Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Review - My Life Next Door

Author: Huntley Fitzpatrick
Publisher: Dial Books
Publication date: June 14th, 2012
Cover Source: Goodreads.

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.

Guess what? This is Ms. Fitzpatrick's debut novel! Oh, I love debut's like this, can't wait to see more work from her! Oh and that cover of Jase and Sam in front of the fence between the families. Love it!

Everyday since the Garretts moved in, Samantha watches the Garretts from her perch on the balcony wishing to be a part of their messy, loving family. But since Samantha is forbidden from associating with the family, she just watches from afar, until one fine evening a handsome Garrett climbs up her terrace and changes everything.

First-loves, family, friendship and NO teen angst. Woot woot! Perfect is what I tell you! It was so refreshing reading through the lives of Sam and Jase, no unnecessary annoying drama while going back and forth about do's and don'ts. These two were reasonable, mature 17 year olds. And I enjoyed very single bit!

Let's talk about the lovely characters.

Oh the characters!!! The character development and the all the characters themselves were beautiful. Beautiful I tell you! Here were a few of my favorites.

Grace Reed, Sam's mum was annoying.It was needed for her character and I liked that fact but yes she annoyed me with her set prejudice about the numerous chaotic Garretts. Grace is opinionated and headstrong, and she despises the them for basically having a big family and having a chaotic happy life and the fact that Mrs.Garrett breast-feeds on the porch. OH MY! ;) As a Senator with a trust fund they live a lavish life but she never really spends much time with her children. Oh and she get worse with the entrance of her creepy southern boyfriend.

But I liked her. Ok not her, but the way she was written really.

The Garretts, deserve to be on here. The entire family right from the oldest to the youngest were adorable. They happily include Sam as part of their family and the love and bickering between them is just lovely to read. Mr. and Mrs. Garrett reminded me of the Weasley's for a bit.

Jase Garrett, trying not to squeal right now. Jase is more than just a boy on the wrong side of the tracks. He isn't even one really. Jason Garrett is a boy any parent would gladly love to see their daughter with (only Grace couldn't get past her obnoxious prejudice). I also appreciated the way he judged Sam when she revealed the secret.

Let's create a checklist shall we?



Babysits his siblings


    Helps around the house

Loves each and every member of his large adorable family

    Potential book boyfriend

Need I go on? He sure checks all the boxes in my list.

George!! You deserve a special place here honey. The four-year-old with a penchant for an over-active disastrous imagination and a walking encyclopedia. I loved this kid! Here is an excerpt I had posted in a Teaser Tuesday post that will just have to be posted here to.

“Did you know that in space it's very, very cold? And there's no oxygen? And if an astronaut fell out of a shuttle without his suit he'd die right away?"

I'm a fast learner. "But that would never happen. Because astronauts are really, really careful."

George gives me a smile, the same dazzling sweet smile as his big brother, although at this point, with green teeth. "I might marry you," he allows. "Do you want a big family?” 

Oh and another one.

“Is Jase already gonna marry you?”

I start coughing again. “Uh, No. No, George. I’m only seventeen.” As if that’s the only reason we’re not engaged.

“I’m this many.” George holds up four, slightly grubby fingers. “But 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.” 

Tim,  here's another guy I loved. Tim is Sam's bestfriend's brother. He falls into drinking and drugs and basically goes downhill from there. Tim is given a job by Mr.Garret on a deal that he will attend AA. Soon after Nan (Sam's bestie) and Sam start to get distant, Tim is right there, helping out . I liked him at his dysfunctional beginning and loved him as the story moved forward. I especially  liked the Tim and Alice Garrett angle.

This Book certainly has lots of lovable characters. I loved all of them really, maybe with the exception of Nan. I liked her, just didn't love her.

Ok this review is getting long. So I'll end it quick.

Now why did I strip half a quill from this gorgeous book!?

  1. Conflict between Sam and Nan.
    Yeah I didn't like how that was resolved. That's saying it was not resolved at all. What happened with them? Did they just never talk again?
  2. Jase's reaction
    Didn't I like the way he saw that Sam was not to blame, when anyone else would have shunned her, wouldn't talk to her or maybe shoved her into a river in extreme cases.
    Well, even though I liked his reaction, it was too quick. He needed a breather. That just didn't seem realistic to me.
These among a few other reasons resulted in minus half a quill.

But don't you dare go by that! Grab this summer-y read and get to know the Garretts. Because I certainly loved them.

Rating: 4.5 Quills

Read as part of the

quill design: QioDen
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