Huntley Fitzpatrick’s My Life Next Door is a refreshing, funny, and summery read that takes a dramatic and sudden turn, a turn which made my heart ache in a way that few cutesy contemporary novels have managed whilst also unapologetically presenting a sickeningly sweet love story between a pair of teenagers.
“The Garretts were forbidden from the start. But that’s not why they were important.”
Samantha Reed has spent her life gazing across at her neighbours, The Garretts, and their loud, rambunctious, sloppy lives. They are everything her own home and family life is not – chaotic but loving. After years of being an outside observer, one summer Samantha finds herself easily slipping into life in the Garrett household when she begins to get closer to the boy-next-door Jase Garrett and the two fall in love. Welcomed into a family so freely, Samantha finds it a jarring change from her own household, with her mostly absent sister and perfectionist, politician mother, but keeps the Garretts her little secret. As with all secrets, the truth will out eventually, and in a shocking series of events, the Garretts and the Reeds find themselves necessarily thrown together with Samantha finding her loyalties tested to the extreme.