Huntley Fitzpatrick has crafted a near-perfect summertime read in My Life Next Door. With an intoxicating blend of romance, humor, sunshine, and realistic family and moral issues, this book sucks you in from the very beginning. The characterization is fantastic; Samantha is an engaging and relatable protagonist who struggles with knowing and loving her mother, even if she doesn't always agree with her views or actions. This issue seems to float in the background at the beginning, but it quickly rises to the surface as the book progresses, becoming the main problem. Each member of the Garrett family is vibrant and memorable, Samantha's friends are flawed and special, and even the book's "bad guy" Clay has a magnetic personality that makes him fun to hate. Samantha and Garrett's relationship is so much fun—he's an easy-going, hardworking, and charming character. Though their romance wasn't always perfect or ideal, the way that each of them work through the rough patches was realistic and true. The major conflict is quite a big deal, and Fitzpatrick handles it well, staying true to her characters and their situations. Though the ending is neither ideal nor perfect, it felt right, and after everything that Samantha and Jase go through, the book does leave them in a good place. My Life Next Door is an excellent, beautifully written book with great pacing, wonderful emotion, and unforgettable characters.
Cover Comments: I love this cover--the fence behind the characters is a cool element, and I am in love with the lighting. It's so fresh and summery. I will say that the romance of the cover does belie the rather serious nature of the book, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. Such a beautiful cover!
Review copy purchased on Kindle (because I couldn't wait for it!).