rubywednesday's Reviews > My Life Next Door

My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick
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's review
Jun 19, 12

bookshelves: favourite, romance, ya-contemporary
Read on June 19, 2012

More like 4.5 stars, really.

My Life Next Door is a wonderfully warm summer read and I highly recommend it.

Samantha lives in her perfect house with her politician mother, next door to the big noisy Garrett family. Her mother looks down on them but she's always been a little bit fascinated. When one of the boys, Jace, joins her on the roof one night she finally becomes part of their lives and falls in love, too.

There's so much to like about this book. Jace and Sam are a wonderful couple. They have a healthy relationship and there's no weird imbalances of power or 'tragic pasts' to make things complicated. They like each other and they're open about it it's really very sweet. There's a few sad moments when poor Jace doubts where he stands with Samantha but given their situations, they're totally understandable.

You can really feel their chemistry and understand their attraction and Jace is very swoon-worthy. When they decide to have sex they talk about it and they go buy condoms together and it's handled really well by the characters and the author.

Sam's friends, Nan and Tim, are also great characters. I particularly liked Nan. She was funny and her drive and her issues with Sam were totally understandable. Tim took more time to get to like but he was still a good character. In a lot of YA books (well all genres, really) issues like substance abuse and addiction are pretty much glamorised, glossed over or painted as this thing that only happens to bad people. Tim was pretty much a mess, but he was still a person and the shitty things he did felt very authentic. He wasn't packed off to a magical boot camp or rehab, he had to struggle and deal with things himself and I really appreciated that.

Does that seem like this is a heavy book? It's really not. It's genuinely warm and funny.

The Garrett family are scene stealers, all of them. Coming from a big noisy family myself, I liked them straight away. They're very funny, Andi and George actually made me laugh out out a couple times, and a pleasure to read. They have a brilliant influence on Sam's life.

I didn't care so much for the 'incident' that happened to cause the conflict towards the end of the book. I had the appropriate amount of sympathy, it just felt rather flat.
Maybe I didn't care enough about Samantha. I mean, I liked her and I wanted her to be happy but some of her issues were so #richgirlproblems that they didn't really seem important.

Regardless, this is a really enjoyable book and it made me smile a lot.
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Reading Progress

6.0% "i like this already. big noisy families represent"
50.0% "i actually love this. jace + sam 4eva"

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