My Life Next Door, Huntley Fitzpatrick

mylifenextdoorThe Garretts are everything the Reeds are not. Loud, messy, affectionate. And every day from her rooftop perch, Samantha Reed wishes she was one of them . . . until one summer evening, Jase Garrett climbs up next to her and changes everything.

As the two fall fiercely for each other, stumbling through the awkwardness and awesomeness of first love, Jase’s family embraces Samantha – even as she keeps him a secret from her own. Then something unthinkable happens, and the bottom drops out of Samantha’s world. She’s suddenly faced with an impossible decision. Which perfect family will save her? Or is it time she saved herself?

I received a copy of My Life Next Door through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review

Find the book on Goodreads.

Here we go again.  For someone who claims YA isn’t really her thing, I sure seem to read a lot of it, don’t I?  I like to think I’m on a quest to see what all the fuss is about, but I think the general taste among book bloggers seems to be headed in a more sci fi/fantasy direction and, Hell, maybe I do enjoy reading YA afterall.  Or I want to, at any rate.  But enough about me.

Much to my surprise, I found both Samantha and Jase to be really likeable.  For the most part they spoke plainly and didn’t make stupid decisions that lead to big misunderstandings and weeks of angst.  (Samantha did make a decision that lead to angst, but, let’s be real, that situation was never going to end well no matter what she did.)  The characters were also refreshingly mature, Fitzpatrick treated her main characters like real, modern young adults; ie. they worked side jobs, understood the concept of familial obligation,

The book was not without its YA pitfalls.  Or what I see as pitfalls, anyway.  When Samantha visits Jase’s room, for example, it’s naturally not filled with a half made bed and piles of dirty socks in the corner but rather with numerous plants and terrariums filled with exotic animals.  (Which his financially poor family found the money for… where?)  Jase is also slightly-better-than-average in everything he does whether it’s fixing up old cars, playing the guitar (which seemed an unnecessary inclusions seeing as nothing ever came of it.) or training for an athletic scholarship.  This sets him in good stead as a YA love interest, and like I said, I didn’t hate him for it.  Samantha and Jase make a lovely couple.

So I was waiting for the BIG MISUNDERSTANDING as I read along and definitely got more than I bargained for.  In fact, I think what happened was a little too serious for the story and was wrapped up a little too neatly.  But I was really quite enjoying myself up to that point and would still recommend the book for anyone looking for their next YA read.



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