One thing my mother never knew, and would disapprove of most of all, was that I watched the Garretts. All the time. Read more...
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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."
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2012-04-23
- Reviewer: Staff
Although they’ve been neighbors for 10 years, Samantha Reed and Jase Garrett are worlds apart. Rich, beautiful Samantha has led a privileged life, strictly dictated by her state senator mother. Jase, part of a large, boisterous family that’s despised by Samantha’s mother, has to work hard for what he gets. As fate would have it, the two teens fall in love despite—or perhaps because of—their different backgrounds. But the summer romance turns into a nightmarish moral dilemma as Samantha becomes aware of a secret, hidden by her mother’s unscrupulous campaign aide, which could destroy Jase’s family or ruin her mother’s political career. As Samantha wrestles with what to do, she risks losing her comfortable lifestyle, her mother’s trust, and the boy she most admires. Fitzpatrick’s excellent first novel movingly captures the intensity of first love, the corrupting forces of power, and the losses suffered by innocent victims caught in a web of political deceit. As the lines between villains and heroes shift, readers will be reminded how “right” and “wrong” choices are rarely crystal clear. Ages 12–up. Agent: Christina Hogrebe, Jane Rotrosen Agency. (June)
Falling in love with the boy next door
There’s nothing like the simple, delectable pleasure of getting lost in a book on a summer’s day—as author Huntley Fitzpatrick understands. Her debut novel, My Life Next Door, follows Samantha Reed during her 17th summer, when she falls for the most unlikely candidate imaginable: the boy next door.
Samantha lives in a coastal Connecticut town with her mother and older sister, Tracy, in a house so pristine her mother has been known to vacuum behind the girls as they walk out the door in the morning. It’s quiet, clean and, Samantha must admit, a bit boring and lonely.
No wonder she’s been watching the large, boisterous family next door for years. Her mother has forbidden Samantha from playing with the Garretts, but despite the scattered toys, unkempt lawn and Mrs. Garrett’s habit of breastfeeding yet another new baby, something about their messy life appeals to her.
Then she meets Jase Garrett and everything changes. Samantha is drawn into Jase’s life and grows comfortable with the entire family. When something terrible and unexpected happens, Samantha faces a heartbreaking decision that tests her love for her family and her own sense of right and wrong.
Samantha and Jase embark on their romance not in a vacuum, but as real teens who balance family responsibilities, work, worries about friends and questions about their futures. Fitzpatrick, a mother of six, captures the magic of family and love in this impressive debut.