Tuesday, November 20, 2012

My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick

Publication Date: June 14, 2012
Publisher: Dial Books for Young Readers
Format: Hardcover
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.
Review: 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!

   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.

   3.5 keys.



23 comments:

  1. I have heard some amazing things about this as well so now when I read it maybe my expectations won't be the same as they were. Hopefully I connect with the characters a bit sooner though. I'm glad that in the end it delivered and you did enjoy it.

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  2. See that is exactly why I hardly ever DNF a book..because look what happen at pg 280..eep. I am sorry you couldn't connect with the character, but love that the plot twist grabbed your attention. Wonderful review,enjoy your break from school and Happy Thanksgiving.

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  3. Great review! Sorry you didn't love this one as much as I did. I definitely loved the last couple of chapters the most too. I also agree the way sex was handled in this book was great.

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  4. Sorry you didn't love this as much as you had hoped. I really liked My Life Next Door but agree with you that the beginning was quite slow. I also agree with you that the way the sex was handled was very well done. Even though you had some issues with it, I'm glad the book ended on a high note for you. Lovely review!

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  5. I have read a lot of complaints about Rebecca she doesn't seem very nice. Wow 280 pages is a long way to go before it gets interesting! Glad the pay off was worth it!

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  6. Aw, I hate it when you have high expectations and they fall flat! I was the opposite of you in this book, I really enjoyed the beginning but the ending detracted from the book to me. I liked the idea of safe sex in this book too. Lovely review! :)

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  7. It took me a little while to get into it too, so I can understand your initial detachment! I was quickly falling for the Garretts though and ended up completely loving this book. I think Anna and the French Kiss is hard to top. :) Amazing review, Sophia!

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  8. I hadn't actually heard this compared to Anna and the French Kiss before, so it's nice to have an idea of where to jump off with this book. Interesting to hear about Fitzpatrick's approach to teen sex, too—sounds like the sort of romance I'd approve of. ;)

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  9. I keep seeing very positive reviews for this one--like you, most seem to say it's a good read, even if they have mixed feelings. I am a little hesitant after hearing you say it took that long for you to be into it, though!

    Wendy @ The Midnight Garden

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  10. There has been a lot of hype around this book but I am hoping that I like it too! At least the latter part was good and I like the good attitude towards teens having sex!

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  11. It's always hard when you can't connect with the character, but I'm happy that the story became much better :) I like the sweet sound of this book.

    Mel@thedailyprophecy.

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  12. Beautiful review, darling! We missed you here on blogosphere, but I completely understand how chaotic life can be! <3 This seems like a very cute read, and I'm in love with the cover as well! I've been meaning to read this for awhile, but the first chapter fell a bit flat for me. Maybe I should give it a second chance though! x)

    Good luck with school and everything else going on in your life, hun! <3

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  13. I really have high hopes for this book and seeing as your give it a 3.5, it kind of disappointing. But I love YA contemporary so your review actually helps!

    Great review!

    A new follower.

    Sana @ artsy musings of a bibliophile

    P.S. Check out my Blogoversary Giveaway!

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  14. EEEEEE My Life Next Door! Definitely one of the best YA contemporary novel I read this year ;) I really enjoyed reading the book and Samantha + Jase's relationship was very adorable and sweet.

    Awesome review, Sophia ♥ Glad you enjoyed it!

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  15. Aww, thanks for being honest, Sophia! This book sounds really freaking cute, and I'm glad that it at least picked up for the last quarter of the novel. I'm sorry you couldn't connect with Sam! It happens, it's okay :) I think I will still check this one out, just because! Lovely review, Sophia!

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  17. Yay, I'm so glad to see you back and (mostly) in the swing of things! This book sounds incredibly sweet, in spite of some of your qualms. :) Lovely review, Sophia!

    And also, I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

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  18. Such a great book! I have super fond memories of reading this one during the summer. Definitely needs to be reread soon!

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  19. Wonderful review! I couldn't get into this one and while I appreciated the romance, I thought it moved too quickly like you. It's nice to see a balanced review like this one opposed to the usual hyped up reviews, so great job! :D

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  20. I loved this book soo much! Thanks for agreeing! Check my review out if you want, at:
    http://www.readrzheaven.blogspot.com/2012/12/my-life-next-door-by-huntley-fitzpatrick.html

    Erin
    ReadersHeaven

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  21. I love that you describe this as healthy. It's great to see a book out there that shows what an actual healthy relationship looks like instead of what everyone else shows. Great review!

    Irene Jennings (Seattle DUI Lawyers)

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  22. Just read this amazing new YA fiction on Ganesha - Part 1 of the Temple Wars series - I think everyone should check it out! Temple Wars

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