks like a good one! I am too now very curious about the conflict! Great review :)

  10. Really glad you enjoyed this one it sounds really amazing. That is a pain when the conflict comes to late and it sort of feels like a different book after. Still it seems like the pros outweigh the cons. Can't wait to pick this one up!

  11. I haven't read too many reviews about this book but now you have me wondering about the late conflict too.

  12. Your highlights and lowlights are exactly my points too! The interactions with the siblings were my favorite parts, and I just loved Jase! But when the change in the story hit, it completely changed everything, and I wasn't as happy with it anymore. Glad that you enjoyed it!

  13. I've been hearing EXTRAORDINARY THINGS about Jase. LIke, I so badly want this book. I scoured the ends of the earth and all of netgalley for a copy and I've turned up empty. It looks like it disappeared. I NEED THIS BOOK. Can't wait!

  14. I have to say I love the cover of this one! It makes me feel all happy and girly and summery and like I want to be sixteen again (almost). Lol.

  15. This reminds me of Lola and the Boy Next Door, which is a good thing because I loved that one! I really want to read more contemporaries and I'm thinking this is one that I need to read. Thanks for the review, Lea!