Sunday, March 13, 2016

My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick

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?

Author: Huntley Fitzpatrick
Publisher: Electric Monkey
Date of Publication: January 7th 2016
Pages: 464
Source: Review copy from the publisher
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I received a free copy of this book from Electric Monkey in exchange for a honest review. This does not affect my review/opinions in any way. Thank you!

I received and read this while I was still in hospital - my mum bought the package in and I squealed when I opened it (by this point, I was feeling uninspired by the small selection of my TBR that I had in my room). This is one that has been on my wishlist for a very, very long time.

Now, if you know me at all - you will know I have a big soft spot for romance novels. I used to be fairly ashamed of it, as a feminist; but I realised that it wasn't anti-feminist to like a few cliches once in a while. So, naturally, I let myself read My Life Next Door in the space of a day, whenever I had the chance between my classes and therapies.

When you start My Life Next Door, it seems to be a slight Romeo-and-Juliet plot, but further on, I think I'd disagree. While they have to be secret or undercover, there's no real split between the two families - just elitist disapproval and misunderstanding from Samantha's mum. And this element of social class made it all the more interesting; and not just because I study sociology! I was so sure that I'd hate Samantha in the beginning; but you learn that she's not the issue.

I loved George, Jase's younger brother. I haven't loved a supporting character like I have George in a very long time - he is absolutely adorable and just made it more fun to read and to laugh it. Younger kids always make romances slightly more interesting, with their mischief, interruptions or insinuations, and I couldn't have loved him more.

I can see why people have issues with this - and yes, they did run through the cynical part of me - but I just liked it too much, and I had to overlook them. Yes, it seemed "meant to be", because the mum hated the family and Samantha had been watching them from her window. Okay, I know. But I just love the nice feeling of reading these books and smiling at how people come to love each other.

This book definitely had cliches, and parts where it made me roll my eyes, but I generally really enjoyed it and it uplifted me during my hospital admission - and that's all I could ask for, really.