Release Date: 2012
The Garretts are everything the Reeds are not. Loud, messy, affectionate. And every day from her rooftop perch, Samantha Reed wishes she was one of them . . . until one summer evening, Jase Garrett climbs up next to her and changes everything.
As the two fall fiercely for each other, stumbling through the awkwardness and awesomeness of first love, Jase’s family embraces Samantha – even as she keeps him a secret from her own. Then something unthinkable happens, and the bottom drops out of Samantha’s world. She’s suddenly faced with an impossible decision. Which perfect family will save her? Or is it time she saved herself?
A transporting debut about family, friendship, first romance, and how to be true to one person you love without betraying another.
I absolutely LOVED My Life Next Door! This book definitely has to be one of my favorite contemporary romances!
- Not quite enough conflict. The first half of this book had very little conflict. I still found myself loving the story, but I found myself wondering why it was so engaging – it wasn’t really the plot, it was the characters! The second half of the book (or maybe a bit less) DID have a major conflict that wasn’t resolved quickly, so this did get better. The other thing that bothered me just a little bit is that when there was a conflict between Jase and Samantha, it was resolved just a little too quickly and easily. Jase was very forgiving, so when there was an issue between the two of them, he might get upset for a half a page or so and then he’d let it go. This seemed a bit unrealistic to me, but it only nominally reduced my enjoyment of the book and I couldn’t even bring myself to take off a half star for it.
- The Garrets. The Garrets have got to one of the best fictional families ever. I love just about everything about their family dynamic – the fact that they were loving, but not so incredibly sweet that they were unrealistic (just look at Alice), that they placed such a high value on family and that they supported each other through thick and thin. I was especially enamored with George – he has got to be the most adorable kid ever and I loved every scene that involved him!!
- Samantha and Jase. I absolutely loved Samantha and Jase together. Jase was the kind of irresistible guy I could totally see myself falling for – he wasn’t a bad boy, but wasn’t unrealistically or overly sweet either – just charming and lovable and fun. Samantha found such a sense of belonging with Jase and with his family – it broke my heart when things went wrong for them. I loved the sweet, fun moments between these two and even the awkward first-love moments. Such fun!
- Family issues and doing the right thing. The family dynamics in this book were extremely interesting. While I already mentioned that I loved the Garrets (they needed their own bullet point), the other families in the book got their fair share of time as well – they just weren’t portrayed quite as positively. Tim and Nan have to deal with absentee, oblivious parents and Samantha has to pretend to live a picture perfect life even when things at home are more than intolerable. In addition, I loved the theme of figuring out how to do the right thing in a seemingly impossible situation. This moral struggle really made the book interesting.
- Tim. I was so excited to see that Fitzpatrick’s next book is going to be about Tim because I so loved him in this book! He was really a mess – an addict that couldn’t get his act together – but he grew so much in this book and I couldn’t help but root for him. I can’t wait to read more of his story soon!
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