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"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
Posted June 4, 2012
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!
65 out of 70 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 20, 2012
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
27 out of 30 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 16, 2012
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.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 22, 2012
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.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 22, 2012
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.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 22, 2012
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.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
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.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted July 29, 2012
Posted July 26, 2012
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.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 24, 2012
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.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 18, 2012
Posted June 15, 2012
Posted December 29, 2012
Posted June 20, 2012
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.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 21, 2013
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.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted December 28, 2012
Posted November 28, 2012
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.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted October 26, 2012
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.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted September 1, 2012