Monday, June 29, 2015

So, last week I participated in the "Blog Most Likely To..." promotion and mentioned that I'd be re-reading My Life Next Door by way of the audiobook. I did and it was awesome. But I expected nothing less. =) I reviewed the book back in June of 2012 when I first read it, but I had some further thoughts to add to the conversation now that I'm done with my re-read, er, listen...

Title: My Life Next Door
Author: Huntley Fitzpatrick
Narrator(s): Amy Rubinate
Series: My Life Next Door, book #1 (companion series)
Length: 10 hrs 39 mins
Publisher: Tantor Audio
Publication Date: March 25, 2013
Source: purchased audiobook
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Audible

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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.


My original review can be found here, but below are some other thoughts I had upon my second reading of this fabulous book:

I really, really don't like Sam's mother. I didn't like her the first time I read this book, even in the beginning, but I liked her even less this time around. She didn't give her daughters a chance to be who they were and focused too much on her career and constituency. And I straight-up hated that smooth-talking boyfriend of hers. Slimy slimeballs are slimy.

I adore George to the nth degree. And if it weren't for Jase, he might just be my favorite Garrett. His sweet, childish fear of near-impossible things coming to pass -- black holes and air bubbles in IVs and eating Babe -- was so endearing. And the way he basically proposed to Sam, first on his own behalf and then on Jase's…*sigh*. He might just be the cutest secondary character ever.

Jase is one of the most swoon-worthy boys I've ever encountered in a YA novel. He's responsible. He's a family man. He's respectful of Sam and her boundaries. He's good with his hands, plays football, and has a knack for fixing things. And he's a car guy, rebuilding a classic Mustang on his own dime. YUM!

Sam and Jase are such responsible, drama-free characters and their relationship is one of my absolute favorites. Even after all the books I've read over the past three years. Theirs is not just a summer fling…it's the real deal, and it brings all the swoons and more than its share of feels. Jase works hard and looks to the future, especially where it concerns Sam. And they have frank discussions about things that matter. And when things got really tough, Jase gave Sam a chance to explain, and they worked through it instead of letting it ruin their relationship like so many characters before them.

I am more excited than ever to read Tim's story! I remember seeing such potential in his character when I read this book all those years ago, and it was even more pronounced this time around. He was practically begging for his own book, and I'm so glad the author decided to let his story see the light of day. From my original review: "Tim has substance abuse issues, a poor work ethic, and he’s driving his family crazy. But if you can endure his outlandish behavior and really see beneath the surface, he’s a really nice guy who just needs someone to take him under their wing and help him make some better decisions." And I stand by that 100%, knowing that Jase and his family have already paved the way for a better version of Tim to shine.

Amy Rubinate is a pretty talented audiobook narrator. I've listened to her narrate really sad novels and really uplifting novels, and though her voice doesn't really change, she owns the story with her performance. I loved listening to this book on audio as much as I loved reading it the first time.

GIF it to me straight:



About the Author:

Huntley Fitzpatrick grew up dreamy and distracted in coastal Connecticut. She flourished in a family of bookworms where everyone always had their nose in a book. She kept an exhaustively thorough journal which frightened her boyfriends but has proved very useful in her career as a writer. Her debut contemporary Romance, MY LIFE NEXT DOOR, was published in June of 2012 by Penguin-Dial for Young Readers. Now she laughs with and eavesdrops on her six children who provide her with perspective and material. She is represented by the amazing Christina Hogrebe of the Jane Rotrosen Agency.

Find Huntley:

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Tumblr | Goodreads


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Happy reading!



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