My life next door is a cute contemporary that follows a seventeen year old girl named Samantha. Now, Samantha lives in her perfect home with her Senator of a mom and her away-for-summer sister. Ever since Samantha and her sister Tracy were little, their mother told them to have nothing to do with their neighbours; the Garrett family. The family who pops children out like Christmas cards. However, Samantha has always been fascinated with the chaos that is the Garrett family and have been watching them for years. What she doesn’t know is that Jase Garrett has been watching her as well and her whole life changes when the two finally meet.
Fitzpatrick is a talented writer and she draws out Jase and Samantha’s relationship really well. She dives into awkward, intimate moments that all teenagers in a relationship will go through which makes the characters and their relationship very realistic. I really enjoy the use of Tim and how his character develops as the plot goes on and the little twist of Nan being the cheater in the family is interesting (if not predictable when it is finally brought up). I like that family is a very important part of the story which is difficult in YA contemporary. I loved the Garrett family a lot and fell in love with little George as soon as he was introduced. He brings the comedic relief in a more playful manner whereas Tim’s comedy is more sarcastic. Samantha didn’t bother me in the least although I had trouble finding her unique voice whereas all the other characters were very distinct. I hated Clay Tucker the moment he became an idea. I knew he was bad news but the plot twist really had me surprised as it was not in the slightest what I was expecting. I’m happy Samantha’s mother came forth at the end and confessed.
Now, what I didnt really enjoy in this book was that the middle of the novel felt quite long and dragged on a bit but the ending was too fast and felt rushed. I wish things didn’t wrap up so quickly and that there was more of a resolution. I especially didn’t understand Nan. I don’t understand why Nan and Samantha had their fight. It felt really random and there was not a resolution for them, it just ended like their friendship never happened. Nan says she doesn’t hate Samantha but resents her for being “perfect”. To be honest I didn’t really like Nan all that much to begin with but that entire break up felt forced and just random.
All in all, I did enjoy this book and I look forward to the sequel about Tim and Alice.