Saturday, July 21, 2012

Review of My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick

by Isabelle Doan

Random Info:
Publisher: Dial Books for Young Readers
Pages: 395 pages (hardcover)
Series: No
My Format: bought e-book
Time it Took me to Read: Four Days
Rating: Library/Borrow/e-book/Paperback/Hardcover

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.

I'm not exactly sure what perpetuates the idea of "The Boy Next Door". All of my neighbors are meth addicts or kids. Well, respectively. I haven't seen a lot of bleary eyed babies around here of late.

Anyway, seeing as that I'm not attracted to the concept of being high, nor am I a pedophile, you can see why I wouldn't relate to Samantha's problems.

Samantha is the daughter of a state senator, whose next door neighbors are a family of ten, AKA the Garretts. Jase Garrett is the love interest of this story,and they have an epic, and rather fluffy love story. And that's basically it. Nothing particularly radical happens in this story. As I said before, it's rather fluffy.

The big "thing" at the end didn't surprise me at all. That's because, you know the copyright page at the beginning of books? You know how there's a summary on it? Well that summary give the BIG FRUGGING THING AWAY. However, I do have to admit, though I knew what happened, it gave me some chills reading Samantha's narration during it. If Fitzpatrick had written the whole book like that moment, I'd have given this book eight million stars.

I wasn't particularly happy with the romance in this either, though this is mostly a romance book. It was very rushed at the beginning. Let me give you an example. (Minor spoilers from first 100 pages, highlight to see)

Samantha asks Jase if he is a serial killer, because it's only, like, their third time talking. He says he's not. Guess what happens after this exchange.




They KISS.

(End spoilers)I wanted to slam my head into a bed of nails, it was just too painful. I considered dropping the book, but I kept going. All of the characters were archetypes, as there were just too many of them. None of them were layered or that interesting, and all of them have the luxury of being white. True, Samantha didn't much drama. But that just isn't interesting to read about.

In short, they were too goody-goody for my tastes. Which is okay, some people like that and I respect that.

However, this book did redeem one star because of Nan, Samantha's friend. I could identify with her because, I, too had a blonde, perfect, friend that I wanted to stab in jealousy and I always thought I was competing with. She was such a memorable character. From this, I can easily tell that Fitzpatrick knows how to write secondary characters- now can she do it for the main ones?

It redeemed another star because it became more readable as it eased off the romance, which I was rolling my eyes at.

All in all, you should give it a try, as I see everyone else has given this five stars, and I can't deny it is a good book. Everything's good, the characters are good, the plot is good, all is good in shangri-la. However, there just wasn't that factor that pushed me over the edge. It was too safe in my opinion. So give it a shot, you won't be disappointed, and I shall be reading Fitzpatrick's novels in the future.



  1. Hi, I found you on GR, I am a Lift your blog member. I am your new buddy, here is mine,

  2. Awesome review!
    I haven't read it and I don't think I am going to either. :P

    1. Oh, no, it's still a pretty good book! You should read it!

  3. Hi Isabelle,
    Great review! I was kind of indecisive about this one... Now I know that I don't have to rush myself to read it...

    1. No, dear, I think you should read it. It's just not my type of book, is all.

  4. Really good, honest review. Thanks for sharing this with us! I think this does sound like my sort of read, so I will have to check it out. :)

    New to your blog!
    Steph @ Stepping Out Of The Page
    P.S. I also have an International Giveaway on at the moment!

  5. Loved your review, and I must say while I love the boy next door contemporary novels I didn't enjoy the romance 100%, felt a bit rushed like you said. However I loved this book for Jase's family. so freaking cute!

    anyways great review and awesome blog!
    new follower!

    - juhina @ Maji Bookshelf