My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick

My Life Next Door by Huntley FitzpatrickFrom the outside, Samantha Reed seems like the perfect rich girl. Her mother is a politician, she goes to private school, works at the country club pool during the summer, and never gets in any kind of trouble. The Garretts next door however, are quite the opposite. They are loud, affectionate, all over the place, and there are just so many of them. Samantha has spent most of her life watching them from her balcony, until one night when Jase Garrett climbs up to meet her and brings her into his world.

This was a really cute story! Jase and Samantha’s families are totally opposite–Samantha’s mother seems to want nothing to do with her half the time and is only concerned with her own career, but Jase’s mother is constantly surrounded by her children and is always putting them before herself. Jase’s father owns a hardware store and is still affectionate towards his wife, but Samantha doesn’t even remember her father because he left when she was very young. When Samantha becomes involved with Jase, his family welcomes her with open arms, yet Samantha still hides her relationship from her mother because she knows she wouldn’t approve.

I really loved both Samantha and Jase. Jase expects Samantha to be a spoiled rich girl but she is definitely not like that at all. She is strong and independent and when Jase’s family needs her to help babysit she jumps in and does her best despite not having any experience. Jase is like the perfect boy–he works at his father’s store to earn money for his own car, he practices sports early in the morning so that he can get a scholarship to a good college, he loves all of his brothers and sisters and has no problem taking care of them all the time, and he is really respectful and loving towards his parents. He treats Samantha really well also, and the two seem to fit together perfectly.

There were definitely some heavy issues dealt with in this story as well–drug and alcohol addiction, drunk driving, and parenting issues–and Fitzpatrick did a great job of handling these. This is definitely a story about first love, but it is also so much more. Fitzpatrick did a great job of developing each character throughout the story, and even the youngest Garretts had their own distinct personalities that allowed them to leave an impression on the reader.

Overall, My Life Next Door was a cute story about first love and the many issues that come along with it. It’s a quick read and something that I really enjoyed.

My Life Next Door was released on June 14, 2012 and is the first book in a series. The second book, The Boy Most Likely To, is set to be released in 2015 and features Samantha’s friend Tim.

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Top Ten Books That Will Make You Swoon

Top Ten Tuesdays is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish! This week’s theme is Top Ten Books That Will  Make You Swoon, in honor of Valentine’s Day! Here are my top ten in no particular order:

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins–Etienne St. Clair himself is enough to make you swoon: gorgeous guy with a British accent who also speaks French! Throw in a boarding school in the middle of Paris and Anna, who tries not to give in to her feelings for St. Clair, and you’ve definitely got a swoon-worthy book!

My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick–I just finished this one last week (review to come soon) and loved it! It’s such a cute love story about a girl named Samantha whose mother is an uptight senator so she spends all of her time watching her next door neighbors, who have a huge and all over the place type of family but are surrounded by love. She falls for one of the boys, Jase, who is such a great guy–he can fix just about anything, it devoted to taking care of his younger brothers and sisters, and legit climbs a trellis to introduce himself to Samantha. Definite swoon!

Dare You To by Katie McGarry–Beth has lived a difficult life of taking care of her alcoholic mother and being beat up by her mother’s boyfriends, so she has always had a hard time trusting people. Ryan is the quintessential rich jock, with a father who runs half the town and a great baseball career in his future. Beth doesn’t understand how someone like Ryan could want anything to do with her, but as the two get to know each other they realize they have more in common than they thought. This was a great love story with some really great swoony moments!

Wait for You by J. Lynn–Avery is trying to escape her past by going to a college far away from home and the memories that still haunt her. She wants to do nothing more than focus on school, but she is constantly distracted by her neighbor Cameron, a gorgeous guy who keeps crossing her path. She has to learn how to overcome her past and trust someone again, and Cameron is the perfect guy to help her do it. Great love story from J. Lynn, andddd there is a companion novel that came out last week!!

The Selection by Kiera Cass–Not particularly just a romance book, but the love story that blossoms between America, a girl from a lower class and Maxon, a prince, is great and makes it impossible to put the book down. The story got even better in The Elite and I can’t wait to see how America and Maxon end up in the final book!

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green–One of the greatest love stories I’ve read! Hazel and Augustus meet in their cancer support group, and though Hazel is hesitant to start a romance because she is not sure how long she has left to live, she can’t help falling for Augustus. This was a beautiful book that will not only make you swoon but will leave you in tears.

Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins–A companion novel to Anna and the French Kiss about Lola, a girl with a quirky sense of fashion, and Cricket, the boy next door that she has tried to deny her feelings for. A cute love story with a bonus–we also get to see how Anna and St. Clair are doing!

The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith–Such a cute story about love when you least expect it. Hadley is on her way to her father’s wedding in London and would rather be doing anything else. She meets a cute British guy in the airport and it turns out he’s sitting next to her on her flight. They spend the flight getting to know each other but then lose each other once they go through customs. Hadley has to figure out if it was just chance that they met, or if it was fate.

These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner–A dystopian novel set in space, These Broken Stars is so much more than just a romance, but the love story between Lilac and Tarver is absolutely swoon-worthy. These two completely different people from different social classes learn to trust and care for each other as they travel across an unknown planet in search of rescue.

One Tiny Lie by K.A. Tucker–Livie is trying to live up to her father’s hopes for her: going to Princeton, graduating with honors, and going on to med school. But when she goes to her first college party and meets Ashton, the captain of the rowing team, her plan suddenly seems much harder to follow than she thought. The two have a whirlwind back and forth romance that makes Livie realize that she can’t live her life for other people.

What books made your Top Ten this week? What swoon-worthy books are you planning on reading for Valentine’s Day?

 

Valentine’s Day Reads

Happy Valentine’s Day! It’s my first V-Day as a married woman, but unfortunately I’m spending it in bed with the flu. My hubby has been great though, making me tea and heating up chicken soup, so hopefully I’ll be on the mend soon. Since it’s Valentine’s Day, I decided to make a short list of some YA reads that are guaranteed to get you in a romantic mood:

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

This was one of my favorite reads last year. Anna’s parents send her to boarding school in Paris for her senior year, where she tries her hardest not to fall for Etienne St. Clair, a charming, handsome, and overall droolworthy guy who unfortunately is unavailable. The relationship between Anna and St. Clair was a rollercoaster ride from beginning to end and I loved every minute of it!

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han

The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han

This is a really cute love story that ends up spanning three books. Belly spends each summer at the beach with the Fisher boys and has been in love with Conrad Fisher for years. Neither boy has paid her more attention than they would a sister, but one summer everything changes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles

Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles

This is a little bit of a Romeo and Juliet-esque love story about a rich girl and a boy from the opposite side of the tracks. When they get paired up in their chemistry class, they are forced to realize they have more in common than they thought and they try to fight the stereotypes that keep them apart.

 

 

 

 

 

 

This Lullaby by Sarah Dessen

This Lullaby by Sarah Dessen

Remy’s mother has had multiple husbands, so Remy doesn’t have much faith in love. When she meets Dexter however, she can’t seem to get him out of her head. I haven’t read this one yet but it’s pretty much a guarantee that anything by Sarah Dessen is going to be a romantic hit!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver

Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver

This one is about a girl who lives the day before Valentine’s Day over and over for a week, trying to solve the mystery of her death that took place the previous day. I’m about to start this one soon! If it’s anywhere near as good as Oliver’s Delirium, I know I’ll love it!

 

 

 

 

 

 

What are your favorite romantic reads? How are you spending Valentine’s Day this year?