Book Review · Contemporary · YA Fiction

My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick: Book Review


 The 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?

A transporting debut about family, friendship, first romance, and how to be true to one person you love without betraying another.”

This book is a classic YA contemporary. It has all the elements- cute teen love story, that comfortable town setting, and a complicated problem.So- the Reeds. Seventeen year old Samantha Reed. Her mother, State Senator of Connecticut, Grace Reed. Her one year older sister Tracy Reed. AWOL dad, left them when Tracy was one year old. With her parent’s trust fund, Grace climbed her way up the social ladder, starting with an interest in politics and ending a State Senator.

The Garretts. Eight children- Patsy, George, Duff, Harry, Andy, Jase, Joel, Alice. Loud, fun, loving. They moved next door ten years ago, much to Grace’s annoyance, her reason being that they were just too much. She never interacted with them, and told Tracy and Samantha not to, either. And they didn’t. Until the summer before Samantha’s senior year, these two next door neighbors live a very distant life.

Samantha watched the Garretts from her roof out her window every night before bed and wondered how it would be like to live in a house like that. One night, Jase climbed up the trellis to join her- the next door neighbors meet for the first time- and that’s how it all began. Reading about Jase (Jace!) and Samantha was adorable and incredibly weird. You always read about the stories of sparks and magic and perfection; but the awkwardness and reality of their relationship’s development was relatable and totally fluffy.

A few weeks ago, there was a hashtag going around, #MorallyComplicatedYA. This is totally one of them; Samantha Reed and her mother- State Senator Reed of Connecticut- face an intricate, morally complicated problem. The struggle that is portrayed was really deep, and it showed us how something that doesn’t seem like a “big deal” to one person can affect others greatly. It also gives you an inside glimpse on the messy and sometimes downright disgusting side of political campaigns.

This book isn’t going to be a favorite of mine, but nonetheless, it was really good. It was short and sweet and leaves you smiling. It was well written and the plot was designed perfectly.


Last review: Crank by Ellen Hopkins

Next review: The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith

Until next time!


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