[review] My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick

On the outside, Samantha Reed has everything: the perfect home, the perfect family, the perfect life, but Sam spends her time watching the family next door, wishing she could be with them. The Garretts are many and messy, but to Sam they are the most perfect family she’s ever seen. And one day when Jase Garrett catches her looking, Sam finally gets the chance to hop the fence and see if the grass really is greener on the other side.

My Life Next DoorI had heard nothing but amazing things about this book, so despite my general lack of enthusiasm for contemporary novels, I was looking forward to reading this book, and for awhile I even enjoyed it. The characters were memorable and the romance was steamy with a nice edge of reality, but the soap-opera-like drama and anti-climatic ending left me feeling unsatisfied.

I do not have a good memory for characters, so the fact that I was able to remember this large cast shows the details that went into creating them. While I didn’t always agree with some of the characterizations (I’m looking at you, female characters), it was interesting getting to enjoy a variety of characters and the different way they interact. My favourite would have to be Patsy. She could only say two words, but somehow she managed to say all of my favourite lines.

The romance of this story was the high point for me, and more specifically the portrayal of sex and sexy times. There is one scene, maybe a little early in the book and relationship, that is definitely for the older side of the young adult spectrum. The discussion of female sexuality and power was very interesting to me, and if that had been the main focus of this story, I think I would have enjoyed it more.

Sadly, a young girl’s sexual journey was not enough for this story, and Fitzpatrick included several story lines that left me feeling as if I had just watched an entire season of Glee. I didn’t find any of the plot twists to be particularly twisty until one event that was the main force of the final third of the novel. I won’t say what happened, but I will say that this last third ruined what would have otherwise been an okay novel. Finish it off with an ending that ignores the consequences in favour of a more or less happily ever after, and I put this book down with the feeling that I had just wasted several hours of my life. It’s book like this that sometimes make me wonder if maybe I have gotten too old for the young adult genre.

Don’t just take my word for it!

My Life Next Door is the perfect summer romance, on par with Sarah Dessen’s The Truth About Forever and Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins.” – Angel @ Mermaid Visions

“Overall, My Life Next Door is a candid tale about love, family, friendship, and the role choices, pre-conceived notions, and self-identity play in our lives.” – Aimee @ Penmanship Smitten

My Life Next Door shines as a bright contemporary – with chemistry that never felt forced and characters small and large who worm their way into your heart.” – April @ Good Books and Good Wine

“MY LIFE NEXT DOOR by Huntley Fitzpatrick is one of the warmest, most wonderful debuts I’ve read so far this year.” – Amy @ Tripping Over Books

“Huntley Fitzpatrick certainly crafted one heck of a story, with characters that I won’t soon forget, and it is one of my must-reads for this summer.” – Alexa Loves Books

“I found My Life Next Door a satisfactory read, and won’t hesitate to recommend it to young readers who enjoy contemporary romance that isn’t too heavy, but it won’t be making it on my top ten books of the year list.” – Molly @ Wrapped Up in Books

My Life Next Door is perfect for readers who are unwilling to let summer escape from their grasps, and I have no doubt I shall be reading it again and again in the future.” – Midnight Bloom Reads

“…if you enjoy contemporary YA with colorful characters, a compelling plot line, and a hefty dose of romance, My Life Next Door should definitely be on your summer reading list.” – Jen @ YA Romantics

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About megtao

Student. Writer. Nerdfighter. Fights for love, justice, and awesome.
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15 Responses to [review] My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick

  1. I generally really enjoyed My Life Next Door, but I’d have to agree that I enjoyed it in spite of that crazy ridiculous thing that happens at the end and the way it’s handled. Jase and Samantha were just so great that I gave their relationship more weight. But I wasn’t a fan of the last third either.

    • megtao says:

      I wish I could get past the ending because otherwise it was a really enjoyable book, but endings always leave the biggest impact on me because my memory is so bad XD

  2. Molly says:

    I agree that Jase and Samantha’s mature relationship was what made this book work. I loved the romance, but the rest of the plot and the way the sisters and mother were portrayed turned me off.

  3. Christa says:

    Every now and then I’ll go on a contemporary kick but I generally find them too predictable/ just not my preferred genre. This doesn’t sound like one that would appeal to me so I think I’ll pass on it. Thanks for the honest review Meg!

  4. Danya says:

    Sorry to hear that the final third ruined the story for you! It’s a real shame when the ending doesn’t live up to the rest of the book 😦 Thanks for giving me an idea of what to expect with this one.

  5. I appreciated the honest review too! Thank you for being so fair. I’m always interested in what works and doesn’t, so kudos!

  6. I’m not always into contemporary because they are all so similar, but at the same time I do enjoy them because they are cute and fun. This one just sounds like there are way too many characters to follow (and yet it sounds like the author did a great job with the detail in all the characters). I had heard a lot about this book, and I’m sorry that it ended in a disappointing way 😦 Thanks for the honest review… I think this is one I’ll skip.

  7. I really liked this book when I read it last summer, though I do agree that the “twist” wasn’t particularly necessary. It added a bit of drama, which can be fun sometimes, but overall, I don’t think it necessarily had to be there. I love Jase and Sam though, so that’s why I really ended up loving this one!

  8. Husna says:

    I just read it, and I enjoyed it, but I was really put off with the ending. Some of my questions were unanswered and it was quite vague and abrupt. Other than that I thought it was fine. I like your honest review though 🙂

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