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.”
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.
My Life Next Door is a book I've wanted to read for months, but my library hadn't had it yet. I finally got my copy this weekend and read through the whole book in two days or so. The topics of family, romance, and friendship dealt with in this book are amazing.
POSSIBLE SPOILERS AHEAD
Samantha is a great character. Her mom has taught her to stay away from the family next door, but she has always been envious of them. She wishes she could have a loving family like that. Instead, she has her older sister, who is away for the summer with her boyfriend and some friends, and her mom, Grace Reed, the state senator. Grace is only worried about winning the next election. She starts dating a man named Clay Tucker, who becomes her campaign manager. It becomes clear to Samantha that he isn't just managing the campaign, he's managing Grace as well.
I loved Jase's family. They were all such great characters. From oldest to youngest, his siblings are Joel, Alice, Jase, Andy, Duff, Harry, George, and Patsy. They all have their own personalities and play into the story in their own way. Andy experiences her first relationship as a fourteen-year-old. George watches a lot of Discovery Channel and learns many facts. Patsy has two words - boob and poop. Alice is in nursing school. The parents are loving and care about all of their kids.
The romance that develops between Jase and Samantha is very sweet. He happens to climb up her trellis one night and meet her. One day, he asks her over to his house to help babysit the kids. Soon, the kids love her, and she becomes like part of the family. At the same time, she begins to fall for Jase. The two fall in love fairly quickly, yet it also seems sweet and realistic. They are a great book couple.
If you like contemporary YA, read this book.