Publication Date: June 14, 2012Review: Wow, Sophia actually finished a book. Who'd have known, right? Well, I'm finally on Thanksgiving break, and so I actually have time to read now. Lord knows I've been too busy for young adult books now that IB has taken over my life. I'm so, so sorry for the lack of activity on the blog. But oh, well. To the actual review!
Publisher: Dial Books for Young Readers
Page Count: 395
Synopsis: “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.
I remember being super excited for this book because Katie from Katie's Book Blog compared the level of awesomeness to Anna and the French Kiss. And since AatFK is basically my favorite contemporary ever, you can imagine how high my expectation were. Which is why I was so sad when I started the book and felt... empty. I didn't connect well with Samantha. She seemed sort of detached to me. Her voice wasn't very strong in my head while I was reading and that made me lack invested emotions in the book. The first half of the book was almost boring to me, which left me so disappointed.
However, once the I got to page 280 or so, I got so absorbed into the story. The plot twist took me completely by surprise and I couldn't stop reading. I wondered why the whole book couldn't be like the last quarter. It was intense, emotional, and some scenes honestly brought tears to my eyes.
I felt like Jase and Samantha's relationship moved too fast, though I did believe there were genuine feelings for each other. I really like how they dealt with sex. It wasn't a split second decision in a hazy moment of lust. Instead, they talked about it and went shopping together for the necessary things, which was nice to read about.
Although the last quarter of the book was really amazing, the uneventful first half did detract from my enjoyment of the book. My Life Next Door is a wonderful debut that slowly simmers with the feelings of first love and questions the border between family and morals.