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Book Review ♡ My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick

title ♡ my life next door
author ♡ huntley fitzpatrick
genre ♡ young adult; contemp; romance
pages ♡ 400
publisher ♡ dial; speak; electric monkey
series ♡ nope, standalone
release date ♡  june 14, 2012; january 7, 2016
♡ ♡ [ 2 out of 5 ]

The Garretts are everything the Reeds are not. Loud, messy, affectionate. And every day from her rooftop perch, Samantha Reed wishes she was one of them . . . until one summer evening, Jase Garrett climbs up next to her and changes everything.

As the two fall fiercely for each other, stumbling through the awkwardness and awesomeness of first love, Jase’s family embraces Samantha – even as she keeps him a secret from her own. Then something unthinkable happens, and the bottom drops out of Samantha’s world. She’s suddenly faced with an impossible decision. Which perfect family will save her? Or is it time she saved herself?

Finally got round to reading a book I’ve attempted to read for the last five years this week: I’d say that’s pretty damn productive. For some reason, I’d never quite been able to get into Huntley Fitzpatrick’s My Life Next Door. I was never quite sure why, but I will admit that the book reminded me pretty quickly just why I’d never made it to the end. I won’t lie to you, the book is very cutesy, very simple-minded. It felt more like a draft of a book, not the finished piece.

Maybe if I can just sleep for a hundred years, I’ll wake up in a better story.

I can sum the book up in three words – it was fine. It was a simple romance story between two teenage next-door-neighbours who are, in some sort of way, star-crossed lovers. Sure, the book had a pretty decent and sweet plot in following the protagonist Samantha Reed on her journey of first love. The romance was romantic and kinda believable. It was very much a ‘first love’ situation. But there weren’t any really gripping moments or parts of the book that stood out to me. In fact, the real action of the plot happens closer to the end of the book. I enjoyed the romance and thought the outcome was cute. Would I reconsider reading this book? Probably not. Would I advise you to read this book? Yes, if you enjoy super soft romances with little character progression.

The Garretts were my bedtime story, long before I ever thought I’d be part of the story myself.

Samantha is pretty much your stereotypical good girl, with perfect grades, a bad habit of sucking up her mother and being branded ‘innocent’ by those closest to her. For me, I did think she fell quite flat as a main character because there just wasn’t something in her that made me relate or understand her better. I know we say that someone can ‘fall in love’, but Samantha literally hit the floor. Within two seconds of meeting Jase, she was putty in his hands. For some reason, it just didn’t float my boat. Actually, the real saving grace of the book were the secondary characters – Tim, George, Alice: even Nan! Their thoughts, their feelings, their actions were all so understandable and they developed so much throughout the book. Tim, perhaps the second most immoral characters in the book, had such a huge character progression I almost fell for him!

“Did you know that in space it’s very, very cold? And there’s no oxygen? And if an astronaut fell out of a shuttle without his suit he’d die right away?”

I’m a fast learner. “But that would never happen. Because astronauts are really, really careful.”

George gives me a smile, the same dazzling sweet smile as his big brother, although at this point, with green teeth. “I might marry you,” he allows. “Do you want a big family?”

Huntley Fitzpatrick had the opportunity to touch on some much bigger issues in the book. I wanted to see how the friendship between Nan and Samantha panned out. At the end, I felt like I’d been deprived of that opportunity as the book purely focused on the relationship between Sam and Jase. The whole plot, for what it turns out to be, is very long and drawn out unnecessarily. I considered shelving the book far too many times to enjoy it, and just felt like the book was far too fluffy. Normally, I really enjoy fluffy.



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