*In place of my Top Ten Tuesday this week (whose topic is "Beach Reads") I'm choosing one book I'd qualify as a "beach read" and reviewing it because I don't really like this topic, lol.
A gorgeous debut about family, friendship, first romance, and how to be true to one person you love without betraying another.
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, 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?
A dreamy summer read, full of characters who stay with you long after the story is over.
Published by: Dial Books For Young Readers (June 14, 2012)
Genre: YA contemporary + romance
My rating for My Life Next Door:
|+ summer kisses|
This book was a beautiful summer romance, but it was also so much more than just romance.
My Life Next Door wasn't a fast-paced read. It wasn't action/drama packed. It's written at a casual pace that isn't boring to read. Even though it wasn't full of action or even dialogue, I still was filled with satisfaction at what I was reading. Every word held a purpose and kept me reading.
Romance is involved throughout the whole book, but I wouldn't say it's a romance novel. A huge part of this book is on the dynamics of a family and each family controls their lives and handles situations differently. In this story, there are two families: the Reeds, a mom and two daughters, who are wealthy and successful and live in what seems to be a close to perfect life, and then there are the Garretts, a mom and dad and their too-many-to-count children, who are barely making ends meet, never see a clean family room, but where smiles even when they want to kill each other.
Over the course of the book, Sam, the 17 year old daughter in the Reed family, really got a taste of what life was like for someone not like herself. She grew to love the Garretts and so did I--I couldn't help but smile at the silly things the little Garrett children said--and, of course, I loved Jase Garrett: the cute, summer love interest.
This book didn't have any extraordinary elements in it, but the casual, realistic approach that Huntley Fitzpatrick took (with the story line and the characters and their actions) still managed to wow the crap out of me! I loved that their wasn't particularly anything special about the characters. Jase wasn't the stereotype "bad boy"; Sam wasn't a snotty rich girl. Those two had awkward moments, didn't always speak eloquently, and things didn't always turn out as planned for them, and while I can't label these things as being "romantic", they DO happen in real life and I loved and appreciated these aspects immensely. All of the characters had room to change and grow, or go further downhill, just like real life. And then when the relationships and bonds changed for the better, that's when my heart really started to warm. This story resides in a deep, soft spot in my heart.
Recommended to readers who like: a casual, contemporary read about friendships, relationships, family, change, and simply just life. Great for the summer too!
Sexual content: Medium (fade-out).
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