Tuesday, 22 January 2013

My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick

My Life Next Door
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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.

My thoughts

This was such a sweet story, and I enjoyed every moment of it. I simply loved Samantha, Jase and the Garretts. I wish the book was longer so I could read more about them.
So it all begins when Jase clims Sam's terrace and easily draws her into his family. She gets everything she has ever dreamed of, until that moment when everything turns around. It really hadn't seen that turning point coming, and I think I despaired just as much as Sam when it happened. I was like how can things ever be good again? And I completely understood Sam's dilemma. I don't know what I would have done if it had been me. Phew. 

I liked that the story revovled around Samantha's life and not just about her being in love with Jase. Though I think this was a teeny bit annoying. Not that I didn't like that she wasn't only focused on Jase, but I think some of the other plot lines took too much time from the central stroy. I would have liked more bits with Sam and Jase togehter. They were so fun and romantic whenever they were around each other. 

The characters in this book was amazing. First of all, Sam was just a wonderful protagonist. She wasn't like most teenagers you read about; there was no angst or low confidence. She didn't question herself or her looks all the time. She was actually very mature, and that was very nice for a change. It also made it easier for me to relate to her. She does make some mistakes, but I understood her and I understood why she did what she did. 
Jase was very much the same. He wasn't the typical alpha male that seems to be everywhere in books these days. He was just a normal sweet guy, and I think that made him all the more swoon-worthy. And boy, he was just that. 
One of the things I loved most about this book was also Samantha and Jase's easy relationship. There was absolutely no drama between them. They were just.. together. I was reminded about a quote from Lola and the Boy Next Door, which is, I think, St. Clair saying: "When it's right, it's simple". And it really was between Samantha and Jase. 

And then there was the Garretts. I just wanted to hug them all. Especially George, he was soo cute. My favourtite quote from the book also involves George:

""Is Jase already going to marry you?"
I start coughing again. "Uh. No. No, George. I'm only seventeen." As if that's the only reason we aren't engaged.
"I'm this many," George holds up four slightly grubby fingers. "Jase is seventeen and a half. You could. Then you could live in here with him. And have a big family." 
Jase strides back into the room, of course, midway through this proposition. "George. Beat it. Discovery Channel is on."
George backs out of the room, but not before saying, "His bed's really comfortable. And he never pees in it."
The door closes and we both start laughing."

Isn't he just sweet? Though I do think that kid watched way too much Discovery Channel for his own good. But that was just another great part of this book, that even though there were a lot of kids in the Garrett family, they all had different personalities. It made the story more real and even more loveable. 

My only real complaint about this book is that I think the ending was a bit abrupt, everything just wrapped up quickly. I think it lacked some closure, and I would have liked it to have elaborated more on what had just happened. 

Overall, I very much enjoyed this book, and I'll most definitely recommend it. I'll certainly be looking out for more books from Huntley Fitzpatrick.

☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ 

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