Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Highlight Reel: My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick

Title: My Life Next Door
Author: Huntley Fitzpatrick
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance

"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.
Discussion by Nara and Chantelle

Nara: People! I draw your attention to an absolute masterpiece. My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick! It's a fairly light contemporary romance and it's amazing. Also the love interest has green eyes :D

Chantelle: My Life Next Door is the sweetest, summer read! Just an awesome YA addition. It's got the fluffiness, the swoon, and the greatest characters ever! So without further ado, here's our discussion, basically celebrating our favourite aspects of MLND :)

*Discussion reads like a conversation because it's a transcript of an actual conversation between us that was recorded *

C: Okay, favourite character. Besides... besides...

N: Besides the obvious?

C: Yeah.

N: Ooooh....

C: George?

N: George.

C: George. And why's that?

N: He's so cute! And comic relief. He's the greatest.

C: His whole thing with always speculating the worst. It's just so cute!

N: "But that will never happen!"

C: hahaha

N: I like Andy as well. Andy's cute.

C: "When do we kiss??"

N: haha that was the cutest.

C: "He broke up with me via post-it!"

N: lol. Oh god.

C: That was so funny.

N: But she was devastated by it!

C: It's still pretty funny. Anyway, back to George. When he walks in on them when they're....

N: "Hey, you guys have nothing on top!" Greatest. What other George moments do we like?

C: The bit when he's like "you should marry Jase because he doesn't pee the bed".

N: That was hilarious. Okay, so favourite scene?

C: Mutual pleasure.

N: hahahahaha (Transcriber's note: a good thirty seconds of laughing). You know what was also funny? When they're like "every time dad brings out the big stick, mommy's having a baby". (Nara: if you don't get this joke, then you clearly need to read the book :P)

C: So good! He said that in show and tell. Now we have to talk to the teachers.

Spoiler time!

Click me to read spoilers

N: It was such an innocent thing to say haha. Okay most heartbreaking scene. The answer's pretty obvious I guess. When she thought that she HAD to break up with him.

C: When he's like "you can't do this!"

N: Yeah, and he's all like "tell me what I did wrong, so I can fix it!"

C: I LOVE YOU JASE. Also when she's like: "you have to kiss me". And he's like "yeah I do"

N: *fans self*

C: *turn the aircon on*

N: What did you think about Nan?

C: Oh god.

N: She was so annoying.

C: She was almost just best friend by default. Because she got ditched by Tim.

N: Mmm. Oh and Nan cheated and all that stuff and was like "you always get everything you want".

C: And she tells Sam "don't ruin this for me". You're the one that cheated man!

N: Yeah, and Sam wasn't even going to tell on her or whatever. I was just like, Sam's your best friend. Trust her!

C: Bit of a douchebag. Tim was really funny though. "Is hot Alice going to be there?" lol

N: You know how he has the book about the mouse and he's like "this is about addiction!" I was like, um, okay.

C: Oh my god, and any bit where Jase takes care of the kids. Like when she's having trouble and he comes home and handles it all, it's like JASE. I love you Jase. Makes me really want more siblings. Oh and all the football trainings.

N: Were you just like eyyyy!

C: I respect that! I'm okay with that.

N: What about Clay. What did you think about him?

C: Douchebag.

N: He was so wiley.

C: I was like, Huntley Fitzpatrick, how did you think of those things? Those things that he says. When he spins the things about the accident, I was like, that's actually valid. How did that just happen?

N: Definitely just a douche. He was so sleazy.

C: The second time I read My Life Next Door, I actually didn't find it as optimistic. I don't know if it's my go-to happy book anymore.

N: It's not really a "happy book" per se.

C: Well the first time you read it, the first time you meet his family, it's like oh my god, this is great. This is making me so happy! And the fact that they still end up together after all that crap. They figure it out and stick together. But the second time I was like, hmm, actually not really. (Nara: I think what Chantelle means by this is that the book is still awesome, but it's not really a "happy" book. Just to clarify haha)

N: I don't know if there's much more to say about My Life Next Door. Other than that it's awesome. And it's a Panacea Candidate. And you should read it.


  1. If there's one contemporary book I really want to read... it's this one. And who's this George and Andy you speak of?! I must get to know them! I skipped over the spoiler bit of your review because I DO intend to read this, but great chat-review, you two. I love it when you guys do a review together. :D

    1. hehehe you'll have to read the book to find out! (They're two of Jase's many siblings :D)


  2. This was a fun review. I've yet to give this book a try, but I've been eyeing it for awhile. I've heard nothing but great things about this book.

    Janina @ Synchronized Reading

  3. Ahh, I've been wanting to read this book for a really long time-- especially after hearing so many good things about it. Hearing you say it's awesome... just got me that much more hyped about reading it. :) Happy reading!


    1. It is rather amazing. I recommend it to everyone!

  4. GEORGEEEEEE. I know there are a bunch of YA books that include adorable, younger characters but none of them have felt half so real or as awesome as little Georgie. Andy - ahhh, yeah, she was cute. I like that that was real too. Minus the post-it thing. But I guess that could happen too. Hahaha oh the little ones. His entire family! I think without them, this book wouldn't be half as great as it is, even though Jase makes for one awesome love interest.

    YES YES YES that was heartbreaking. You know, I don't like reading about really angsty stuff, but I actually thought that was well done even though I was begging Sam to do something else.

    Nan is the reminder of the need for actually good female friendships in YA. Ugh that girl. At least it was a spin on the mean girl stereotype though.

    DID YOU KNOW THAT THIS WILL HAVE A SEQUEL BTW? I am very, very curious where that will go. I loved the book but am wary of reintroducing douchebag Clay...

    Yeah, it's not a happy, fluffy read. It's actually got some serious issues and moral ambiguity made for discussion. But what makes that work is the large family and the happy feelings you get from the start. You get all invested in what'll happen.


      Yeah it was interesting how the author had Nan as the semi-antagonist. But I also find it a bit weird how Sam doesn't really seem to have any other friends. Maybe that's just me though haha.

      ERMAHGERD THE SEQUEL!! It's based on Alice and Tim :D :D :D

  5. Aww, this was SO fun! I have to meet this George now. I'm tempted to read the spoilers, because you're hilarious, but maybe I should read the book first ;)

    1. Don't you dare read the spoilers! Read da book first :D BECAUSE IT'S AMAZING!