Wednesday, 18 July 2012

My Life Next Door - Huntley Fitzpatrick; Review.

Book Details:
Hardcover: 304 pages
Publisher: Dial Books (14 Jun 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0803736991
ISBN-13: 978-0803736993

“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?

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I love the idea of someone climbing on to my roof one night and hanging out with me. Initially, that's what attracted me to this book and I'm glad 'cause the book was adorable. 

I'm a huge fan of contemporary fiction and this book is an example of why. Fitzparick brings two us two completely different and distinct families - 'cause this book isn't just about the girl boy romance, but involves deeper underlying issues - like family and what they mean to us. 

We see the Garetts, a crazy family of eccentric characters, ranging from the scary older sister, to the adorable little knowledgeable George. A crazy family who make a mess, leave a mess, live in a mess - but wouldn't have it any other way. Set against them, is the neighbouring family of the Reeds - divorced mother and daughter Samantha. They live the perceivable perfect life - full of neat round edges. The Garettes and the Reeds don't mix for the countless years they've been living side by side - until one night, one of the Garett brood, Jase, climbs on to Samantha's roof and everything changes. 

Samantha not only allows Jase in to her life, but she mixes with the Garett family and sees literally, what life is like on the other side of the picket fence - and she surprises herself by falling in love with them. Yet eventually, Jase and his family teachers her to accept her own too - as dysfunctional as it may seem to her. It brings home the message that family matters most, no matter what - and that's something to remember.

Is the story predictable? Sure - but why on earth would that make you love the book any less? This is one of those summer-feel-good-reads which makes you want to find your own summer story. So take a blanket and sit on the roof - who knows who might just come and join you?


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