Publication Date: June 14, 2012
Format: Hardcover, 395 pages
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This was a beautifully told summer tale of first love, family and morals.
That makes it sound pretty boring, huh? But there’s nothing boring about Samantha and Jase’s first love. We’re talking smoldering, kids. Even The Atlantic Wire has this on its list of books that are sexier than Fifty Shades of Grey
Ok, synopsis: Samantha has always watched the huge, rambunctious Garrett family since they moved in. Her mom, a state senator, has always implicitly forbidden her to do so because the Garretts seem uncivilized to her – unlike Samantha’s perfect-looking home, the Garretts’ lawn is always unmown, and the kids seem to be running wild. But Samantha loves the look of that house…or rather, the people in it.
One night, Jase Garrett climbs up and begins talking to Samantha. From there on in, things get messy – in a good way. Jase introduces Samantha to a open, more-loving way of life. At the same time, things with her mother’s re-election are heating up. and Samantha is forced to act less and less like herself by her mother’s new campaign manager.
I won’t get into any more details than that, because the build-up to the climax of this book is such a wonderful, slow burn. I honestly didn’t see it coming because I was so enamoured of Jase and Samantha and too busy enjoying their romance. Huntley Fitzpatrick does an amazing job of describing how first love feels.
She also gives secondary characters the attention they deserve – each of the Garrett siblings are adorable and three-dimensional, and even Samantha’s mom and the campaign manager are more than just villains. I liked the fact that this book focused on a lot of the things going on in Samantha’s life, not just the romance. Tim, Samantha’s best friend’s brother, was a particular favorite of mine (he’s totally swoonworthy in a Marcus Flutie kind of way, I swear!).
Overall, I really enjoyed My Life Next Door and I think it’s great contemporary YA with a lot of heart and depth. My only reason for giving it four stars instead of five would be the ending – I just wanted a little more digging into what happened…and I wanted more of Jase and Samantha! As an adult, I wanted one more love scene to seal their fate. But obviously, the point wasn’t the sex (I just wanted more of it!).
Have you read My Life Next Door? What did you think of it?