Thursday, September 18, 2014

Book Review: MY LIFE NEXT DOOR by Huntley Fitzpatrick

You know how, when you are least expecting it, you stumble upon a gem of a book that so completely captivates you that can’t do anything but live in that book until you’ve finished it, and then you walk around for days afterward just thinking about it? And maybe bumping into walls while you’re thinking about it? Because you’re so consumed with thinking about it? Or maybe you finish the last page and then turn back to the first page and start all over?

That was how it was for me when I read My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick. I love this book so much. And what makes my love affair with it even more special is the fact that I’m the paranormal/historical reader and writer—NOT the contemporary reader. But lately I’ve been bingeing on contemporary, thanks to books like My Life Next Door. Authors like Huntley Fitzpatrick could turn me for good!

This book is wonderful is so many ways, so let me count the ways:

First, there are the main characters, Samantha and Jase. Sam is a breath of fresh air in that she is smart and strong and doesn’t whine. And if you don’t fall head over heels in love with Jase there is something missing from your heart. He is the most kind, gentle, gorgeous hero I’ve read in ages.

Second, there is Jase’s family, the Garretts. I want to be a young teenager again and be a member of this large, loving, crazy, adorable family. The Garretts alone would have made me love this book. I wouldn’t have needed anything more, but there is so much more!

Third, the secondary characters are so fully formed that you, the reader, love them passionately, or hate them, just as passionately. There isn’t a forgettable secondary character in this book. And one in particular made me cry. A lot. He might be my favorite character of them all.

 Fourth, the story compels the reader to turn the pages. I dare you to put the book down at the end of a chapter or scene. You won’t be able to do it. Hint: Samantha knows she isn’t suppose to fall in love with Jase Garrett, in fact she isn’t suppose to have anything to do with the Garrett family. Or so says her controlling, perfection-driven, politician mother.

Some authors have a special talent for drawing characters that truly come alive (best ever at this would be JK Rowling), and Ms. Fitzpatrick falls into this category. The writer in me is trying to take apart this book and find Huntley Fitzpatrick’s secret.

This amazing, beautiful book was Fitzpatrick’s debut!! Wow. And since it was released a couple of years ago, there are now two more books by Fitzpatrick to enjoy. But the best news of all is that a linked book, starring my favorite secondary character, is due to be published in 2015!! I cannot wait. {Perhaps I should start a campaign for an ARC??}

I hope you love My Life Next Door as much as I do!

The Goodreads synopsis for My Life Next Door:
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.

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