Tea & Book Chat: My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick

Personal Thoughts:  I made it a goal of mine to read at least one book from several different authors this year (I actually made a video about it if you’re interested!) and Huntley Fitzpatrick was one of the names I planned on crossing off my author bucket list.  I think it’s good to branch out and try new authors because you never know if you’ll find a new favorite which is what happened to me with Huntley when I finished reading My Life Next Door.  I decided to read her books in publication and after finishing, I found out that her second novel, The Boy Most Likely To is actually a companion novel (following one of my favorite characters!!!!) so now I’m even more thrilled to have more to look forward to.

Plot Summary:  Samantha Reed is the daughter of a politician with a seemingly perfect life, and yet, she takes nothing for granted.  Despite money being no object, Samantha works several jobs, studies hard and always follows the rules her mother has set forth.  But still, Samantha has spent a lot of her time sitting outside her window watching the family next door, the Garretts, with their many children live life in a way that her own mother has always deemed irresponsible.  Still Samantha, yearns to get to know them and everything changes for her when Jase Garrett climbs her roof and the pair start falling deeply in love with one another.  Samantha keeps Jase at arms length from everything and everyone in her life but she has no issue falling into Jase’s.  And as most stories go, once everything seemed perfect, tragedy strikes and Samantha is torn between Jase’s family and her own.

Critique:  This book is just full of swoons.  Samantha is a really likable protagonist.  She always tries to do the right thing, plus she’s responsible, caring and trusting.  When Samanatha’s sister leaves for the summer and her mother hires a new campaign manager / much younger boyfriend, she finally opens up to the incredibly handsome boy next door about her life. Jase is such a sweetheart- the quintessential nice guy- who does everything he can for the people he loves.  Jase is great with his younger siblings and he works hard and trains hard to make college an attainable future path for himself.  Despite how different Jase and Samantha are, they form such an incredible bond and it is a pleasure to see their love for each other grow.  Sam also has twins Nan, a nut about getting into the perfect college, and Tim, an addict who is basically a ticking time bomb to contend with.  What I loved most about this book is the big family aspect.  Every member of Jase’s family has such a distinct personality and I love how open and accepting they are of everyone.  Their house might not be the tidiest, but there’s just so much love there!  Each character had an intriguing story arc- whether on a personal level or as a contributing factor to the overall story- and there were some really high stakes conflicts that I did not see coming.  While this may seem like a cute fluffy contemporary, do not be fooled! There is depth galore and some really high stress moments.

Do I Recommend?:  Yes! I really and truly loved this book and I cannot wait to read the companion novel!  The Garretts are not a family that I’ll be letting go of anytime soon.

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Kristin