NOTE: I got this as an ARC but read it after it was published.
The book I'm reviewing is by Huntley Fitzpatrick, called My Life Next Door. It's about a girl named Samantha who befriends the boy next door Jase from a big, gossiped-about family, while her own family is much more prestigious but just as scrutinized.
I'm not sure if I mentioned this already, but back in the office of my internship there was a closet filled to the top with Advanced Reader's Copies. So one day, after they got in a new shipment for the teen shelf, I went through all the books I had to see if any stood out to me.
This one did. I'm not really sure why. I mean, I liked the cover, title and found them intriguing.
But the summary put me off a little. I won't put the exact words but it talked about fighting against parental expectations.
I like relating to teen books. And I figured I couldn't relate to that. I mean, my parents have expectations for me but they're, "Go to where you want to go for college, and be happy." That's kind of it. And clean my room, that too. But they aren't forcing me to be a doctor or going to their college. So worrying about living up to a parent's expectations isn't something that I relate to.
But I couldn't get over this book, so I forced my expectations about parental expectations to shut up and decided to just read it.
And then I did. And I liked it. A lot. I even related to Sam. I thought it was a great story and I am now in love with Jase. Samantha just has to deal with it, Jase is moving next door to me.
Here are my three reasons:
I liked the forbidden romance of it (since it was definitely more forbidden than boy/girl next door). I normally don't, since it just seems all whiny like, "Oh why can't my parents just let us have our love!" Seriously, shut up. I'm sick of hearing you and your lover-person complain.
But, in this book, they didn't complain. I don't want to spoil it so I won't explain how, but I found the way Fitzpatrick wrote it to be more than tolerable. Actually enjoyable.
The second reason was the whole opposing sides of having a big family. Everyone in the town kinda opposed the Garretts' huge family, especially Samantha's family the Reeds. Personally, I like big families, so Samantha's transition into spending more time with them and having fun with all the siblings was really awesome to read.
Finally, I loved all the extra stuff added to the story. Like the siblings' quirks (which I won't spoil, because everyone should enjoy them originally). I enjoyed hating the characters Nan and Clay. I liked hating then loving the characters Tim and Tracy.
I give this book 399 Hot Neighbor Boys out of 400. Because I wish I had a hot neighbor boy. But the only viable options are years younger than me. *sigh*