My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick is everything I look for in a contemporary book, and more. It has romance, conflict, happy moments, sad moments, interesting and hilarious characters, and it captures you from the start.
Basically, we follow the summer events of a girl named Samantha Reed. Her mom is the state senator, and she and her sister are held to high standards. Her mom is a perfectionist, and pretty emotionally distant. Samantha’s next door neighbors fall on the complete opposite of the scale. The Garret family is huge, happy, and totally not what everyone in town makes them out to be.
One day, after silently observing her neighbors for years, she meets one of the Garret boys, Jase. When Samantha meets Jase, she realizes that her life isn’t all that she wants it to be, and that in order to be happy and do the right thing, she has to make some tough choices.
As the story progresses, you see Samantha come to life. She stops repressing her true self and let’s her personality shine through. It’s really amazing what a transformation she goes through. She grapples with what she’s always known, and what she’s discovering in this whole new world with the family next door. We see her challenge her own morals, and ultimately decide whether how’s she’s lived her entire life is morally right or wrong.
Overall, I absolutely give this book a 5 star rating.
You should know, there is a lot of mature content. This book deals with everything from substance abuse and drunk driving, to sex and near death experiences. Theres also a sassy baby, and a paranoid 4 year old. But you’ll meet them when you read the book for yourself. There’s also a lot of swearing.
If you’re a fan of emotionally captivating contemporaries, then you need to read this book.