Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Book Review: My Life Next Door + GIVEAWAY

Title: My Life Next Door
Author: Huntley Fitzpatrick
Format: Hardcover, 394 pages
Publisher: Dial Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: June 14, 2012
Source: Purchased
"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, 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?

A transporting debut about family, friendship, first romance, and how to be true to one person you love without betraying another.

My Review

It was a long, long time ago when I first bought a paperback copy of My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick, and it was all because my sister dropped it in my basket at Half Price Books without telling me. At that point, I hadn't heard of Huntley, but I bought it and my sister read it. She loved it, so I promised myself that I would read it. Time passed, and I kept telling myself that I would get to it. Then a miracle happened, and I found myself looking at a hardback copy of it at the same Half Price Books just a few months later. Months passed by again, and I found that I still hadn't read this praised about book. When Penguin Teen contacted me about participating in their summer feature, The Blog Most Likely To, I jumped on the chance to read it. Boy was I glad that I did because I thoroughly enjoyed this charming novel!

Just saying that I enjoyed My Life Next Door isn't enough to convey everything that I felt while reading this seemingly flawless book. I felt like I was transported into a dreamy, yet busy Connecticut town and immersed into the day-to-day life of the neighborhood where Samantha Reed lives and works.

I loved all of the imperfect characters in My Life Next Door because they were all so realistically flawed. The Reeds are anything but perfect. Samantha's life isn't as easy and magical as it appears, and her sister, Tracy, doesn't act like a perfect child. Then you have the matriarch of the family, Grace Reed, who has a secret of her own, and the picture perfect family is about as flawed as we all are. The other characters in the book have their own problems, and I can't give Ms. Fitzpatrick enough credit for them. There is a character for everyone in this book to relate to whether you are the perfectionist or the one who needs to straighten things out and get your life together.

And what summery YA novel would feel complete without a romance, right? There's an adorable romance in My Life Next Door that follows a Romeo and Juliet plot line, but with a very fresh and young feel. Readers will swoon as Samantha and Jase fall in love and learn to solve the problems that pop up unexpectedly.

If you haven't already, do yourself a huge favor and read this book! As I'm writing this, I'm wishing that I would have read this when it was released three years ago. I would definitely recommend this to fans of more mature YA, and especially for readers with interest in politics as it is a reoccurring theme in the book. I know I will definitely be picking up the companion book, The Boy Most Likely To when it hits shelves this August.

Huntley Fitzpatrick grew up dreamy and distracted in coastal Connecticut. She flourished in a family of bookworms where everyone always had their nose in a book. She kept an exhaustively thorough journal which frightened her boyfriends but has proved very useful in her career as a writer. Her debut contemporary Romance, MY LIFE NEXT DOOR, was published in June of 2012 by Penguin-Dial for Young Readers. Now she laughs with and eavesdrops on her six children who provide her with perspective and material. She is represented by the amazing Christina Hogrebe of the Jane Rotrosen Agency.

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And that completes my superlative for The Blog Most Likely To feature as it was "The Blog Most Likely To Read My Life Next Door." Be sure to check in during the rest of the month for some quotes from the book and later in the summer as I read What I Thought Was True and The Boy Most Likely To by Huntley Fitzpatrick.
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  1. I'm glad to see that you really liked this one! I have yet to read a book by Huntley but I have heard such great things. Hopefully I'll get around to it this summer! :)

    Krystianna @ Downright Dystopian

  2. Thanks, Krystianna! It was such a cute book with a lot of heart. :)

    I hope you get to read something of Huntley's soon. I really enjoyed her writing style.

  3. Kayla @ The Thousand LivesJune 23, 2015 at 8:35 PM

    Hehe, I love your anecdote! I’ve done that sometimes - and fallen in love with the book. I’m glad this one worked out for you :D I can’t wait for Tim’s book to come out; I didn’t want My Life Next Door to end (that was my only complaint), so I’m looking forward to see more of Sam and Jase!

  4. I'm glad that I had my sister to push this one on me too. It meant a lot more coming from her for some reason, even though the little sneak cost me money. lol

    I am even more excited now for Tim's story. I just fell in love with his character as he matured in My Life Next Door. Plus, Huntley handled his addiction so well. It didn't seem forced or anything but just very real.

  5. I only recently bought both of Huntley's books because I've obviously heard so much praise! I will definitely not wait three years to read them ;)

  6. I hope you don't wait more than a month, Zoey! I'm already excited to start What I Thought Was True, but I'm most excited for The Boy Most Likely To.

    Let me know how you end up liking them. :)


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