Book Review- My Life Next Door

Sunday, 29 May 2016
Title: My Life Next Door
Author:Huntley Fitzpatrick
Pages: 394
Genre: YA, Contemporary

Rating: 3.5/5

"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. -Goodreads

A huge thank you to Net Galley and Egmont Publishing for the review copy of this novel!

This book has been published for a couple of years, and I had seen many people rave about it, so when it popped up on Net Galley I eagerly requested a copy. This novel is a very easy read, I sped through this in about 2 days, the narrative flows nicely and the plot moves quickly keeping my interest well.
I absolutely loved the first 70% of this novel, I would probably have given the novel 5/5 if it had finished at that point, but the last quarter or so disappointed me. That is around the point where our main couple come across an obstacle that is in the way of their love, stopping them being together. After this point I just didn't really feel that into the story anymore. No spoilers, but the obstacle not only feels contrived and a tad ridiculous, but the way the main characters reacted felt ridiculous and out of character. I could tell that they were only acting that way to allow the plot to continue, if they had acted more in character, the obstacle wouldn't have become an obstacle at all!
However apart from this blip in the characters behaviour, in general I really liked all the characters in this novel. The main character Samantha, whose narrative we hear, and whose perspective we get in the novel was great, she was funny and quick witted. I also liked that she questioned things, including her mother, although I would've liked her to have a bit more spine when standing up to her mother, but overall I thought she was a very likeable main character, and it was easy to root for her throughout the novel.
Samantha's love interest Jase was very likeable too, he's one of the most believable and likeable love interests I've read in a YA Contemporary novel in a long time. He seemed kind and caring, and very amusing. He had that confident swagger about him that made him seem more attractive, but not so confident to appear arrogant. I thought Jase and Samantha made a very cute couple, and I enjoyed all the descriptions about their flirting and their dates but overall I wasn't that invested in whether they got together or not. 
I was actually more interested in the minor characters in the novel, Tim for example was probably one of the most interesting, but also realistic depictions of a young adult in this novel. He started off as quite a dislikeable person, but as you learn more about him and his problems you start to feel much more sympathetic towards him. He also changes the most throughout this novel and his character growth was great to read, very believable and well written by the author. 
Also I want to give a special shoutout to the character of George, Jase's little brother, who is possibly the cutest child I have ever read about. He was just so adorable, almost everything that he said made me laugh, and he provided a great comedic element in the novel. Maybe we could have another novel featuring George?
Overall I did enjoy this novel, and although I thought parts of the plot were a tad ridiculous, the characters and the easy read made up for it, so I gave it 3.5/5 stars. I just had a look on Goodreads, and apparently there's a companion novel featuring Tim, so I am definitely picking it up soon!
My thanks again to Egmont Publishing and Net Galley!

Happy Reading!

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