Monday, 30 September 2013

My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick

Title: My Life Next Door
Author: Huntley Fitzpatrick
Publisher: Dial books
Date Published: June 14, 2012
Buy: Amazon
Goodreads summary
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.

If I had to sum this book up in two words I would use cute and enjoyable (therefore those words will appear a lot through out the review).
I would have been more generous with my rating had I not read On the Jellicoe Road right before this. I read this book to take my mind off of Jellicoe Road because otherwise I would become an emotional mess. This was my rebound book.
This book was good I suppose if you are a looking for something light to read. It was a fun read but there was no real plot going on here. I know I shouldn’t have really expected one, it’s a chic lit, but after reading such a deep and meaningful book such as the one I had, I was bound to expect more. I probably would have liked it under other circumstances. I mean I did give it a 3.5 considering that I didn’t like it as much as I thought I would (considering what I was like at that point, it means that this was pretty good).
The characters aren’t over the top awesome; Sam seems almost whiny at times. Jase was a rather good character, but he seemed way too perfect at times (but he was cute).
My favorite character, however, was George. He was what made me give this book 3.5 stars because he always made me laugh. I always wanted to hug him. I fell in love with this little kid right after he said this line (which was on the first day he met Sam, if you don’t think he is cute…. Then I assume you are evil *judges you*):
“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.”
I think one of the things that made me sad was how random Jase and Sam’s relationship was, I would have liked it had there relationship not started so randomly. It was like one day they had no idea who the other was and the next they were all buddy buddy. Maybe if they had had an incident when they were kids or something? Setting my complaints aside, their relationship did progress into something good and enjoyable.
I think one of the things that made this book really interesting, however, was what The Garretts symbolized for her. They seemed like a dream for her, they had something she didn’t have but wanted and liked to fantasize about, a family that was close knit.
The relationships between them in general (except the one between Sam and Jase) weren’t explored as much as I would have liked. There were many things that I would have liked to see, like for example, Sam’s relationship with her mother, with her sister, with the other Garretts etc. I am not saying these relationships weren’t explored at all, just not enough to satisfy me.
Also the author dropped the whole “father who couldn’t deal with the responsibility so he left” bomb on us. You cannot just drop something like that on us and not expect a bit of curiosity. I am not saying I wanted her to find her father or anything, I just wanted to know a bit more about him.

Although I do like the ending, it’s what qualifies as a good HEA in my book. I love how the issues between her and her mother are resolved. However, I didn’t understand the sudden change in her sister’s opinion about guys/love.

George was the best part of the book though. I wish there had been a whole lot more of him.
I recommend this book to anyone looking for a light read or just having a bad day and just wants something to cheer them up.
P.S. George, I’ll marry you. Don’t marry Sam! I’ll talk to you about anything and I’ll listen to you when you state facts!
(J.K. but seriously.. if I were a 4 year old).

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