The book My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick is a phenomenal book about a 17 year old girl named Samantha Reed who feels imprisoned by her politician, helicopter, single-parent mother, Grace. She strives for perfection for Samantha and her sister, Tracy, as she is running for re-election for Senator. As Samantha’s summer before senior year has arrived, she continues to sit on her roof and watch her different neighbors, The Garretts’. One evening changed everything for Samantha and one Garrett in particular, Jase. Things begin to get serious between Jase and Samantha as they see each other and spend more time together. Samantha is balancing many things at the same time of this relationship and manages to keep it all from her mother. One night, Samantha, Grace, and her boyfriend, Clay Tucker, were coming home from a campaign event in which both Grace and Clay drank too much but Grace offered to drive. On the way home, Grace falls asleep at the wheel and ends up hitting a person. They drove off like nothing happened, knowing they had hit a man, and not just any man. They hit Mr.Garrett which sent the Garretts’ into financial and family distress. Clay and Grace forbid Samantha to tell the Garretts’ and made her break up with Jase. In the end, Jase finds out from Samantha that Grace hit Mr.Garrett and forgives Samantha from keeping it a secret. The families kept it between them. Grace paid for all medical bills and for help at their hardware store to repay them. Finally, Grace drops out of the campaign, sells the house, and decides to start a new life. Samantha and Jase’s relationship remains stronger than ever.
The main point of this book was that it was telling a complicated but interesting romance story between two teens. I thought this book could be easily relatable to teenagers and specifically high schoolers. Fitzpatrick went into intimate details of their relationship throughout the book which can be related to similar, real life love stories. Each time you turned the page, you wanted to read more about the love and adventures of Samantha and Jase’s secretive relationship. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes a romantic comedy. I did like the suspense between keeping their relationship a secret from Samantha’s mother because it showed how love can be a mystery and adventure.
The main audience I would recommend this book to would be to the type of people who like stories about romance, adventure, comedy, and somewhat getting through a tragedy. This is a very relatable story because of the things teens go through in high school such as relationships, college searching, tragedies, different stresses whether it be with friends, family, or boyfriends and girlfriends. From personal experience, I have seen friendships and relationships fall apart because of the stresses high school can present to one person. This book teaches one to be appreciative of what you have and be appreciative of the people you have in your life that want to help you.