Title: My Life Next Door
Author: Huntley Fitzpatrick
Publication date: June 14th, 2012
Publisher: Dial Books for Young Readers
Genre(s): Young Adult (Contemporary)
Challenges: Debut, contemporary
My Life Next Door has been one of my most anticipated contemporary titles of 2012. Who doesn't love the boy next door kind of story? how many countless movies have we watched that have a hot neighbor that the protagonist ends up with? This cute set up will be the perfect contemporary and summer read. It didn't disappoint. This book reminded me a bit of Cheaper by the Dozen and Mine, Yours, and Ours with the big family of the boy next door!
The story revolves around Samantha, an only child with a one parent family, her mother. Her mother is a cliched workaholic. She is actually the senator of their city. However, the next door neighbors, are a family of eight kids along with a father and mother. Somehow Samantha's mom never liked them and always keeps on saying "They'll bring down the value of the house" since apparently big families are shunned upon nowadays. However Samantha has always been fascinated by the Garretts and always tries to figure out who is who. The barrier is finally broken when Jase Garrett approaches Samantha one night while she is 'people watching' aka: stalking the Garretts, and starts talking to her.
The romance between the both wasn't fast paced, however it isn't for young readers. They were funny together, I loved Jase's personality and how he lights up a room. I also LOVED his family! I might not come from a big family, however I have a TON of cousins. Around 50 just on my mom's side, so I know how crazy it can get with family gatherings and just how FUN it is! Samantha is so.. awestruck by the commotion, the noise, the joy, laughter, and just feeling of belonging you get from big families. I have to point out, I loved George, Jase's three year old brother. He cracked me up so much, I just wanted to laugh like a lunatic!
However on the other side of things, the interactions between Samantha and her mom were just so.. cold. Also her mom's new boyfriend didn't help matters. He made me grit my teeth and wanting to skip over his parts. Howevever everyone in the end got what they deserved and I totally loved the ending. I just wish there could be a companion novel of "The everyday life of The Garretts". I would totally buy it!
Be sure to enter for the swag giveaway of My Life Next Door on the blog right now!