Jessica's books

The One and Only Ivan
Revolutionary War on Wednesday
Leprechaun in Late Winter
Ella Enchanted
The Courage of Sarah Noble
Plain Murder
Gone-Away Lake
Circling the Sun
Maggie and Max
The Haunting of Sunshine Girl
The Night Sister
Tuck Everlasting
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Bedknob and Broomstick
Mister Monday
Alice Through the Looking Glass
The Birchbark House
The Hobbit
The Witch's Daughter

Jessica's favorite books »

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Book Review: My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick

My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick
**I received this book from Around the World ARC Tours**

Synopsis (from Goodreads):  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.

My Thoughts:  By far one of my favorite books of this year!  It will definitely be on my top 10 for 2012 but I'm guessing it will be among my top 3!  It was so refreshing to read and I was so sad to finish it.  It is one of those books that you really can't put down but on the other hand, you want to read it slowly so it never ends. 

The story starts with a young Samantha (around 8 years old).  She's outside with her mom and her older sister when they notice a moving van pull in next door.  Enter the Garrett family...a mom, dad, and 5 kids!  Sam's mother is immediately critical and makes it clear to her children that the Garrett family (who will never mow their lawn and leave toys all over and breastfeed on the front porch....gasp!) are not welcome.  Samantha spends the next years secretly watching the Garrets interact with each other and wishing her family life was like the Garrets.

Then one night, Samantha is sitting on her roof spying on the Garret children when Jase Garrett climbs up to sit with Samantha.  The rest, as they say, is history.  Samantha finds herself drawn to Jase and his family, including his little brother.  She ends up babysitting for them and becoming close to the family. 

When tragedy strikes, Sam must decide how to handle it.  The decision she made was not what I expected which made it so much better! 
I must admit that I have been extremely emotional this week as my grandfather just passed away so I don't know if that played any part in this factor but I actually cried while reading this book!  Yep...cried!  I NEVER cry when reading a book...never! 

I loved Samantha, Jase and his whole family and Sam's best friend Nan and her twin brother, Tim.  They were very well developed and so easy to connect too.  As a mom, I found myself connecting to Mrs. Garrett and laughing at some of the things she said and went through.  I loved how the Garret's interacted as a family and how easily they allowed Samantha to enter their lives and become a part of their family. 

I enjoyed Sam and Jase's romance.  It has none of the annoying drama or petty issues that a lot of teen romances have.  They were very grown up in their relationship and their decisions. 

This is a must read book this June!  It will have you laughing and crying and make you want to be with the characters.  You will want to read it slowly to draw the story out and once you finish it, you will want to start all over on page 1 and reread the whole thing again!  I will not only be buying this book in June, I will be preordering it now!


  1. Hello! Great review! I just got this book from ATWT. Can't wait to read it.

    New Follower.

    Kelley Lee
    Reading to Stay Alive

  2. I just finished the book. Read it in 2 days. It was such a good book.

    My blog -

  3. beautiful book ,refreshing with no teenage angst and characters you can connect with.jase and samantha are very mature seventeen year olds.although they are the main characters i think george was the best.