The Beginning of Everything Review

August 24, 2015 Reviews, Young Adult 0 ★★★

The Beginning of Everything ReviewThe Beginning of Everything by Robyn Schneider
Published by Katherine Tegen on August 27th 2013
Pages: 335
Source: Library
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Golden boy Ezra Faulkner believes everyone has a tragedy waiting for them—a single encounter after which everything that really matters will happen. His particular tragedy waited until he was primed to lose it all: in one spectacular night, a reckless driver shatters Ezra’s knee, his athletic career, and his social life.
No longer a front-runner for Homecoming King, Ezra finds himself at the table of misfits, where he encounters new girl Cassidy Thorpe. Cassidy is unlike anyone Ezra’s ever met, achingly effortless, fiercely intelligent, and determined to bring Ezra along on her endless adventures.
But as Ezra dives into his new studies, new friendships, and new love, he learns that some people, like books, are easy to misread. And now he must consider: if one’s singular tragedy has already hit and everything after it has mattered quite a bit, what happens when more misfortune strikes?
Robyn Schneider’s The Beginning of Everything is a lyrical, witty, and heart-wrenching novel about how difficult it is to play the part that people expect, and how new beginnings can stem from abrupt and tragic endings.

This book started out really strong and I was sure it was going to end up being one of my favorite books. However, I think what stops it from being so great is due to several different minor details that ended up being a big deal to me in the long run. I recommend reading this one if you want to read something with eccentric characters with a fascinating plot, although things sort of get off track. I found myself really enjoying Schneider’s writing, Ezra’s narration in general was memorable. Anyway, this is a good book, but not a great one.

Ezra believes that everyone has to have a great tragedy happen to them. His childhood best friend Toby got his tragedy in the form of a severed head landing on his lap at Disney World on his birthday one year. Golden boy Ezra got his when he found his girlfriend cheating on him then managed to get in a car crash that ruined any chances of playing tennis ever again, all in one evening. He finds himself reuniting with his old best friend Toby, who now runs with a very different crowd from Ezra, and is also fascinated by the mysterious new girl Cassidy.

Ezra was a charming and lovely narrator. You can’t help but love him and feel bad for him right from the beginning. However, I do feel like Ezra is more than a little bit whiny at times. His best friend Toby is easily my favorite characters. He’s a geek but in the most endearing way. Cassidy was completely annoying to me, I didn’t like her at all. I felt like some of the “mystery” to her was just pointless to the plot.

The reason why this book received three stars from me was mostly due to not connecting with Cassidy. I felt like some of her actions made no sense at all and I just wanted to punch Ezra for not running far away from her sooner. I also wasn’t at all satisfied with the ending. I would have preferred for it to have been wrapped up in a more clearcut way. All in all, I think this is a good book and I do think that most people will enjoy it. It has a lot of interesting and well rounded supporting characters that make you want to keep reading, which is an automatic positive for me. But don’t expect to be completely blown away from this book.      



My Heart and Other Black Holes Review

August 23, 2015 Reviews, Young Adult 1 ★★★★

My Heart and Other Black Holes ReviewMy Heart and Other Black Holes by Jasmine Warga
Published by HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray on February 10th 2015
Pages: 302
Source: Library
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Sixteen-year-old physics nerd Aysel is obsessed with plotting her own death. With a mother who can barely look at her without wincing, classmates who whisper behind her back, and a father whose violent crime rocked her small town, Aysel is ready to turn her potential energy into nothingness.
There’s only one problem: she’s not sure she has the courage to do it alone. But once she discovers a website with a section called Suicide Partners, Aysel’s convinced she’s found her solution: a teen boy with the username FrozenRobot (aka Roman) who’s haunted by a family tragedy is looking for a partner.
Even though Aysel and Roman have nothing in common, they slowly start to fill in each other’s broken lives. But as their suicide pact becomes more concrete, Aysel begins to question whether she really wants to go through with it. Ultimately, she must choose between wanting to die or trying to convince Roman to live so they can discover the potential of their energy together. Except that Roman may not be so easy to convince.

Going into this book, I was expecting something completely and totally depressing. For most of the first half of the book, it’s just that. However, if you’re someone who stays clear of dark books that talks a lot about depression, don’t shut down this book just yet. It’s surprisingly witty due to the narrator Aysel’s sharp sense of humor. This is a different type of book and one that I strongly recommend for a number of reasons.

Aysel is a girl who no longer wants to live. She finally puts her suicide plan into action by going online and finding a suicide partner. She finds Roman, a boy who lives pretty close to her and who is nothing like she pictured once they meet in person. He isn’t a geeky looking kid, he is an athletic and attractive boy who seems to have no reason to want to die. However, a family tragedy haunts him and causes him to be determined that he doesn’t deserve to live. Once the two get closer, Aysel starts to see all of the dark parts of Roman and still likes him anyway. Is that enough for the two to live?

It’s hard to describe it, but Aysel is a one of a kind character. I love how quick on her feet she is, and the way she uses sarcasm and witty comebacks as her weapon of choice. I also loved how the author worked in physics into the plot. Aysel is obsessed with Einstein’s theories and is constantly questioning gravity. I found that to be unique and even though I personally am not a fan of Science, I still thought that it was interesting. Roman is something else completely. I love how real and down to earth he seemed. I also liked that he was into art and him drawing Aysel is one of my favorite scenes in the book. My heart breaks for him in terms of why he wants so desperately to die. I just wanted to give him a hug. I enjoyed his relationship with Aysel and watching it grow, despite both of their objections to let anybody in.

The reason why this book didn’t receive a perfect rating from me is because of the end. I won’t spoil it, but I felt like it wasn’t the right route to go considering how the first part was written. Meaning, it just didn’t seem in character considering all that was developed in the first half of the book. It’s difficult to explain without explicitly stating it, but you’ll know what I mean once you read it. Overall though, it’s a beautifully written debut that really captures the realities of mental illness in a refreshing and real way. I got seriously wrapped up in the main characters and invested in what was going to happen next to them. I definitely recommend it for anyone looking for a read that will instantly catch your attention.



Me and Earl and the Dying Girl Review

August 22, 2015 Reviews, Young Adult 4 ★★★★★

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl ReviewMe and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews
Published by Harry N. Abrams on March 1st 2012
Pages: 295
Source: Purchased
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Greg Gaines is the last master of high school espionage, able to disappear at will into any social environment. He has only one friend, Earl, and together they spend their time making movies, their own incomprehensible versions of Coppola and Herzog cult classics.
Until Greg’s mother forces him to rekindle his childhood friendship with Rachel.
Rachel has been diagnosed with leukemia—-cue extreme adolescent awkwardness—-but a parental mandate has been issued and must be obeyed. When Rachel stops treatment, Greg and Earl decide the thing to do is to make a film for her, which turns into the Worst Film Ever Made and becomes a turning point in each of their lives.
And all at once Greg must abandon invisibility and stand in the spotlight.

Guys, this is one of the funniest books I’ve read in a long time. I know, you don’t expect a book with the dying girl in the title to be funny, but this is not your typical book. It was a pleasant surprise for me and I’m really glad I read this. I recommend this to anyone looking for a hilarious yet oddly charming read.
Greg is our funny and angsty narrator who addresses the audience in a unique way. I won’t spoil it but you figure out who specifically he is writing the book to in the epilogue. It explains a lot and I enjoyed how the book was wrapped up. But anyway, Greg doesn’t have many friends, he just jumps around from social groups in order to maintain some kind of status but not have to deal with relationships. The closest thing he has to a friend is his business partner Earl, who he makes terrible movies with. His mom then makes him start hanging out with Rachel, who has an advanced form of Leukemia. He went to Hebrew school with her and they sort of had a brief thing, but was never close to her at all. Anyway, he finds that he actually kind of enjoys spending time with her. Rachel finds out about the movies they make and she then starts watching them. Greg and Earl then get roped into making a film just for Rachel, which leads to a lot of funny and interesting moments.

Like I said, Greg is a really great character. I can’t really explain what makes him so memorable, but he’s just different from other teen boy narrators that you come across. Even his attitude towards making friends and keeping the films he makes with Earl a secret is different from others. Earl is probably one of my favorite supporting characters. He doesn’t have much to say that doesn’t include a string of cuss words, but he is always up front and says what he’s thinking. I like that he calls Greg out whenever he does something stupid. I also love how sweet Earl was to Rachel and that it was completely genuine.

This is a unique Young Adult novel and I doubt I’ll ever read another book like it. I think my favorite part of it was that it handled cancer in a sensitive manner but it also wasn’t depressing. The humor was always appropriate, it never made light of the illness. It’s hands down the funniest book you’ll ever read about death. I can’t recommend it enough.



Mini Review: Until Friday Night

August 20, 2015 Reviews, Young Adult 2 ★½

Mini Review: Until Friday NightUntil Friday Night (The Field Party, #1) by Abbi Glines
Published by Simon Pulse on August 25th 2015
Pages: 352
Source: Edelweiss
Also by this author: Breathe (Sea Breeze, #1), Because of Low (Sea Breeze, #2), Just for Now (Sea Breeze, #4), Misbehaving (Sea Breeze, #6), Bad for You (Sea Breeze, #7), Until the End
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To everyone who knows him, West Ashby has always been that guy: the cocky, popular, way-too-handsome-for-his-own-good football god who led Lawton High to the state championships. But while West may be Big Man on Campus on the outside, on the inside he’s battling the grief that comes with watching his father slowly die of cancer.
Two years ago, Maggie Carleton’s life fell apart when her father murdered her mother. And after she told the police what happened, she stopped speaking and hasn’t spoken since. Even the move to Lawton, Alabama, couldn’t draw Maggie back out. So she stayed quiet, keeping her sorrow and her fractured heart hidden away.
As West’s pain becomes too much to handle, he knows he needs to talk to someone about his father—so in the dark shadows of a post-game party, he opens up to the one girl who he knows won’t tell anyone else.
West expected that talking about his dad would bring some relief, or at least a flood of emotions he couldn’t control. But he never expected the quiet new girl to reply, to reveal a pain even deeper than his own—or for them to form a connection so strong that he couldn’t ever let her go…

This isn’t going to be a full length review, that’s going to be posted on The Young Folks on the release day next week. But I have a lot to say about this book so I figured I might as well post a mini review now just to sort of preview my thoughts.

If you’ve read any of my other reviews on here, you can probably tell that I typically don’t give such low ratings. This one is an exception because of some of the pretty major issues I had with the main characters. If I dislike one of the main characters, the rating is going to automatically be no higher than a 3 for me. In this case, I disliked both of the characters at some point in the novel. I did sympathize with the female character Maggie, but I also felt that she was just as judgmental of the girls at school as the guys. For example, the guys called the girls “sluts” and “whores” constantly and Maggie wasn’t much better.

West is probably one of the most unlikable love interests I’ve ever seen in a YA book. On one hand, I did feel bad that his dad was sick, but it still didn’t make sense to me why he was allowed to behave in such a destructive and offputting manner and not get put in his place. I would have much preferred Maggie to overcome her personal trauma and instantly giving West sass and not excusing his behavior.

I found the majority of these characters to be unrelatable and I couldn’t connect with them at all. My favorite part of the book was easily when West was called out on his possessive behavior over Maggie. It made me so happy that at least one character wasn’t letting him get away with his terrible attitude.

I’m sure handling my rant about this book in mini form is probably easier to handle than the rant in my full length review. Anyway, feel free to check out that review when it’s posted. It’s going to touch more on the characters and what went wrong for me personally. I’m sure people who enjoy Abbi Glines’s New Adult books will likely enjoy this one, but it was just too much for me.


Bout Of Books 14: Progress Update

August 19, 2015 Challenges 3

Bout Of Books 14: Progress Update
Instead of just posting a day at a time, I’m posting all of my progress in this post.

Books read:







Started reading:

Thursday: Continued reading Me and Earl and the Dying GirlFriday: Finished the book!


Saturday: Continued reading The Boy Most Likely To


Total books read: 5

Books left to complete in order to reach goal: 1


Open Road Summer Review

August 18, 2015 Reviews, Young Adult 0 ★★★

Open Road Summer ReviewOpen Road Summer by Emery Lord
Published by Walker Childrens on April 15th 2014
Pages: 352
Also by this author: The Start of Me and You, When We Collided
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After breaking up with her bad-news boyfriend, Reagan O’Neill is ready to leave her rebellious ways behind. . . and her best friend, country superstar Lilah Montgomery, is nursing a broken heart of her own.
Fortunately, Lilah’s 24-city tour is about to kick off, offering a perfect opportunity for a girls-only summer of break-up ballads and healing hearts. But when Matt Finch joins the tour as its opening act, his boy-next-door charm proves difficult for Reagan to resist, despite her vow to live a drama-free existence.
This summer, Reagan and Lilah will navigate the ups and downs of fame and friendship as they come to see that giving your heart to the right person is always a risk worth taking.
A fresh new voice in contemporary romance, Emery Lord’s gorgeous writing hits all the right notes.

I liked this book but not as much as everyone else seems to. Yes, it meets the criteria for a light summer read, but I had some serious issues with the narrator. So it was automatically hard for me to completely connect with the story because of this reason. Like I already mentioned, it seems like I’m in the minority of those that wasn’t over the moon for this book. It’s very likely that you’ll love this book, I’m not discouraging anyone from picking it up. Overall, I think it was a mostly cute and unique read.

Reagan O’Neill needs to escape for the summer after finding her bad news boyfriend cheating on her. She decides her teen superstar best friend Lilah on her tour for the summer. Lilah is also dealing with the heartbreak of no longer being with her longtime boyfriend. Early on in the trip, Lilah finds herself in a predicament so her management encourages her to bring along another teen superstar Matt Finch. Even though he was brought in to be her best friend’s “boyfriend,” there’s an obvious attraction between Matt and Reagan. Will she give in to Matt and end up falling for him?

Lilah or Dee as she is called by those closest to her, is the Taylor Swift character. She’s considered a “country” artist but she’s also considered a popstar as well. What makes her like Taylor Swift is that they both write songs about people who hurt them. Dee has a string of new songs about her longtime boyfriend who broke up with her. I liked her character and felt like she was just a sweet and fun character. So now I’m going to touch on Reagan, who is really the sole reason I struggled with this book at all. This girl has a serious attitude problem and she blames everyone else for her problems. She just is a negative and judgmental person. What really got to me was the slut shaming that she constantly did. She would put down pretty much every girl that entered the path of Matt, even when she was completely against being with him! It just felt so out of place to have that kind of narrator when the book mostly sends a feminist vibe with the female friendship between Dee and Reagan. It’s unfortunate that all of that is destroyed by her attitude.

Okay, I’m pretty much done with ranting about Reagan. Now I’m going to highlight on a big positive about the book for me personally. How can you not love Matt Finch? He’s brutally honest with Reagan about his feelings for her from the beginning and I like that he never is indecisive or with anyone else, he knows how he feels and he’s came to terms with that. He’s also just a downright charming guy who also doubles as a musician. Is it even humanly possible to resist that kind of charm? I think not. Despite my ill feelings towards Reagan, Matt gave me nothing but sweet vibes and I wanted even more of him.

Though it wasn’t my all time favorite, I did enjoy reading it. The book has many good parts, the bad just happened to stand out most prominently to me. Anyway, give it a read so you can judge it for yourself!



What I Thought Was True Review

August 14, 2015 Reviews, Young Adult 0 ★★★★½

What I Thought Was True ReviewWhat I Thought Was True by Huntley Fitzpatrick
Published by Dial Books for Young Readers on April 15th 2014
Pages: 422
Source: Library
Also by this author: My Life Next Door, The Boy Most Likely To
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From the acclaimed author of My Life Next Door comes a swoony summertime romance full of expectation and regret, humor and hard questions.
Gwen Castle has never so badly wanted to say good-bye to her island home till now: the summer her Biggest Mistake Ever, Cassidy Somers, takes a job there as the local yard boy. He's a rich kid from across the bridge in Stony Bay, and she hails from a family of fishermen and housecleaners who keep the island's summer people happy. Gwen worries a life of cleaning houses will be her fate too, but just when it looks like she'll never escape her past—or the island—Gwen's dad gives her some shocking advice. Sparks fly and secret histories unspool as Gwen spends a gorgeous, restless summer struggling to resolve what she thought was true—about the place she lives, the people she loves, and even herself—with what really is.
A magnetic, push-you-pull-me romance with depth, this is for fans of Sarah Dessen, Jenny Han, and Deb Caletti.

As you can probably tell from my review of Huntley Fitzpatrick’s first novel My Life Next Door, I loved her debut. She continues the trend of solid main characters, strong supporting characters, and a breathtakingly descriptive setting on an island. The book is beautiful and unique to say the least. Although far from being a light read, this makes a great summer read that I definitely recommend.

Gwen is entering the summer before her senior year and she desperately wants to escape from the year that she’s had. Hoping to breakaway from her typical summer of working at her dad’s pizza parlor, she takes on a job of taking care of Mrs. Ellington, an older woman from the island. She then comes face to face with the yard boy: Cassidy Somers, the one boy she’s trying to forget. The rest of the summer consists of Gwen coming to terms with the fact that what she thought was true about the people in her life might not be true at all.

In this book, the characters were one of my personal favorite parts. Gwen was a character that you couldn’t help but sympathize with. She was misunderstood and viewed as “easy” by her peers, but she was simply just misunderstood. It broke my heart that she didn’t see her true value, but she slowly gains more confidence and grows as a person throughout the book. Cass was an amazing and genuine guy, even though I wasn’t sure what to make of him at first. The supporting characters are extremely well developed including her cousin Nic, his girlfriend who is also Gwen’s best friend Vivien, her little brother Emory, and the hilarious Mrs. Ellington. Mrs. Ellington brings humor to the table with obsession with graphic romance novels that she makes Gwen read out loud. All of the characters are complex and easy to relate to.

The book goes through the flashbacks and reveals what really happened between the two very very slowly, but in the end, Cass still redeems himself. The relationship between both of them is obviously tense at the beginning until at least the middle of the novel. However, it does become a lot better and more romantic. I found myself frequently looking back at My Life Next Door and comparing the two main love interests. I didn’t think anyone could be as incredible as Jase, but Cass was certainly just as polite and caring. He treats Gwen and everyone he meets with tremendous respect. He also teaches her little brother Emory, who isn’t autistic but he is definitely different from other kids his age, how to swim which is totally swoonworthy.

What I Thought Was True was a pretty lengthy book, but I found that I absolutely couldn’t put it down. I was drawn in from start to finish. I kept on reading because I wanted to see what it was that Cass did to Gwen that was so bad. I won’t ruin anything, but it turns out that it was more of a misunderstanding than anything else. The flashbacks occurred at random times, some of them seemed rather out of place. All in all, I think this was a brilliantly written book that further proves that Huntley Fitzpatrick in incapable of writing a bad book.



The Heartbreakers Review

August 12, 2015 Reviews, Young Adult 0 ★★★

The Heartbreakers ReviewThe Heartbreakers (The Heartbreaker Chronicles, #1) by Ali Novak
Published by Sourcebooks on August 4th 2015
Pages: 336
Source: Netgalley
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"When I met Oliver Perry, I had no clue he was the lead singer for The Heartbreakers. Unbeknownst to him, I was the only girl in the world who hated his music."
Stella will do anything for her sister—even stand in line for an autographed Heartbreakers CD... for three hours. At least she met a cute boy at the Starbucks beforehand. A blue-eyed boy who looks an awful lot like...
Oliver Perry. Of course Starbucks guy is the lead singer for her least favorite band. Thanks, universe. But there may be more to Oliver than his world-famous charm, because even after she insults his music—to his face—he still gives her his number. Seriously, what is her life?
But how can Stella even think about being with Oliver—dating and laughing and pulling pranks with the band—when her sister could be dying of cancer?

Ali Novak is a fairly popular author on Wattpad. Honestly, I’m a pretty big fan of the work she’s published on there. This book is specifically appealing due to the easygoing romance and also a steady plot that gradually progresses throughout the novel. The characters are also all very well developed and will land books of their own as apart of The Heartbreak Chronicles.

Stella, Drew, and Cara are triplets. Cara has non-Hodgkins lymphoma and is constantly in and out of the hospital. Drew and Stella decide to do something special for her 18th birthday and get an autograph from her favorite boy band, the Heartbreakers. Next thing you know, Drew and Stella are hanging out with the band and Stella gets a one of a chance opportunity to go on tour with the band as a photographer. Stella falls in love with the lead singer, Oliver, but she must decide if she’s willing to take all the baggage that comes with dating the biggest heartthrob in the world.

I think all of the characters are well written but I was particularly drawn to the members of the Heartbreakers. Each of the boys had a quirky personality that made you want to know more about them. There’s Alec, Xander, Oliver, and J.J., who enjoy pranks but they are also a close group and they truly support one another.

My biggest problem came from Oliver and Stella because of the insta-love that went down. I didn’t like that the two were kissing instantly after they first met. It just didn’t feel realistic in the slightest to me. However, the romance does gradually get better, despite some moments from Oliver that made me question him. Oliver isn’t my favorite book boyfriend by any means, but I still couldn’t resist him. He’s definitely swoon-worthy in many different ways.

I liked how this book focuses on friendship and family. There’s a lot of information about cancer and I felt like Novak certainly did her research. I loved the relationship between Cara, Drew, and Stella. Overall, this was a decent book that made for a refreshing summer read.



Attachments Review

August 8, 2015 Reviews 0 ★★★½

Attachments ReviewAttachments by Rainbow Rowell
Published by Dutton on April 14th 2011
Pages: 323
Source: Library
Also by this author: Fangirl, Carry On
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"Hi, I'm the guy who reads your e-mail, and also, I love you . . . "
Beth Fremont and Jennifer Scribner-Snyder know that somebody is monitoring their work e-mail. (Everybody in the newsroom knows. It's company policy.) But they can't quite bring themselves to take it seriously. They go on sending each other endless and endlessly hilarious e-mails, discussing every aspect of their personal lives.
Meanwhile, Lincoln O'Neill can't believe this is his job now- reading other people's e-mail. When he applied to be "internet security officer," he pictured himself building firewalls and crushing hackers- not writing up a report every time a sports reporter forwards a dirty joke.
When Lincoln comes across Beth's and Jennifer's messages, he knows he should turn them in. But he can't help being entertained-and captivated-by their stories.
By the time Lincoln realizes he's falling for Beth, it's way too late to introduce himself.
What would he say . . . ?

Rainbow Rowell is one of my favorite authors. I’ve read and reviewed two of her Young Adult books, Eleanor and Park and Fangirl. Although you’re probably living under the rock if you haven’t heard of those. However, I was a little slow on the uptake when it comes to her adult titles. I didn’t know anything about this book until recently, but I was pleasantly surprised by it. It’s a really creative concept and I enjoyed Rowell’s brilliant writing.

Attachments is about Lincoln who is less than thrilled when he discovers that the job as a “Internet security officer” consists of writing up reports on inappropriate company emails. The company is The Courier, a newspaper where Jennifer and Beth work and send personal emails through the company address. These emails are constantly flagged but Lincoln can’t bring himself to write either of them up. Instead, he’s fascinated with their humor and wit, especially Beth’s. Once he discovers that the “cute guy” Beth is referring to in her emails is really him, he starts to believe that maybe they could have a future together. But how could that ever happen when she has a serious boyfriend?

Lincoln is the main character that Rainbow follows. I love how we get to see his infatuation with her gradually grow. We also get to see how sensitive and romantic he is. Beth and Jennifer are also incredibly witty and hysterical characters. I love all of the pop culture references that are in pretty much every email they ever send.

The romance part of Attachments is a little bit weird but unique to say the least. It’s hard to be completely invested in the relationship between Beth and Lincoln when they have very few interactions throughout the majority of the book. However, I did like the fact that they both were immediately drawn to the other for two different reasons. Lincoln was drawn to Beth’s personality before he even saw what she looked like. On the other hand, Beth was drawn to him based on his looks. She told Jennifer that he looked like Jason Bateman, which I found funny and adorable.

This isn’t my favorite Rainbow Rowell book by any means. I found that I definitely prefer her Young Adult books, but she still managed to create a dreamy and swoon-worthy leading male, which I really liked. I gave the book this rating because her writing is so beautiful and descriptive, plus the characters were all instantly likable. While I liked that it was a unique idea, I felt like some of the writing was impersonal and that it was hard to truly get inside the heads of these characters. It was a decent read as a whole and I’m glad I finally read it.



My Life Next Door Review

August 7, 2015 Reviews, Young Adult 0 ★★★★★

My Life Next Door ReviewMy Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick
Published by Dial Books for Young Readers on June 14th 2012
Pages: 394
Source: Library
Also by this author: What I Thought Was True, The Boy Most Likely To
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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.

Huntley Fitzpatrick has written a remarkable and much-loved Young Adult Contemporary Romance Novel with My Life Next Door. I’ve been reading a lot of these types of novels lately, but none of them (besides Anna and The French Kiss) have been able to compete with this one. It’s a book that I could read over and over again and still love it just as much. It has a certain charm that’s difficult to fully explain, all I can really say is that it’s a wonderful read.

Samantha is seventeen-years-old and she’s lived next to the huge Garrett family for her whole life. However, she has simply watched them and never talked to them before. Her mom is a politician and has raised Sam to believe that she’s above people like the Garrett family. One day though, she crosses the line and finds her life intertwined with the Garrett’s. Meanwhile, she falls in love with Jase Garrett and the summer holds many adventures and drama.

Part of what makes this story so easy to read is the well developed characters. While Samantha and Jase are at the center of it, all of the supporting characters are entertaining and hilarious. Each of them provides a certain level of funny moments in their own right. My favorite though is Jase’s little brother George, he’s adorable and not afraid to ask Samantha tough questions. There’s just some fantastic moments for this little boy. Outside of the Garrett family, I also love Tim, Samantha’s best friend’s screwed up older brother who also forms a bond with Jase. He’s getting his own story called The Boy Most Likely To, which is featuring Jase’s sister Alice, coming out later this month. In short, this is a book filled with characters that you’ll instantly fall in love with.

The relationship between Jase and Samantha is realistic and incredible to follow. It’s safe to say that I loved every second of it. I wasn’t a huge fan of the drama between them involving Samantha’s mom and her campaign manager, but at least it wasn’t a love triangle! Sam made some stupid decisions and at times I just couldn’t wait for to wake up, but Jase was perfect and patient with her. Don’t get me wrong, both of the characters are extremely well written. The growth of Samantha is quite evident as the book progresses. Jase is one of my personal favorite YA book boyfriends. He’s a total good guy, which is surprisingly rare to find in Young Adult books, a lot of them tend to favor bad boys. I love this couple, definitely one of my favorites.

To me, this book doesn’t have very many flaws. It’s a fast paced read and you instantly find yourself wrapped up in each individual characters and their personal stories. This is aimed at readers who love a good Young Adult book that is sure to make you smile the whole way through.

“Is Jase already gonna marry you?”

I start coughing again. “Uh, No. No, George. I’m only seventeen.” As if that’s the only reason we’re not engaged. 
“I’m this many.” George holds up four, slightly grubby fingers. “But Jase is seventeen and a half. You could. Then you could live in here with him. And have a big family.”
Jase strides back into the room, of course, midway through this proposition. “George. Beat it. Discovery Channel is on.”
George backs out of the room but not before saying, “His bed’s really comfortable. And he never pees in it.”

“Why do all the hot girls want the jocks and the good boys? We losers are the ones that need you.” 
“The Garretts were my bedtime story, long before I ever thought I’d be part of the story myself.” 

Rating Report
Overall: five-stars