July 5, 2012

Latest Read: My Life Next Door

Here are the basics ...
BookMy Life Next Door
Author: Huntley Fitzpatrick
Sitehttp://www.huntleyfitzpatrick.com/
Category: Young Adult 

Summary: The Garretts are everything the Reeds are not. Loud, 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. (Adapted from Goodreads
My thoughts…
The good:  There are so many things I loved about this book.  It was refreshing, mature, teenage-angst free. They face issues that are real for two 17 year olds falling in love for the first time and they deal with them by communicating.  It was actually kind of amazing to read in a young adult novel.  Samantha's voice was just so clear in my mind as I read.  She's this regular nice girl who's always been the "good" daughter in her family and abided by all her mother's (insane) rules.  Her family is cold in comparison to the warmth & open displays of love she sees over the fence at the Garretts. The last thing she expected was to get involved with one of them.  Enter Jase who is so.. I mean, where were guys like this when I was 17?  Hell, where's a guy like that now?  He's open, thoughtful and honest. I really enjoyed the whole journey of their relationship from the first time they meet to their first kiss and every single one of their moments together.  You feel like you're experiencing everything with them.  (I'm not gonna lie, some of their scenes are pretty hot.) But it wasn't just about the two of them.  The author introduces all these other characters who add so much to the story as well.  Like the Garrett family.  Each of Jase's siblings had such personality and would make me laugh at these unexpected moments.  But my favorite was definitely George, who is possibly the cutest youngest sibling in a book, ever.  Every character added a layer of complexity to the story and to the two main characters.  Then just when I think I had the book all figured out, the author throws in a curveball that brought the plot to a whole other level.  It was all very well-done.

The bad:  
When I got to the last chapter I thought, it can't end now! Mostly because I wanted a little more (though, don't I always with a good book?).  But also, there were a few things left unresolved and/or cleaned up a little too easily.  I think a couple more chapters would've been better to clearly address every story line after all the buildup.

Do I recommend?:  In the past, all the YA books I ever read were fantasy/sci-fi/dystopian (with the exception of Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants).  But this year, I've been making a point to try more YA contemporary and "My Life Next Door" (as well as a few others) are perfect examples of why I've slowly fallen in love with this genre.  Definitely read this one!

Happy reading!

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