Publication Date: 11 June 2011
Publisher: Dial Books for Young Readers
Genres: Young Adult, Romance
I was expecting a light, easy read out of this novel and that is exactly what I got. While I would not consider it one of my favourite romance books, it was enjoyable to read.
My Life Next Door takes place over the summer before Samantha’s senior year, where the readers first learn about her interest about the intriguing family next door to where she lives. The Garrett’s are a huge family with eight children, making them a fascinating sight to watch from Samantha’s roof. Samantha quickly meets Jase, the Garrett boy who is also seventeen, and they form a connection over the summer.
The story has sub-plots that involve friends, a mother who is a Republican politician, and juggling three different jobs. Samantha’s summer seems very eventful and at times I was somewhat envious of the amount of things she got up to.
The writing was very easy to read, but occasionally I found it confusing and too fast-paced. I did not really feel connected to the main character, which was perhaps due to the style of writing.
Something that was particularly confusing to me was why Samantha felt she could have three very different jobs. The previous summer she had a lifesaving job, which carried onto this one. If I was her I would have only worked the lifesaving job, rather than taking on another at a breakfast restaurant. She is even offered a third job, but I might be saying too much if I explain what it is.
Although I had difficulties with the writing and understanding why Samantha was so busy, I liked reading My Life Next Door and thought it was entertaining. The ending was interesting because I was not expecting it, and it added a bit of drama to the otherwise lovey-dovey story.
I would mainly recommend this book to teenagers, but if you want a cute summer read and are over 20 then definitely give it a go.