Title: My Life Next Door
Author: Huntley Fitzpatrick
Release Date: 2012
Release Date: 2012
Pages: 394, Hardcover
Goodreads Rating: 4.07 stars
My Rating: 5/5 stars
My Content Rating: PG-16 (Sexual content, but it's handled tastefully and is not at all graphic)
- Not quite enough conflict. The first half of this book had very little conflict. I still found myself loving the story, but I found myself wondering why it was so engaging - it wasn't really the plot, it was the characters! The second half of the book (or maybe a bit less) DID have a major conflict that wasn't resolved quickly, so this did get better. The other thing that bothered me just a little bit is that when there was a conflict between Jase and Samantha, it was resolved just a little too quickly and easily. Jase was very forgiving, so when there was an issue between the two of them, he might get upset for a half a page or so and then he'd let it go. This seemed a bit unrealistic to me, but it only nominally reduced my enjoyment of the book and I couldn't even bring myself to take off a half star for it.
What I Loved:
- The Garrets. The Garrets have got to one of the best fictional families ever. I love just about everything about their family dynamic - the fact that they were loving, but not so incredibly sweet that they were unrealistic (just look at Alice), that they placed such a high value on family and that they supported each other through thick and thin. I was especially enamored with George - he has got to be the most adorable kid ever and I loved every scene that involved him!!
- Samantha and Jase. I absolutely loved Samantha and Jase together. Jase was the kind of irresistible guy I could totally see myself falling for - he wasn't a bad boy, but wasn't unrealistically or overly sweet either - just charming and lovable and fun. Samantha found such a sense of belonging with Jase and with his family - it broke my heart when things went wrong for them. I loved the sweet, fun moments between these two and even the awkward first-love moments. Such fun!
- Family issues and doing the right thing. The family dynamics in this book were extremely interesting. While I already mentioned that I loved the Garrets (they needed their own bullet point), the other families in the book got their fair share of time as well - they just weren't portrayed quite as positively. Tim and Nan have to deal with absentee, oblivious parents and Samantha has to pretend to live a picture perfect life even when things at home are more than intolerable. In addition, I loved the theme of figuring out how to do the right thing in a seemingly impossible situation. This moral struggle really made the book interesting.
- Tim. I was so excited to see that Fitzpatrick's next book is going to be about Tim because I so loved him in this book! He was really a mess - an addict that couldn't get his act together - but he grew so much in this book and I couldn't help but root for him. I can't wait to read more of his story soon!