Five Reasons To Fall in Love with My Life Next Door

 Summary from GoodreadsA 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?

In an interview with YA Bound, the author – Huntley Fitzpatrick – summarised her book in ten words. I think they also fit perfectly:

A girl who watches and a boy who knows it.

There are many reasons to read this book: the story is compelling, the writing flows and the voice is mostly natural. Some may say that it feels slow at times and maybe rushed at others. But isn´t it how life sometimes is? Slow, rushed and everything in the middle? Everybody always stayed in character. I could have come up with even more reasons to fall in love with My Life Next Door but I tried to contain myself.

1- George: One of Jase´s little brother. This child is ADORABLE. He is neurotic, granted but his worries and his wit make him so real and so cute and just a little child you want to protect to make sure that he doesn´t find additional reasons to worry about every single thing.

 “His bed´s really comfortable and he never pees in it”

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?” 

I like that. You look like Sailor Supergirl.

***********************

2. Jase: There are not enough words to describe Jase. He is…confident, honest, mature, sexy, funny, smart, driven, athletic, real. He is the type of guy you can lean on, talk to, make a fool out of yourself with, have fun, laugh, do daring things. Yep. Quite a character.

***********************

3. Jase and Sam: For those two, I´m just going to put four quotes from the book. I think it pretty much says a lot about them.

“So now you’ve met my mother,’ I say to Jase that night, leaning back on the roof. 
‘I sure have. That was awesome. And completely uncomfortable.

“You have to kiss me,” I find myself saying.
“Yeah.” He leans closer. “I do.” 

But I like being Sam. I like being Jase´s Sam. It sounds relaxed, easygoing, competent. I want to be that person (Page 184)

And the way he does look at me makes me feel absolutely beautiful.

***********************

4. Jase´s parents, all of the Garrett family: What really amazed me in this book was how I could picture each and single one of the members of the Garrett family. The little one who says “boob” and “poop”  a lot, Alice the angry one who´s actually quite tender, the other hot brother and I could continue but I will leave you with another of my favorites i.e. Andy:

Andy spends all her time on Facebook and reading, rereading Twilight again and again.

***********************

5. Tim: The way he speaks about Hot Alice, the way he messes a lot of things but he´s actually not that messed up, the way he was there for Sam when she was young and is still around and because he says things like this:

“Why do all the hot girls want the jocks and the good boys? We losers are the ones that need you.”

When to pick up this book?

  • Great Summer Read (but really you could cuddle with it in all seasons)
  • If you like Sarah Dessen or Jennifer Echols. Plus some of the first time moments did remind me of Judy Blume (!)
  • When you’re in the look for a great set of characters
  • If you want something which makes your heart feel warm
  • As a writer: The Life Next Door shows how to handle many many characters while giving them all a different personality and something which stands out. They don’t fall flat.
  • The kisses and the steamy sexy scenes

I am already anticipating Ms Fiztpatrick’s next book especially after getting a glimpse on what she’s working on (see below excerpt from an interview with YABound)

My next book, now tentatively titled, WHAT I THOUGHT WAS TRUE, takes place in the same region as MY LIFE NEXT DOOR, but features a very different couple—one who have had a rocky history. Gwen Castle has come from a long line of fisherman and cleaning women on her small, exclusive Island. Cass Somers is heir to a boat-building business, and Gwen’s Biggest Mistake Ever. Now that he’s spending the summer slumming it on “her” Island, can they get beyond their rocky past and find common ground.
I even dared to contact the author on Twitter (overcoming my shyness and all :-)) and she was so kind to answer my question!
  
So tell me, did you have good relationships with your neighbors as teenager?

21 Comments on “Five Reasons To Fall in Love with My Life Next Door

  1. Oooh, this one sounds so good! I’d seen bits and pieces about it but now I really want it.

    Growing up, we had an elderly gentleman living on each side of us. The one on the left was really sweet and taught me to garden, but then he got hurt and had to move in with his sister, leaving his house empty. The one on the right had an absolutely crazy golden retriever, who I was taught to avoid at all costs, so I didn’t know him very well. We moved when I was in high school, and then one of our neighbors was one of my favorite little campers from the day camp I worked at, so that was a good source of fun and babysitting gigs. Nothing like Jase, though!!!

    • :D Would love to hear your thoughts on it! Awww! I love your neighbors stories…It must indeed have been fun to live next to one of your favorite little camper :D And how was that Golden Retriever crazy? I thought those doggies were supposed to be nice :-)

  2. This sounds AWESOME! I’m adding it to my TRB pile on Goodreads–love Dessen so this should be a great summer read for me:-) Thanks for your post~cheers!

    • :D I think it is really a great summer read, would love to hear what you think of it once youve read it :D

    • :D Id love to hear your thoughts on it if you do end up reading it Ghenet :D

  3. I just ordered a copy of this book yesterday, and I’m really excited to read it. I’ve been waiting for it to come out for ages, but when it finally did I took my time getting it. Weird. Anyway, this review just makes me more excited! :D

    • Yay!!! :D I remember you telling me about this book I think! Crossing my fingers youll like as much as I did :-) I did hesitate between a 4 and 5 stars on Goodreads BUT that set of characters just did it for me :D Cant wait to hear your thoughts on it!

    • Thanks Alison :D If you end up reading it, would love to hear your thoughts on it! :D

  4. I was good friends with one of my neighbors but that was it. We didn’t really talk to the others much. Though one was my piano teacher in elementary school. She worked nights and slept most of the day so we only really saw her when I had lessons.

    • We were friendly with our neighbors but none of them was my age…or they would only come on weekends. It must have been nice to be good friends with one of your neighbors :D easy to spend lots of time together!

  5. You sum this book up perfectly. I loved it too. Glad you’re helping to spread the word about it.
    and now that you’ve made me think, there was a period where I was close to my neighbors (like 1st-3rd grade – I moved a lot). They were this big Spanish, Jehovah’s witness family and they were also very interesting to interact with because they were so different from my one-child existence.

    • Thanks Jessie! :D Im glad you enjoyed it too! sometimes, its nice to see how others interact, it brings something a tad different to our life :D

  6. I had a good relationship with my neighbors up through my teenage years. But various things threw up barriers from about the age of 12 on: going to a different school, new friends at said school, changing interests, and so on. It’s not so much we disliked each other–we just grew apart I guess. My mum always seemed to be on good terms with their parents, though.

    • Its nice that you had neighbors around the same age as you…My best friends were not really walking distance from me but I did have quite good friends who lived on my street :D

  7. So, judging by the the summary and the points in your review, this book was written specifically for me. Must. Read. Now. Luckily, Agent Vickie has a copy and has dropped it in the mail for me. Can’t wait to read it! Thanks for the fantastic review, Elodie!

    • :D I cannot wait to hear your thoughts on it…Yay for your agent sending you books, how cool is that?! As I was telling Jaime, I hesitate between a 4 and 5 on Goodreads BUT that set of characters, and the voice, and the romance were just soooo good! And every time I reread the quotes, I have a big smile on my face, loved it! :D

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