Auntor: Huntley Fitzpatrick
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
“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, 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.
I finished this book on Tuesday night and I immediately wanted to add it to my Top 5 Wednesday post. It is one of the books that have made me think, but there were other books I wanted to talk about more. It doesn’t matter. It’s still a great book.
So, let’s talk characters. There are so many people in this story and each one is unique. It’s not an overly large book -a little less than 400 pages- but still the author manages to equip her characters with their own personal traits. My favorite is George. He’s so young and innocent but he always manages to say the one thing you would have never expected him to say. “If you can’t marry me, Sailor Supergirl, you can always marry my brother. He never wets his bed.” Not an exact quote, but it gives you an idea of what he’s like.
Jase is competing with George for first place. I find his caring and nurturing personality irresistible. It’s like he’s already a father. He fixes things, he takes care of all these animals, he takes care of his siblings so that his mother can find some time to breathe, and he handles Samantha’s secret in a way that was totally unexpected. Some of my friends said that no one would react like that in real life, but I disagree. I think it summarized perfectly Jase’s personality.
Samantha is a girl that hasn’t received enough love in her life. It’s obvious from the very first page in this book. She cares for her family and tries to protect the people she loves, even if she’s doing it the wrong way sometimes. She’s smart and strong and has a very good perception of right and wrong. Samantha is a good person who has worked hard in her life and has been rewarded for it. She might have gotten the things she wanted, but that doesn’t mean she hasn’t earned the right to them.
Nan and Tim. I didn’t like Nan from the beginning. She was fake. Everything she did was so that she could get something, look a certain way… everything to her was a means to an end and she was so futilely competitive. She wanted so much to be better than other people that she couldn’t even feel the love she was getting from them. Nothing ever was her fault, everything that was bad it was because someone was better than her or something was wrong or because everyone had had it easy, apart from her. Were was she while all these vile things happened? What did she do to change/prevent them? I even got the feeling that she didn’t want her brother to give up drugs and alcohol, so that she could look better than him. On the other hand, Tim was Nan’s polar opposite. He was a great guy who had just lost his way and was now trying to get his life back. I’d had a hunch that he would turn around some time in this book. He’s not very likeable at first, but he slowly endears himself to the reader as he grows up.
Clay and Grace. Clay is an egocentric manipulative a$#&%@e. And that is all I’m going to say about him. Grace is a weak self-centered woman. She places more value in order and neatness than love, family, and happiness.
I’d very much like to go on and talk about the rest of the Garrets but they’re just too many.
The book was very well written and very well paced. Huntley Fitzpatrick writes so beautifully. I’d love to read the rest of her books and probably will soon. She’s woven such a believable story that it could have very well been taken from life. Actually, I don’t know if it wasn’t, I’ll have to look it up.
The book focuses on the subject of having to choose between doing the right and moral thing and protecting someone you love. The author has managed to describe so well all of the aspects one would have to deal with in a similar situation. She doesn’t preach about morality, thus forcing the reader to take a side. On the contrary, she makes arguments that help the reader understand the depth of Samantha’s inner struggle, as well as the importance of her final choice and the strength it took to make it.
Overall, it’s a remarkable book that you won’t regret reading.
Have you read My Life Next Door? If not, would you like to? Please share your opinion in the comments.
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