I received this book for free from Electric Monkey in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Title: My Life Next Door
Author: Huntley Fitzpatrick
Publisher: Electric Monkey
Publication Date: January 7th 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Source: Electric Monkey
A gorgeous debut about family, friendship, first romance, and how to be true to one person you love without betraying another.
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, numerous, 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.
Review: I had heard a lot about Huntley Fitzpatrick from US book bloggers so was very excited to see that Egmont are finally publishing My Life Next Door in the UK and even more so when I was able to snag a review copy from Netgalley.
I adore YA contemporary and I think most people who regularly visit this blog know that. While I try and review all types of YA, and while I admit I sometimes need a little break from contemporary, it’s the YA genre I return to the most.
My Life Next Door feels like the perfect YA contemporary read. It’s set in the summer, it has romance, family drama, a main character trying to forge her own identity and some heartbreaking moments too.
Samantha Reed has watched the Garrett family next door for years; noting the loud, affectionate, busy family they are compared to her own. However when she and Jase strike up a friendship and relationship she is embraced into the Garrett’s world and her summer becomes significantly less boring and one to remember. However, while this starts as a YA summer contemporary romance, it takes a darker turn later in the book.
I won’t go into too much detail about the plot twist as it would spoil the book, however Fitzpatrick writes Samantha’s character really well and I felt like she was a real person who I really felt for at times and has some really difficult decisions and revelations to contend with.
Fitzpatrick writes beautifully and has a real gift with her characters. Pretty much every character feels distinct, realistic and has their own story to tell. The world feels realistic and the plot feels grounded. I loved how she wrote the relationship and the way first love feels, but also this book is more than a romance and really looks at family. I love it when this happens as family was such an important part of me and many of my friends growing up and is neglected in YA.
Overall YA contemporary fans are in for a treat and I highly recommend this book. It’s perfect for fans of Sarah Dessen, Heather Demetrios and Emery Lord. I can’t wait to read the next Huntley Fitzpatrick book.