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Welcome to Paula and Sarina's Book Blog! Avid readers, hard core fan girls of fictional literary male characters, proud library captains. We started this blog because of our love for reading YA novels and decided to share our thoughts on the books we read. We hope you enjoy our blog and contact us if you have any questions :)

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Sunday, 7 April 2013
Name: My Life Next Door
Author: Huntley Fitzpatrick
Date Published: June 14, 2012
Grade: A
Goodreads Summary: 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.

Review:
It started of with the cover. Then the title. Reading the synopsis for My Life Next Door, I was beyond excited to pick up this debut by Huntley Fitzpatrick. As I heard the blogging community gushing about this book, I immediately pre-ordered it. And boy, was it ever the right choice to make.

My Life Next Door deals with many things ranging from family issues to friendship troubles, and finally, to first love. Samantha Reed is a strong protangonist that appears to have the perfect life of the surface. However, for Samantha, she longs for more. Living in a single parent household, she's forced to live a strict life with a mother that rather spend time on her election than with her daughter. As the sun sets and the stars rise, Samantha looks over to her neighbours - the Garretts - and they're everything her family is not. Loud. Messy. Full. Happy. One day, Jase Garrett climbs over the trellis dividing the two houses, and suddenly the Reed's and the Garrett's worlds begin to collide.

I think the mark of a great novel begins with character development, and Fitzpatrick did a fantastic job at this. First of all, Samantha was a very relatable and very mature protagonist. I don't think there was ever a moment where I was left wondering why she would make a certain decision because she always had my sympathy. Despite all that, the Garretts stole the show for me. That one family consisted of 10 characters, and each one of them has his or her own special quirks. My favourites were George and Jase. George was a cute little kid that was definitely a whole lot smarter than I was at his age. He was funny and charming and different from any other character I have ever read. Jase, on the other hand, was... perfect. Jase. *sighs*

This leads me to another point - the romance. As you find out more about me, you'll figure out that the way into my good books (pun intended) is a well written romance. Sam and Jase's relationship is one of my all-time favourites. There was a sense of innocence and discovery in their relationship that had me flipping through pages so fast that I had to reread paragraphs just to understand how beautiful their love truly was. Also, let's face it. What girl wouldn't want a gorgeous next door neighbour who is a gentleman, jock, and genuine sweetheart to come knocking on your bedroom window? Perfect romance? I think so.

Around 3/4 of the way through the novel, there's an obstacle that arises in the book. Some people found it very abrupt and that it changed the mood of the story too drastically. Personally, I thought it only made the story that much more enjoyable. To see Sam and Jase figure out their way through some pretty rough times was very moving, and it strengthened the novel in my opinion.

Overall, this is a fantastic read that I have reread many, many times. No matter what kind of genre you like to read, I can assure you that you do no want to miss out on this one. Huntley Fitzpatrick blew my mind away with My Life Next Door, and I cannot wait to read her next novel. Even if it's half as good as this one, then I'm in for a treat.

Happy reading!

~SARINA

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