Published: June 14th 2012 by: Dial BFYR
Series: My Life Next Door #1
Genres: YA, Contemporary
Format: Kindle Source: Purchased
My Rating: 3 Stars
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.
My Life Next Door turns out not to be what I expected. And while the story is full of all things summery and teen romance, it was also not well carried out. There were so many things wrong, but I could not put it down to save my life. I just had to know how it all would end; and that is where it all fell apart. I can’t, for the life of me, get over that horrible ending! I kept asking myself WTF was that? It was tied up too nicely for the actions of the characters, and it shows young readers that if you have money, you can get out of being held accountable for your actions. For the sake of not arguing about it, I deduced that the author wants to show that it was all for Sam’s benefit, and not having her mother subjected to jail time and her having to go into some sort of foster care or something. *GAG* The Garretts took that too willingly, and the author played on their financial situation to end this on good terms. I almost gave this 1-2 stars, but I actually like most of this book, so I have to be fair.
What I liked
-The Garrett family is amazing. They are the reason that I kept on reading this book. I only have 2 siblings, but this family reminded me of my childhood when me and my siblings would stay at my grandmother’s house every summer and all of our cousins would be there. There were 11 kids running around during those summer months so my granny and aunt had their hands full. We all got along and helped each other out, but annoyed each other also with our different personalities. This was so the Garretts. They all have their own things to do, but at the end of the day, they are all so very lovable towards each other. Of course, I love Jase, but the real front runner is little George. I swear I wanted to reach inside this book and smooch him to pieces! I also really love Alice, and I’m eager to read more about her.
-Tim, the troubled brother of Sam’s BFF. I love him even though he has it rough with not living up to his parents expectations, and drinking and doing drugs. Clearly there is more to his story, so I will definitely be reading the next book. I want to know what caused his downfall.
-I like that Sam was a workaholic, even though she didn’t need to work. She’s not just some rich girl who depends on her senator mom to take care of her. I love her interactions with the family next door, but the way she had to sneak around made me not like her a whole lot. Still, she’s so used to being the good girl and being manipulated by her mom, and now her mom’s new boyfriend, that she didn’t know what to do. I’m glad that she did the right thing and told someone. That showed me that she has a conscience, and that she really cared about Jase. Which leads me to my dislike of the horrible train wreck at the end.
-I don’t have any problem with sex in YA, and this one was very sex positive. There were no outrageous descriptions, you just know that it’s happening. Very well done.
What I disliked
-I hate politics. I just really don’t like the shadiness of it all. Sam’s mom got on my freaking last nerve. A grown woman! She couldn’t see through Clay’s manipulation and that really pissed me off. On top of that, I don’t like how judgmental she is about the Garrett family. The way she rubbed it into her daughters heads from a young age that the Garretts are a bad family. Her constant drone about their yard, their kids, their EVERYTHING. I just don’t understand her prejudice against that family, even if they reminded her of her ex-husband’s family. That was no way to treat people. She used her money to make the bad things disappear and I hate her for it. There, I said it.
-Nan, Sam’s BFF. Totally resentful of Sam, and blames her for everything. The way she refused to get Tim help made me very suspicious of her from the start, so when the little revelation came, I wasn’t at all surprised. She was just such a little bitch, cheating her way through life.
-I hate the way that Sam had to sneak around with Jase (as I stated above). He is such a nice guy, and I could practically feel the hurt that he felt about her hiding their relationship. I felt like he was too forgiving of her a lot, and it all seemed to speed up and fall into place at the end.
I’m conflicted here. On one hand, I’ll say yes because if the Garrett family alone can put a smile on your face, it’ll be worth it. On the other hand, I’ll say no. Simply because I don’t like the way this book ends. What kind of positive example can come from that ending? But, then I’ll say yes because you have to read it for yourself to see if you agree with it all. I don’t, and that may just be me because everyone loves this book. It’s not a bad story, I just don’t agree with the ending.