By: Celine | March 17, 2014 | (20) Comments

Review: My Life Next Door by Huntley FitzpatrickMy Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick
Publisher: Dial Books for Young Readers
Release Date: June 12, 2012
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, YA
Source: Bought it
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"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.

stickers-my-review (1)I didn’t hate My Life Next Door, but I didn’t love it either. That makes me very sad, because it seems that everyone and their mother absolutely LOVES this book. Probably people will want to know, why didn’t I love this book? The thing is, all the ingredients were there. So why didn’t I love this book? I have no idea. Don’t ask me.

Maybe it’s because I completely failed to form a connection with this book. It felt like my emotions were locked away in a place that couldn’t be touched by this book, and so I didn’t care. I didn’t connect with any of the characters, and the longer it’s been since I read My Life Next Door, the more “meh” I feel about it. This book just failed to bring out any emotion whatsoever.

And that’s a really strange thing, since technically, this book is really good. I can see why people love this book. Hell, if you described this book to me I would say that it sounds like something I would love.

For example, the characters were amazing. Technically amazing. Each and every character was well developed and not two characters felt the same. They all had different personalities and I never confused anyone with another. This is fairly impressive, since just the Garrett family consisted of ten (I think) members, and there are a lot more characters than that. There was George with his never-ending questions, Andy who has the tendency to make any sentence sound like a question, Alice with her bad-girl attitude… It was all there. I would almost dare say that the characterization in this book was perfect. Unfortunately, I failed to connect with, or even care for, any of them. I have no idea why, but it just felt like there was this huge barrier between my emotions and this book.

My Life Next Door is also really good at portraying a healthy teenage romance. The devloping relationship between Sam and Jase isn’t romanticized like in so many YA books these days; it has its awkward silences, it has its lust, it felt real. Real relationships aren’t perfect. They don’t always go smoothly. People don’t always have a way to fill the silence. Fitzpatrick managed to portray that perfectly whil still holding onto the feeling of a summery romance, full of sun and joy.

However, I also had a problem with this romance. Because mostly, I’m still trying to answer the question, where did it come from? Everything was going well. I wasn’t really on board with the Sam/Jase ship yet, but I defnitely thought that would come. They were sweet, they talked a couple of times, and then they’re kissing. Wait, what? Where did that come from? They were in the middle of a conversation and suddenly BAM. I was really confused and that was the exact moment this romance lost me. And later, when they started confessing their love to each other, I didn’t buy it. I get it, they’re young and in a relationship and just happy, but I simply couldn’t get behind it. And this is really sad, because I think that if I had connected with this book more and if the romance had moved just a bit slower, I would have loved it. I would totally have been on board with this ship. Sadly, though, that didn’t happen, resulting in me… just not really caring.

In all, I would just call My Life Next Door a disappointment. And it pains me greatly to say that. *sigh* I wanted to love this, I really did, but the complete lack of any kind of emotional investment plus a romance I didn’t really buy prevented me from doing so. I definitely see that Fitzpatrick is a skilled writer and I do actually think this book was really good, so I’m looking forward to seeing more of her. I hope I’ll connect more with her future books. In the end, My Life Next Door is, sadly, an it’s-not-you-it’s-me situation.

3 Stars
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Celine is 17 years old and from the Netherlands. Quite obviously, she loves books! She has been a reader for as long as she can remember, and she believes she will be a reader forever. Celine is also obsessed with food, and loves singing along to music as loud as possible, dancing and doodling on nearly everything.

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20 Responses to Review: My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick

  1. I’m sorry you didn’t love this Celine. I can so see what you mean, after so many people love a book and you’re not feeling it, you want to force it, but it doesn’t happen. If the characters didn’t connect with you or you didn’t feel anything you’ve no need to worry, it just happens. You’ve highlighted why and that’s fine. I might try to lower my expectations if I ever get to this book from now on though, so thank you for the heads up 🙂
    Amanda @ Book Badger recently posted…Review – DominionMy Profile

  2. Oh I feel for you. I hate it when I go into reading a book and really expect to adore it…buuut, somehow I just miss the hype and fangirling party. Yes. *sigh* This is kind of on my TBR but not at the top, I guess. 😉 The romance seems a bit weird. BOOM now we’re all happy and loving? Okay, then. Insta a bit too much?
    Cait @ Notebook Sisters recently posted…Book Covers That Hopelessly Confuse MeMy Profile

  3. 3 stars ain’t that bad. At least it was readable, maybe perfect for another mood. I do have this on my reader, but haven’t gotten around to it. I will try it out some time. Thanks for the review, Celine!
    Dre @ Sporadic Reads recently posted…Book Review 141 : Under The Never Sky Trilogy by Veronica RossiMy Profile

  4. Sometimes it can be a matter of mood affecting what you think of a book, even if it’s technically well done. Great review Celine, you were able to convey your thoughts about the book clearly. Sounds like a bit of insta love is happening.
    Jeann @ Happy Indulgence recently posted…The Love Oracles Blog Tour: Nymph by Tonya Alexandra AUS Giveaway & ReviewMy Profile

  5. I tried reading this one a while back and got bored after the first few chapters. But I did vow to try it again next time. After reading your review, though, it feels good that I’m not the only one who had problems with it. The characters sound awesome as individuals–maybe this would’ve worked out better for you WITHOUT the romance. Sorry you didn’t love it, Celine. 🙁
    Aimee @ Deadly Darlings recently posted…Review: Faking Normal by Courtney C. StevensMy Profile

  6. Oh, I quite liked this one, and I’m sorry to see you didn’t, Celine! It wasn’t perfect, and I agree with much of your review, but I think the characters and romance worked just a bit better for me. Lovely thoughts 🙂

  7. Siiri says:

    Everyone and their mother? Um, this reminds me that I haven’t given this to my mom yet. Gah, must correct that mistake. Yes, I did love this one so I’m sad to see that you didn’t. I’m so sorry you didn’t connect with th characters. Agreed–the healthy teenage romance is this book’s strong point. lol now that I think about it um.. Perhaps it did move a little too fast, but then again, this didn’t (weirdly, I know) bother me in this book that much O.o I’m glad that you wre able to somewhat enjoy this, but I’m sorry you weren’t blown away. I blame the hype lol.
    Siiri recently posted…Review: Hallowed by Cynthia HandMy Profile

    • Celine says:

      Haha, I hope your mother will enjoy My Life Next Door 😉

      I’m glad you loved it! Sometimes I have the same thing you had with this book – some flaws just don’t bother me. Unfortunately, I didn’t have that with MLND 🙁

  8. I still haven’t read this and I am afraid to, I have read some many glowing reviews and then a few like you, who didn’t connect. I hate when a book doesn’t live up to the hype. I still want to try this author, though so I might read her new one.
    Heidi@Rainy Day Ramblings recently posted…Tour Stop: Starling(Secrets of the Eternal Rose #3) by Fiona Paul: Guest Post, Review and GiveawayMy Profile

  9. Tanja says:

    When you don’t connect with the characters the chances of enjoyed the book are really slim, which is a shame. I did love this one but maybe it’s all the hype that’s going around this book that made you expect more. I’m sorry you didn’t love it and hope that your next read is amazing. Great review, Celine.
    Tanja recently posted…Breaking Nova (Nova, #1) by Jessica SorensenMy Profile

  10. This sometimes happens to me because of hype. I go into a book expecting it to be AMAZING and it just doesn’t make me feel all the feels. It’s disappointing, but I’m glad you mentioned that other people would probably love it – I always make a point to say that in books that were objectively good but subjectively just didn’t hit the mark for me.
    Emily @ The Loony Teen Writer recently posted…Top Ten Tuesday: books on my autumn TBR listMy Profile

  11. Aww I’m sorry you didn’t totally love this one but I completely understand! I feel like if I reread it now I wouldn’t be able to connect with the characters that much either. Sorry to hear that the romance wasn’t on point for you either 🙁 Fantastic review, though, Celine! <33
    Eileen @ Singing and Reading in the Rain recently posted…My Life After Now by Jessica VerdiMy Profile

  12. Awww, that’s depressing. I was looking forward to this one a lot, hoping that the romance would give that steady, slow burn that I am very fond of. It sucks when it suddenly appears out of nowhere with no kind of build-up at all. I’d be pissed as hell (and I sometimes have thing patience when it comes to this LOL). Sorry that aspect ruined it for you, Celine! At least the characters were fleshed out, so that’s something to look forward to.
    Faye @ The Social Potato recently posted…ARC Review: The Immortal Crown by Richelle Mead – LOKI LOKI LOKI LOKIMy Profile

    • Celine says:

      I think you might like it more than I did! I think I might have felt that the romance came out of nowhere because I never connected with the characters.

  13. This didn’t blow me away either, but I think I liked it just a bit more than you did. For some reason, the whole formula worked for me, and unlike you, I really felt the romance. But what happened to you happens to me all too often and I know exactly what you mean.
    Still, I’m glad you didn’t hate it entirely.
    Lovely review.

  14. I really loved this book. And it may have had something to do with the fact that I chose to go the audio route. There’s something about HEARING a good book that makes it so much better. I really believed in the relationship, though I can understand why you had a little trouble with it. Great review!! 🙂

    BTW, ladies, I wanted to say THANK YOU because I’ve contacted Livia and she’s going to redo my layout too!! I loved yours so much, I knew she was the right choice to make mine gorgeous too. So thank you for the recommendation! 🙂
    Lisa (Lost in Literature) recently posted…Review: Road to Somewhere by Kelley Lynn & Jenny S. MorrisMy Profile

  15. Melliane says:

    you know it’s always difficult when everyone loves a book because we expect something awesome and it’s difficult to be up to that. I’m usually disappointed. But I’m sorry it wasn’t as good as you thought because as you said I also heard great things aobut it.
    Melliane recently posted…Bet Me by Jennifer CrusieMy Profile

  16. Amir says:

    This has been on my Paused shelf for awhile now. I tried reading it cause my cousin loved it but I just couldn’t get into it so I put it down until I get in that mood. Months later and I’m still not in the mood for this book. I agree, this is not a bad book and the main characters are definitely likable but it just doesn’t entice me to continue on. One day I might pick it up and actually finish it but for now it stays in my Paused shelf. Great review! 🙂
    Amir recently posted…{Cover Reveal} Kendare Blake’s Mortal GodsMy Profile

  17. Aww sad to hear you didn’t like it even though it’s filled with such brilliant characters. I haven’t read this book yet, but I’ve heard some good things. I think you need to be in the right mood for it, so I shall keep this review in mind until I feel like a feel-good contemp read.
    Joy @ Thoughts By J recently posted…Trailers Galore – The Maze Runner & Disruption by Jessica ShirvingtonMy Profile

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