Tuesday, July 3, 2012

My Life Next Door - Huntley Fitzpatrick

Synopsis: The Garretts are everything the Reeds are not. Loud, numerous, messy, affectionate. And every day from her balcony perch, seventeen-year-old Samantha Reed wishes she was one of them . . . until one summer evening, Jase Garrett climbs her terrace and changes everything. As the two fall fiercely in love, Jase's family makes Samantha one of their own. Then in an instant, the bottom drops out of her world and she is suddenly faced with an impossible decision. Which perfect family will save her? Or is it time she saved herself? (From Goodreads)

There are a lot of dysfunctional relationships in YA lit. Lots of stalking like it's cool, lots of possession and control, plenty of it's forever as long as we don't talk about anything really serious, and of course- quite a bit of - I'm 100 years older than you so I know a lot more than you do. So I can't thank Huntley Fitzpatrick enough for writing a book that shows what a healthy relationship looks like. There are plenty of great descriptors I could use for this book but I can't help fixate on this one - healthy. This book looks like the one vibrant sunflower if a field of dead plants.

Jase and Samantha have some problems, but I love the way they TALK about what is bothering them which allows them to resolve the issue. They also TRUST one another. Even when Samantha makes some poor decisions, Jase is so good about forgiveness. Their channels of communication are completely open. When they go through things, they go together. This relationship feels real and vibrant. This is what you should strive for in a relationship, and I'm so happy there's an example out there now to refer to.

The Garretts were an amazing part of this book. I don't know how Huntley managed to write so many characters and make each one a well rounded individual. Even with a mom and a dad, and 8 kids, somehow each one had their own thing going on and were an important piece of the story. I can see how Samantha was so drawn to them. I used to wish I had a ton of siblings (I'm now, honestly, grateful that I don't) and families like the Garretts always seemed like they'd be so fun to be a part of. Watching Sam become an appendage of that family was like watching one of my own wishes come true. These people had so much love and life in their house and that's just beautiful.

There are some questions about what makes a good family that are raised through the comparison of Samantha's quiet and sparse household next to the noise Garretts next door. In the end it comes down to the people you love and how you show that love, but it's still interesting to see the way this is laid out. Friendships are also incredibly important in Sam's life. Samantha and her friends go through fluctuations - she loses some, she gains some - just like all teenagers. But still what's incredible is all these things are going on in Sam's life, but she and Jase share all these things with one another.

I'm just so incredibly impressed with Huntley Fitzpatrick's debut. It really is the perfect summer read and Jase puts all (or most) other YA boys to shame. If you're ever feeling overwhelmed by negativity or darkness, or books that seem to exist only to rip your heart out of your chest - turn to this book. Or if you just want to read awesomeness. This is a book that lifts you up and gives you something to aspire to - that really, shouldn't be out of your reach if you look in the right places. Most YA relationships make it seem like forever is easy and I get really cranky about that. Jase and Sam are one of the few (fictional) couples that I've really had faith in making it through the (theoretical) forever.

4 comments:

  1. I love that you describe this as healthy. It's great to see a book out there that shows what an actual healthy relationship looks like instead of what everyone else shows. Great review!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I must read this book!!! I've heard so many amazing things about it. Great review, thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I'm really looking forward to reading this one!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Sounds so good! Is it out yet?

    ReplyDelete

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

My Life Next Door - Huntley Fitzpatrick

Synopsis: The Garretts are everything the Reeds are not. Loud, numerous, messy, affectionate. And every day from her balcony perch, seventeen-year-old Samantha Reed wishes she was one of them . . . until one summer evening, Jase Garrett climbs her terrace and changes everything. As the two fall fiercely in love, Jase's family makes Samantha one of their own. Then in an instant, the bottom drops out of her world and she is suddenly faced with an impossible decision. Which perfect family will save her? Or is it time she saved herself? (From Goodreads)

There are a lot of dysfunctional relationships in YA lit. Lots of stalking like it's cool, lots of possession and control, plenty of it's forever as long as we don't talk about anything really serious, and of course- quite a bit of - I'm 100 years older than you so I know a lot more than you do. So I can't thank Huntley Fitzpatrick enough for writing a book that shows what a healthy relationship looks like. There are plenty of great descriptors I could use for this book but I can't help fixate on this one - healthy. This book looks like the one vibrant sunflower if a field of dead plants.

Jase and Samantha have some problems, but I love the way they TALK about what is bothering them which allows them to resolve the issue. They also TRUST one another. Even when Samantha makes some poor decisions, Jase is so good about forgiveness. Their channels of communication are completely open. When they go through things, they go together. This relationship feels real and vibrant. This is what you should strive for in a relationship, and I'm so happy there's an example out there now to refer to.

The Garretts were an amazing part of this book. I don't know how Huntley managed to write so many characters and make each one a well rounded individual. Even with a mom and a dad, and 8 kids, somehow each one had their own thing going on and were an important piece of the story. I can see how Samantha was so drawn to them. I used to wish I had a ton of siblings (I'm now, honestly, grateful that I don't) and families like the Garretts always seemed like they'd be so fun to be a part of. Watching Sam become an appendage of that family was like watching one of my own wishes come true. These people had so much love and life in their house and that's just beautiful.

There are some questions about what makes a good family that are raised through the comparison of Samantha's quiet and sparse household next to the noise Garretts next door. In the end it comes down to the people you love and how you show that love, but it's still interesting to see the way this is laid out. Friendships are also incredibly important in Sam's life. Samantha and her friends go through fluctuations - she loses some, she gains some - just like all teenagers. But still what's incredible is all these things are going on in Sam's life, but she and Jase share all these things with one another.

I'm just so incredibly impressed with Huntley Fitzpatrick's debut. It really is the perfect summer read and Jase puts all (or most) other YA boys to shame. If you're ever feeling overwhelmed by negativity or darkness, or books that seem to exist only to rip your heart out of your chest - turn to this book. Or if you just want to read awesomeness. This is a book that lifts you up and gives you something to aspire to - that really, shouldn't be out of your reach if you look in the right places. Most YA relationships make it seem like forever is easy and I get really cranky about that. Jase and Sam are one of the few (fictional) couples that I've really had faith in making it through the (theoretical) forever.

4 comments:

  1. I love that you describe this as healthy. It's great to see a book out there that shows what an actual healthy relationship looks like instead of what everyone else shows. Great review!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I must read this book!!! I've heard so many amazing things about it. Great review, thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I'm really looking forward to reading this one!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Sounds so good! Is it out yet?

    ReplyDelete