Published by Dial Books For Young Readers on June 14th 2012
Buy on Amazon
"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.
My Life Next Door is pretty much a concise summary of the book – a girl who has been watching her boisterous neighbours (a huge family) for years until it all changes one day when one of them actually talks to her.
I thought the greatest strength of the writing comes in the rock-steady voice of Samantha Reed, whose refreshing and reflective narration contains none of the histrionics and needless immaturity that tend to pepper the behaviour of YA characters in such books. The angst and the dilemmas come in later and while the slow burn is excruciating slow at times, I did like the way first love is portrayed here, without player/dickhead tendencies that are typically written as rife and common.