June 2012 by Dial Books for Young Readers
Amazon + Good Reads
""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, messy, affectionate. And every day from her rooftop perch, Samantha Reed wishes she was one of them . . . until one summer evening, Jase Garrett climbs up next to her and changes everything.
As the two fall fiercely for each other, stumbling through the awkwardness and awesomeness of first love, Jase's family embraces Samantha - even as she keeps him a secret from her own. Then something unthinkable happens, and the bottom drops out of Samantha's world. She's suddenly faced with an impossible decision. Which perfect family will save her? Or is it time she saved herself?
A transporting debut about family, friendship, first romance, and how to be true to one person you love without betraying another."
Yet again, another wonderful summer read. I've read a lot of contemporary YA in my day, so it never ceases to amaze me when a book manages to feel unique and that My Life Next Door was no exception. If you're a fan of Sarah Dessen or Stephanie Perkins, please - please - pick up this book. It was great. But, okay. That's enough gushing.
What I loved most about this book (and there were a lot of things that I loved) was Jase freaking Garrett. I am a total sucker for a great book boyfriend (come on, aren't we all?) and this guy tops the chart. Have you read Lola and the Boy Next Door? Yes? Okay, remember Cricket Bell? He is my *perfect* book boyfriend and Jase Garrett may have given him a run for this money... big time. I've never been the type of girl to go all gaga over the bad boy (except Etienne St. Clair...!) - I lean towards the sweet boy next door kind. And that is Jase. He. Is. Perfect. Sam and Jase's relationship is so sweet and so true of a first love, summer romance when you're 16. Is my fangirling making you uncomfortable yet? Okay, I'll stop.
I also appreciated the growth that Sam and her mother had to go through in order to become better people. Both of them were flawed (though Sam's mom was way more flawed) and had to realize it before they could move forward in their lives.
The only problem that I had with the book (and it is a minor problem, to be sure) is that Samantha's relationship with her best friend is left as a loose end. The girls had a serious falling out and I would have liked to see some sort of resolution...
Over all, My Life Next Door was great. Seriously, if you enjoy Perkins and Dessen but haven't given this book a read, what are you waiting for?!
Have you read My Life Next Door? Let me know your thoughts!