My Life Next Door [NOOK Book]

Overview

A gorgeous debut about family, friendship, first romance, and how to be true to one person you love without betraying another



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...
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My Life Next Door

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Overview

A gorgeous debut about family, friendship, first romance, and how to be true to one person you love without betraying another



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.





"A summer romance with depth." —The Boston Sunday Globe



"Fitzpatrick's excellent first novel movingly captures the intensity of first love." —Publishers Weekly, starred review



"An almost perfect summer romance." —Kirkus Reviews



"On par with authors such as Sarah Dessen and Deb Caletti." —SLJ
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Although they’ve been neighbors for 10 years, Samantha Reed and Jase Garrett are worlds apart. Rich, beautiful Samantha has led a privileged life, strictly dictated by her state senator mother. Jase, part of a large, boisterous family that’s despised by Samantha’s mother, has to work hard for what he gets. As fate would have it, the two teens fall in love despite—or perhaps because of—their different backgrounds. But the summer romance turns into a nightmarish moral dilemma as Samantha becomes aware of a secret, hidden by her mother’s unscrupulous campaign aide, which could destroy Jase’s family or ruin her mother’s political career. As Samantha wrestles with what to do, she risks losing her comfortable lifestyle, her mother’s trust, and the boy she most admires. Fitzpatrick’s excellent first novel movingly captures the intensity of first love, the corrupting forces of power, and the losses suffered by innocent victims caught in a web of political deceit. As the lines between villains and heroes shift, readers will be reminded how “right” and “wrong” choices are rarely crystal clear. Ages 12–up. Agent: Christina Hogrebe, Jane Rotrosen Agency. (June)
Horn Book
"Samantha and Jase have chemistry that crackles: it's the novel's tender, awkward, sexy, dizzy-happy portrayal of first love that really makes it soar."
Simone Elkeles
"Jase and Samantha have a heart-warming romance every girl will envy."
Lurlene McDaniel
"A wonderful read that will connect with your heart — guaranteed!"
From the Publisher
"Fitzpatrick's excellent first novel movingly captures the intensity of first love, the corrupting forces of power, and the losses suffered by innocent victims caught in a web of political deceit. As the lines between villains and heroes shift, [listeners] will be reminded how 'right' and 'wrong' choices are rarely crystal clear." —-Publishers Weekly Starred Review
VOYA - Jane Van Wiemokly
Now seventeen, Samantha Reed has grown up stealthily observing the Garrett family next door, from the second floor ledge outside her bedroom window. The Garretts are total opposites of the Reeds and exactly what Sam's mother dislikes. They are a chaotic, but loving, family of two parents and eight children. The Reeds consist of Sam, her sister, and her single mother. Mrs. Reed is distant and reserved, and has an obsession with cleaning her house; she is running for state office and has become involved with her campaign manager—a slick, political handler. Sam is in love with Jase Garrett and covets his family life, but she keeps their relationship a secret because Mrs. Reed has warned her to have nothing to do with the Garretts. After an accident that devastates both families, Sam reevaluates her relationships with her mother, Jase, and the Garretts. Fitzpatrick perfectly captures the heady joys of first love while still dealing with everyday realities, including the ups and downs with her best friend, Nan, and Nan's brother, Tim. The contrast between the two families is stark, yet realistic: from the distant, wealthy mother to the just-scraping-by but loving and loud family next door. The accident makes Sam question her beliefs about truth, loyalty, betrayal, and doing what is right. Looking like a perfect family does not make it so, as Sam knows, but her mother cannot acknowledge this. Secondary characters are well developed and add to the story's advancement. Girls will love the romance, and they will identify with Sam's anguish over her dilemmas. Reviewer: Jane Van Wiemokly
School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—Summer romance fun with substance describes not only this novel but also its scrumptious male lead. More than just a handsome face attached to a football player's physique, Jase Garrett is thoughtful, able, and kind. His eight-kid, boisterous, loving family has fascinated 17-year-old Samantha Reed since she was seven. She watches her neighbors from afar until the summer evening Jase climbs onto her roof with an offer to rescue her—and he does. With their unkempt yard, noise, and mess, the Garretts have always been a thorn in the side of Samantha's perfectionist mother so it's no surprise that as Samantha falls under Jase's spell and enters the wonderful and wacky world of the Garrett clan, she doesn't tell her mother, who is busy with her own bid to win reelection to the Connecticut state senate and is enthralled with a gung-ho new political advisor. Samantha juggles lifeguarding at the tennis club with waitressing, but she still has plenty of time to discover with Jase what all those love songs are about, including the decisions about whether or not to act on their heady chemistry. Mr. Garrett's struggling hardware store means Jase needs a football scholarship. It also means that when tragedy strikes, everything about Samantha's nearly perfect relationship becomes uncertain. The characters are dynamic and realistic. Strong narrative pacing adds to the whole sun-kissed package, which is on par with authors such as Sarah Dessen and Deb Caletti.—Suzanne Gordon, Peachtree Ridge High School, Suwanee, GA
Kirkus Reviews
Good-girl Samantha finds herself when she falls for the boy next door. Her perfectionist, state-senator mother hasn't forgiven "those Garretts" for moving next door 10 years ago. The burgeoning family (seven children by the time Samantha turns 17) is white trash as far as she's concerned. But Samantha finds herself fascinated, watching the messy, boisterous family from the roof outside her window. When gorgeous Jase climbs up to talk to her one night, she begins to loosen her emotional stays for the first time in her life. Fitzpatrick delivers an almost perfect summer romance: The way Jase woos Samantha--gently, with humor, patience and a joint trip to CVS to pick out condoms--will have every girl who reads the novel wishing for a Jase of her own. His family is equally beguiling, a dramatic foil for Samantha's sterile life with her campaigning mother. The story unfolds slowly, Samantha's present-tense narration smart, funny and mildly astonished at the changes wrought by her new relationship. The leisurely pace encompasses a subplot in which one of Sam's oldest friends, now an alcoholic and drug addict, begins his healing at the hands of the Garretts as well. Everything's going so well that readers will feel as sucker punched as the characters when catastrophe strikes. Though the resolution is rushed, it is also satisfying--just as satisfying as Sam and Jase's first night together. (Fiction. 14 & up)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781101575222
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 6/14/2012
  • Sold by: Penguin Group
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 416
  • Sales rank: 8,528
  • Age range: 14 years
  • File size: 2 MB

Meet the Author

Huntley Fitzpatrick
Huntley Fitzpatrick has always wanted to be a writer, ever since growing up in a small coastal Connecticut town much like the Stony Bay of her novel My Life Next Door. After college she worked in many fields, including academic publishing and as an editor at Harlequin. Huntley is currently a full-time writer, and mom to six children. She lives in South Dartmouth, Massachusetts.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 343 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(258)

4 Star

(62)

3 Star

(13)

2 Star

(5)

1 Star

(5)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 343 Customer Reviews
  • Posted June 4, 2012

    I was seriously blown away by this story. Samantha Reed's mother

    I was seriously blown away by this story. Samantha Reed's mother is the type of person who believes herself to be "above" certain others. Their next door neighbors are some of these people. I love the fact that while Samantha's mother complains about just about everything about the Garrett's in actuality its their own family that is the disaster.

    Jase is such an AMAZING male lead in this book. I love the world he opens up for Samantha. Not only has she watched his family ever since she can remember, but he has noticed she watched. Their friendship which blossoms into a genuine romance is great to watch unfold.

    I completely fell in love with all of the characters of this story. The twist in this is a BIG one and you find yourself asking what you would do in that situation.

    Stand out Young Adult Novel. I highly recommend it!

    66 out of 71 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 20, 2012

    57 year old grandma

    Adored this book I'm still brushing away memories, feelings, and tears I read it in one sitting because I could not put it down Thank you

    28 out of 31 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 16, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    I LOVED THIS BOOK SO HARD!

    Once I started it, I couldn't read it fast enough and yet I didn't want it to end. This is a beautifully written story about family and friendship, first love, and learning how to be true to yourself. Huntley Fitzpatrick writes about life with all it's quirkiness, even covering tough topics like politics and addiction with such honesty and humor that had me laughing so hard I cried. Samantha Reed lives a life of relative privilege with her single mother and older sister that includes private school, weekly dinners at the local country club and a summer job where she gets to spend time with her long time BFF, Nan and her twin brother, Tim. Life isn't always what it seems and Samantha's is no different. Her Mom's a Senator and a contradiction of sorts. On one hand, she's rarely around but when she is, she takes "involved" to a whole new level, going as far as checking to see if Samantha's hair is properly conditioned and making sure she's in bed by a certain time each night. (She's seventeen, not seven for crying out loud!) Then there's the issue with the vacuum cleaner and making sure the lines in the carpet are just right. OCD, much? Samantha takes refuge each night on the balcony off her room where she's able to watch the Garretts, the family who lives next door. They're the ones with the 25 kids who obviously never learned what birth control was for or how to properly care for a pool, a yard or a house but managed to snag their own reality T.V. show on TLC. Oh, wait...wrong family. The Garretts really only have 8 kids and yeah, they have all those other things I mentioned, save for the reality T.V. show but that's they way they're treated by a lot of people in town. People feel the need to comment on their lives, how many kids they have, etc., etc., What outsiders fail to miss is how much love the Garretts have going on. Samantha has secretly watched the Garretts for years, something her mother would have a cow over if she ever found out. Her mother thinks the Garretts are "those kind" of people and turns her nose up at them any chance she gets. But all that's about to change when Jase, the smart, funny, considerate and of course, gorgeous boy from the wrong side of the fence decides to climb Samantha's trellis. One simple question will begin a journey of love and adventure that neither Samantha or Jase will ever forget and one that will change both of their families lives' forever. Jase and his family immediately suck Samantha into their big, loud, crazy and close-nit family. Much of the time she is completely out of her element and you can feel her mix of discomfort and fascination which is nothing short of hilarious! She isn't used to life in Garrettville but she's learning to love it and who she is when she's there. But each time Samantha goes home, she still struggles with having to be the person her mother expects her to be. The more time she spends with the Garretts though, the more she learns how to love people even with all of their shortcomings, how to handle delicate situations with little people and the importance of doing what's right regardless of what others may think. Just when Samantha thinks her life couldn't get any better, one choice changes everything leaving her to decide whether what she and Jase have is worth fighting for or if family always comes first. Making the right choice isn't always easy but it's always worth it. READ THIS BOOK, YOU WON'T REGRET IT!

    23 out of 26 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 22, 2012

    It was a good summer read.

    I thought this book was amazing. I could not stop reading. I thought the main charaters were inspiring and i thougt it was awesome that they got together even though their worlds were completely different. Jase didnt judge her and i thought that was cool. But at the end i was left with so many questions. I thought the author left out alot of important details toward the end. But other then that it was really good and an awesome love story.

    19 out of 19 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 22, 2012

    Amazing author

    Fitzpatricks voice, sense of humor, wittiness and emotions shined thru Sam and Jase. I crave more by this author. This book was amazingly good. heartfelt tug at the emotions good. I rarely want more of the same char.'s but I truly feel another book about Sam and Jase (as leads) is necessary. It would not flop or feel like fluff (like many YA sequels feel like). Highly recommend for adults and teens. 330 pages roughly. Worth the ten bucks.

    14 out of 17 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 22, 2012

    I Also Recommend:

    Very good book. I loved the characters and was sorry to see it e

    Very good book. I loved the characters and was sorry to see it end.

    14 out of 16 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 22, 2012

    Loved, but left wanting!

    I really enjoyed reading this book. However, I didn't care for the ending and how when you get there you feel like someone just hit "fast forward." The whole book has a slower pace, so for it to speed up at the end was not really a natural transition. I was also left with questions which is unsettling.

    9 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 5, 2012

    !

    Sounds like a good book, unfortinately, thanks to all the rude plot spoilers telling everything that happens, there is now no need to waste money buying it.

    8 out of 32 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 29, 2012

    I love love this book

    Its 4am and i just finished this book. By far the best book i read all summer !!

    6 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 26, 2012

    What a wonderfully written book.. I couldnt put it down and I di

    What a wonderfully written book.. I couldnt put it down and I didn't want it to end. Well developed characters and story line and the type of true love everyone dreams for.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 24, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    I couldn't put this one down! I absolutely loved Sam and Jase's

    I couldn't put this one down! I absolutely loved Sam and Jase's story, and can't wait to read more from this author. Her portrayal of teenagers and of family life were spot on. At no point in reading this one did I experience a moment of "hang on, that just doesn't make sense. What is he/she thinking?", which unfortunately has been rare in the books I've read lately. What a refreshing change--characters who act like 100% real people!

    The main conflict of the story did seem to occur a bit late in the novel, which almost gave it a before/after feeling; but overall it was just so well written that it really didn't detract from the novel for me at all. Still couldn't put it down...now I had to see how Fitzpatrick could possibly bring it all to a satisfactory conclusion. For a while there it was pretty touch and go...

    Reading about the family next door was one of my favorite parts of this novel. I completely understand why Samantha spent so much time watching them from her roof. As much as I loved the main characters of this novel though, (and I did love them) I have to say that George steals the show (followed closely by Patsy--how can you not love a child whose first words are "boob" and "poop"?). I especially loved Samantha's--and later Tim's--quick answers for his questions and concerns. Just remember, people--only bad pigs are made into bacon. You know, the ones with no souls. Like the animals who don't talk in Narnia. Which is good, since George really likes bacon. :-)

    5 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 18, 2012

    Great book

    Loved it

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 15, 2012

    Amazing

    Great story! Great twist perfect realstic love story a must read

    4 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 29, 2012

    My life next door

    Love it!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 20, 2012

    Beautiful Amazing

    I never understood why someone would read a book again since they already knew everything that would happen until I read this. The story is beautiful. I found myself unable to stop reading but at the same time I never wanted it to end. The love between Samantha and Jase is the kind of love that every girl dreams of. The characters came to life and the way Samantha explains her life made me feel as if I was her and I was feeling every emotion she was. This book reminds us that true love really does exist

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 21, 2013

    A Good Book That Just STOPS?! The first

    A Good Book That Just STOPS?! The first half of this novel is an engaging YA read with a young couple at the center who are truly appealing: especially Jase, the ultimate 'boy next door.' The conflicts between his over-the-top family (way too many kids, way too little money, chaotic, although basically happy living) and Samantha's sterile, controlled, single-parent household has been told before, but their true feelings for each other, and Sam's natural desire to be part of something truly familial, are touching and ring very true at times. Yes, this is a book that explores first sexual experiences and it's not particularly graphic--although it did seem a bit casual in its approach to bright 17 year olds, with their futures ahead of them, getting sexually involved so quickly (and Jase's parent's uber-cool reaction to that consummation) might turn off some parents wondering if this is a book suitable for their teenage readers. But what keeps this from being a four star--or even higher--rating for me is the ending: unless I missed something, and I don't think I did, this thing just stops, just ends. We are taken through almost 400 pages of some heavy subject matter (the aforementioned sexual awakenings, corrupt politicians, questionable parenting, moral choices concerning honesty and deception, addiction, near fatal accidents for someone who no insurance) and then POOF. It's all wrapped up and I actually found myself thumbing through to make sure I hadn't missed an epilogue or extra chapter. Either readers are supposed to just "go with the flow" and assume the last mentioned events will work out...or the author has left major plot points hanging! What about Jase's family and their various (traumatic) predicaments? What about Sam's estranged friendship with Nan? What about the living situation for Sam? What about Sam's mother and her future? We've been emotionally invested in all this drama for 350+ pages: and then it's largely left up to speculation. Perhaps other readers can glean more out of this at the end than I did, but I just feel let down.

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 28, 2012

    Anonymos

    This is my favorite book of all time!!! You just fall in love with the characters. Some parts are aggravating but i loved it.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 28, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    My Life Next Door was one of those books I really, really wanted

    My Life Next Door was one of those books I really, really wanted to love, and for the first half of the book, I really did. Then somewhere in the last quarter of the book, it skidded off the rails a bit and left me wondering what the hell just happened.

    The story revolves around two completely opposite families, the Reeds and the Garretts who live next door to each other Samantha Reed’s a girl who appears to have the world at her feet. She has a wealthy, albeit OCD, vacuum loving and controlling state senator for a mother who doesn’t want her daughters consorting with the crazy, raucous and extremely fertile family next door. Sitting on her roof, night after night, Samantha watches the family next door, longing for the warm and loving interactions that are missing from her own.

    Then one night, Jase Garrett calls up to her hiding spot, initiating her first communication with the family next door. Their interaction as they build up towards a relationship is a lovely thing to be privy to. Jase is the all-American boy next door who can fix just about anything while tending to his family’s brood of siblings. It seems like Jase has no flaws, and while I watched their relationship flourish, I kept waiting for the shoe to drop. For some horrible flaw to show itself to prove that he wasn’t the perfect guy. That never really happened, Jase was almost too perfect, to be honest. Then there’s Samantha, trying to hide her relationship from her mother who would never approve of her falling in love with a Garrett.

    The plot moves along quite nicely, and I really did love this story right up until the climax. The problem was that it came with only 25% of the story left to resolve it. Why write a book that is so well thought out and explained in the first 75% only to end up rushing through the climax and resolution? It felt like the author had a deadline to hit, and she wrote the last quarter under the gun and had no time to stop and add some of the details that were so well done earlier in the book.

    I wanted to love this book as much as many of my fellow bloggers & readers out there, but I just didn’t. There were plot points that ended up being kind of pointless, while others weren’t developed enough for my satisfaction. I felt cheated out of what could have been a truly amazing book all because the end felt rushed and incomplete.

    2 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 26, 2012

    I am a 21 year old college senior and I was blown a way by this

    I am a 21 year old college senior and I was blown a way by this book. It was beautifully written. I love it.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 1, 2012

    Amazing!

    Such a good book! I would rate this a 4.5 out of 5, and thats only because im into adult romances usually.

    READ THIS BOOK!!!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 343 Customer Reviews

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