Title: My Life Next Door
Author: Huntley Fitzpatrick
Buy This Book: Amazon / Book Depository
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. (Goodreads summary.)
I seem to have fallen head-over-heels in love, with a book. I didn't know what to expect from My Life Next Door, but I definitely wasn't expecting to find one of my favourite reads ever. I just loved this, from beginning to end.
Samantha Reed was seven the day the Garrets moved in next door. Their large family was everything Samantha's mother didn't want living next door; loud, untidy, chaotic. But Samantha can't help but be curious about the Garretts, and she watches them from the roof outside her bedroom window. Ten years pass like this, with Sam watching the Garrets from afar, until Jase Garrett climbs up her trellis and into her life. In that moment I'm not sure if she fell for him straight away, but I sure did!
I'm not sure where to begin on what I liked about this story because the list is so long. The characters are all incredible, from Samantha and Jase all the way to the characters that you just love to hate. Huntley Fitzpatrick has managed to breathe life into every single character in this book, and there are a lot of them. The Garretts alone are a family of ten, but I still felt like I got to know and love them all. I fell in love with Jase, adored Sam and surprisingly Tim, the brother of Sam's best friend, was my third favourite character. He was sarcastic, funny, a bit of a fuck up but somehow so likeable. (I can't describe how excited I was to see that he is getting his own book. Can't wait!!!!)
I have found my book boyfriend in My Life Next Door. Seriously, I think I fell more in love with Jase than Samantha did. I fell for him the moment he climbed up that trellis and opened his mouth. This is surprising as it usually takes a very long time for that to happen to me, but he had me straight away. He is rather adorable, especially his love of animals, something I can definitely relate to. The way he looks after his younger siblings reminded me a lot of Lochan from Forbidden. This book had me swooning, and I never swoon!
The story progressed really well and there were so many different characters that it kept it really interesting. The Garretts were a big part of the story, but we also have Sam's mother who is a state senator, Clay Tucker the ambitious man helping her mother, her best friend Nan (a Nan is a relative, not a name for a child), and quite a few more. This book just felt very real and true to first love and teenage romance and first times. When the book takes a more serious turn you're not ready for it, especially after so many cute moments. But it works perfectly and had me feeling so many different emotions that I couldn't keep up.
I usually like to try and balance my review out by telling you something I disliked about this book but I am really struggling to think of anything. This, as I've said, is definitely one of my favourite reads now. As soon as I finished it I was tempted to start it all over again. It was such a beautiful, wonderful and hopeful story. I fell in love with the characters, was completely engrossed in the story, laughing one minute and tearing up the next.
A beautiful story that truly captures the magic of first love.