My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick
The Skinny: 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? – From Goodreads
BFF?: I feel like I’ve been coming across more and more characters like Samantha Reed the more I read contemporary. Smart, driven, completely obsessed with not disappointing their parents. And on the one hand, I feel like I can relate to these people. Even now, as an adult, I feel obsessed with not disappointing my parents. However, the parents of these girls in books are crazy, obsessed with perfection not giving their kids an inch parents. Mine… are not. So on the other hand I have a hard time figuring out these kids. Like you know your parents are wrong; why don’t you say something? Anyway, Samantha was perfectly likable. She was nice and funny and all the things I like in an MC. But her need to please her mom and tendency to always do what her mom said got on my nerves. And again, I get it, but grrr!
Readability: Really had a hard time putting this down. Samantha’s voice was fun and sweet, but at the same time occasionally painful. I felt at times it was completely genuine then it would morph into something so deep that it was hard to believe it was a teen talking. However, those deep moments were what made this book so good.
Crush Level: 7
My crush level on Jase should be higher, I know. But… it’s not. I think he gave me more of the “Awwww! So sweet!” feelings than the major swoons. And honestly, it wasn’t even his actions with Samantha that gave me those feelings – although they were perfectly sweet. It was how he was with his family. Maybe it’s my biological clock ticking, but show me a guy who is brilliant with kids and you will see me swoon. And Jase was, ladies, BRILLIANT with kids.
I have never wanted a big family nor do I have a big family. But, I LOVE books that have large quirky families. Jase’s family is no exception. With ages ranging from baby to grown-up, there are all sorts of hijinks that go on in their house. But what’s even better is that the parents are still into each other and still making babies!
Seriously, I DESPISED Samantha’s mom. Like she definitely wins the award for this month’s worst mom. Not only is she obsessed with perfection, she mean to the Garrets, which totally sucks. Every scene with this woman in it made me scowl and my skin crawl.
Yearbook Quote: “I like eggs and bacon,” George tells me. “But” – his face clouds – “do you know that bacon is” – tears leap to his eyes – “Wilbur?”
(God I love this kid!)
Superlatives – Tie between Best book to make you want to practice safe sex OR Best book to make you want to make babies
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