Thursday, May 31, 2012

Come to My Window, Come Inside

Expected Publication: June 14th, 2012
My Life Next Door
By: Huntley Fitzpatrick
Dial Books for Young Readers
ISBN-13: 9780803736993

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.


   Samantha Reed has been watching the Garrett family with longing ever since they moved in next door.  There might be a lot of kids and a lot of noise, but compared the Sam's distant, proper family it seems like heaven on earth.  So imagine her surprise when one summer night Jase Garrett comes up onto her terrace and enters her world.  At first they become friends and Sam thinks she can keep it from her Mom, who disapproves of the Garretts and is running to be re-elected as a senator.  Then they begin to fall in love, Sam gets seriously close to the Garrett kids during the times she babysits them and she no longer feels like she needs to hide it from her Mom.  But the last thing she wants to do is disappoint her family.  So at first, she just doesn't tell anyone.  Not exactly lying right?  But when something devastating happens to Jase's Dad, with Sam's Mom and her creepy political boyfriend are to blame, will she be able to do the right thing if it means losing her own family stability?  And will her relationship with Jase and the Garretts be over when the dust settles?  I can understand why this book has been compared to Sarah Dessen - the whole first love, personal identity and family issues mix definitely makes it similar.  But I thought that the way the book ended was pretty weak.  The plot twist involving Jase's Dad getting hurt and Sam's Mom being involved seemed a little too Lifetime movie of the week for my taste.  Huntley should have just stuck to the love story and the side-story of a family in need of healing.  That was what truly interested me about this book.  Jase and Sam made a wonderful couple.  The sub-plot with Sam's best friends, Nan and Tim, was truly wonderful.  I sympathized with Nan and hated her at the same time.  Tim I just wanted to wrap in a hug, feed a hot meal and save him from the downward spiral he was on.  Jase's brothers and sisters were awesome, especially Duff, George and Alice.  Tim cracked me up every time he tried to put the moves on 'Hot Alice.'  Definitely worth the read and it does the small town life admirably well with plenty of heart from each character.  I just don't know where in the HELL that crazy-cakes plot twist came from! :)

VERDICT:  3.5/5  Stars

*I received an Advanced Reading E-book Copy from the publisher, via NetGalley. No money or favors were exchanged for this review. This book's expected publication date is June 14th, 2012.*

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