I had a feeling I was going to really like this book. The fact that it is very rarely on the shelf in the teen area was one indicator, another was that I just really do enjoy contemporary romance. And My Life Next Door was the best kind of contemporary romance, it has substance and style and keeps you guessing.
My Life Next Door chronicles the summer that Samantha Reed finally takes the plunge and starts interacting with the family that has lived next door to her for the past ten years. The Garretts are loud and the kids come in all shapes and varieties. Their chaotic lifestyle is a great antidote to the spotlessness and quiet that Samantha is bored of in her own house, where her mother, a local politician, is preparing to run for office again.
Samantha is a rounded and likable character. But what really stood out to me where the Garretts. From Jace, the second oldest son who pursues a relationship with Samantha, to little brother George, and the baby of the family Patsy, I just wanted to pull up a chair and hang out with them for an afternoon. I would be drawn to them much the way Samantha was.
The writing was funny and warm and easy to relate to. And while the real plot of the book unravels slowly, the build up is great and the characters keep you reading. I would highly recommend this to anyone in high school. It's a great summer read!
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