One summer, a boy, a girl and a whole lot of growing up. I really, really liked this book. It’s probably made it onto my life of favourites for 2013. It’s cute, happy, mushy, a little bit sad and full of a twists and turns to keep you interested throughout it’s fairly chunky (for YA) size of 394 pages.
Pretty, wealthy Samantha Reed has always watched her next door neighbours, the Garrets, in secret. Her mom is town governor (mayor? something American and political) and can’t stand them. They’re messy and loud – and a really huge family. One summer night, when Jase Garret climbs up to Samantha’s secret watching spot (the rooftop outside her bedroom window) everything changes. She’s drawn into their world while hers begins to unravel: her best friend grows distant, another friend spirals out control and her mother aims for even more political power. But, one night changes everything, and Samantha has to decide who she is: the person her mother sees her as or the person she’d like to be.
My Life Next Door is a coming-of-age in one summer novel. Sam (we’re close like that) falls in love, realises what friendship and family really mean, and learns to stand on her own. It’s a little bit slow going at times, but it’s a delicious slowness. The story takes it’s time at a slow boil and even though I thought I’d know all the twists and turns, there were some surprises in it for me anyway.
I loved all the characters – each was so well fleshed out and developed, you kind of want to be friends with all of them. Call them over the weekend and just hang out. If you want something that will make your soul fuzzy (like warm happyness, not gross mossy-ness), this is it.
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