About the book
My Life Next Door is a debut contemporary YA novel by Huntley Fitzpatrick. It was published on 14th June by Dial Books and it is 394 pages long. This one was borrowed from Kirsty at http://www.overflowinglibrary.com/.
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?
(Taken from Goodreads.com)
What I thought
I don't think I was prepared for just how much I was going to love this book. I told Kirsty I wanted something contemporary and romantic to read and she gave me this one without me knowing anything about it. However, the cover sold me before even reading what it was about. The cover really sums up the story well and compliments what is inside the book.
Samantha, the protagonist of this story was a fantastic character. Although she comes from a good family with money and a trust fund, she doesn't whine about anything... ever. She never acts spoilt or moans that things aren't going her way and I loved her for this. She's a very down to earth girl who works to earn her own money which was something I really respected about her. Never did she rely on her family's money to see her through. Sam does have an inquisitive streak though and she cannot keep her eyes of the Garrett family next door who are strictly forbidden by her mother.
The Garrett's are a large family with 5 kids and a messy lawn. Not the kind of family Sam's mother wants to be associated with. When Sam finally gets to talk to one of the Garrett boys, Jase to be specific, everything changes. The pair instantly hit it off and she quickly becomes a part of their family and every day lifestyle. Jase I absolutely loved. It has been a while since I read about such a gorgeous boy in a book and this one I fell for instantly. He works hard, trains hard for football (so he has a nice body too) and he's extremely loyal and caring. I'm not normally one for nice guys in books but Jase changed my mind. Oooh, he also has a mini zoo in his bedroom which I thought was kind of cool.
The relationship between Sam and Jase was wonderful to explore. I was glad to see that there was none of this fall in love instantly rubbish and they take their time getting to know each other. Their relationship was very sweet but it managed to be exciting at the same time due to not many people knowing about them. Huntley Fitzpatrick is also really brave in tackling the topic of sex but she does it well. There is sex in the book but it is written in a very real way. Fitzpatrick tells it how it is. She doesn't make losing your virginity seem like the most amazing thing in the world and she doesn't say your first time will be mind-blowing. I loved how truthful she was when it came to this.
Secondary characters help to make this book as special as it was for me. The Garrett family especially made me fall in love with them. Young George has to be THE cutest kid I have ever read about. I don't normally really like kids but this one was made out of all kinds of awesome. He was funny and innocent and came out with the most hilarious things. He was also very bright for a young lad though which made him even more special to me. I wish we had gotten to see a little more of the other Garrett siblings though.
My Life Next Door is a wonderfully romantic story of first loves. This was exactly the book I wanted to read this summer and is now up there with my favourites of the whole year so far. This one is amazing and should be read by all.