My Life Next Door

my_life_next_door_-_huntley_fitzpatrickFirst Lines: The Garretts were forbidden from the start.  But that’s not why they were important.

Initially, I had put off reading this for months because my mom read it and said she hated it.  (While we generally do have very different tastes in books, we generally feel the same about the books we do read in common.)  So when I finally picked this up, I was a bit hesitant.

For years, Samantha Reed has watched her neighbors.  The Reed household is quiet, uncluttered, and reserved, all of the time.  But the Garretts…the Garretts are everything Samantha longs for.  They’re loud and messy and interesting.  They get even more interesting when Jase Garrett climbs up to her window one night and changes everything.  As they begin to fall for each other–awkwardly discovering what it means to be in love–Samantha struggles with acknowledging Jase around people who will judge her.  She certainly can’t tell her mom, who flies off the handle whenever the Garretts come up in conversation.  Then something unthinkable happens and Samantha is put in an impossible position–protect her family…or the Garretts?

Actually, this was better than I thought it would be, based on my mom’s review.  I had gone into this thinking there was a Montague & Capulet/Hatfields & McCoys kind of rivalry going on between the families, but that is definitely not the case.  More like simply dislike and prejudice.

Samantha and Jase are adorable.  I mean, Jase is simply the boy next door: he’s good with his little siblings, he’s mechanical, and he’s sweet.  It’s adorable and I want one.  Please tell me I can put Jase on my Christmas list.

There was also some really great commentary on this book about our society–and parenting.  I mean, I don’t even have kids, but I know all this is true.  Like how everyone has an opinion on how to parent your child.  Or like when you run across big families and people assume stupid things like they must be Catholic, they’ve never heard of birth control, etc.  I didn’t even realize how big a pet peeve this was for me until I was reading this.

I wasn’t so much a fan of Samantha’s mother.  She’s a politician and, due to pressures of the job, she acts like every politician you’ve grown to hate.  Ugh.  I’m reading to avoid watching that on TV, thanks.

There are some twists near the end that felt really…extreme.  Like I realize that fiction tends to do that from time to time, but normally it still feels really realistic.  This, at least for me, went a bit overboard.  But, I’ll admit, it was still interesting to read.  I still wanted to know what happened next.

Overall, it’s a cute romance, but you may have to deal with some awful (as in despicable, not horribly-written) characters along the way.  Sometimes getting through those scenes was a challenge.


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