*REVIEW* My Life Next Door


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.

Omigosh, what a WONDERFUL story! I am so in love with this book. If you scoop up one contemporary read this summer, make sure it's this one. My Life Next Door is beautifully written. It's heartfelt, romantic, touching, relatable, and one of those books you just can't put down. And the boy? SWOON.

My Life Next Door introduces us to Samantha, a girl trapped in a world she doesn't truly feel like she belongs in. Her mother is a state senator, running for re-election, and her sister is off to the Vineyards for the summer with her boyfriend before she begins college in the fall. All of this means that Samantha has a LOT of time to herself, a lot of time for her to participate in one of her favorite hobbies: watching the Garretts.

The Garretts are the neighbors, the neighbors that Samantha's mother has forbidden her to interact with because she doesn't agree with their lifestyle, because the Garretts are a HUGE family. Samantha's mother thinks it's wrong to forgo birth control THAT many times. But Samantha has always been fascinated by the large family next door--the family that seems so warm, so affectionate, and so unbelievably happy and content in their lives. Samantha never could have predicted she would become a part of that family and experience all those emotions herself. But she never could have predicted the night Jase climbed up her trellis.

Jase, one of the Garretts, has known Samantha has watched his family for years. He decides one night to climb up her trellis and join her on her roof and what follows is one of the sweetest love stories I have ever read. Readers are blessed to follow along as Jase and Samantha fall deeply and madly in love with one another. We see Samantha enfolded in the embrace of Jase's family, which is perfect for her as her friendship with her best friend, Nan, seems to be crumbling apart. But then an event happens, an event so horrible and tragic, it seems as Jase and Samantha will just not be able to overcome it. Can love survive against the worst odds? Or are some romances just made for summer?

I refuse to spoiler this book because that would be CRIMINAL. This book may be my favorite I've read all year. It's got EVERYTHING: Love, romance, firsts, friendships, addiction, overcoming hardships, facing reality, you name it! And then there's Jase. Goodness gracious, what a FABULOUS character. I want a Jase of my very own!!

Seriously though, the writing in this book is superb. I FELT the love growing between the characters and felt like I was a part of it all. That's so rare. And I love how it didn't feel rushed, like some YA romances can feel. The characters meet and BOOM! We're all madly in love. Nope, didn't happen like that in this one. This book was REAL. I almost expect to run into Jase and Samantha on a beach somewhere. You OWE it to yourself to snag this book when it releases in June. You will love it!!

Expected publication date: June 14, 2012 by Dial Books for Young Readers.

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