The Garretts are everything the Reeds are not. Loud, numerous, messy, affectionate. And every day from her balcony perch, seventeen-year-old Samantha Reed wishes she was one of them…until one summer evening Jase Garrett climbs her trellis and changes everything. As the two fall fiercely in love and stumble through the awkwardness and awesomeness of first romance, Jase's family makes Samantha one of their own—even as she keeps him a secret from her disapproving mother and critical best friend. Then the 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?Read More
“MY LIFE NEXT DOOR is arguably one of the best young adult novels out there... Once you pick it up, you will not want to put it down”—Teen Reads
“Fitzpatrick perfectly captures the heady joys of first love while still dealing with everyday realities.”—VOYA
“Samantha's not a typical, angst-riddled teenager; she's mature, self-respecting and intelligent, as well as adorably dorky. I loved how the story unfolded and grew, taking on themes like acceptance, loyalty and responsibility in addition to the power of young love. A wonderful, uplifting and beautifully written book”— Kristan Higgins, New York Times Best-selling author, 2 time RITA winner
“The characters are dynamic and realistic. Strong narrative pacing adds to the whole sun-kissed package, which is on par with authors such as Sarah Dessen and Deb Caletti.”—School Library Journal
“Samantha and Jase have chemistry that crackles: it's the novel's tender, awkward, sexy, dizzy-happy portrayal of first love that really makes it soar.”—The Horn Book
Growing up, one of my favorite things to do was take my bike out on summer nights and ride around my small coastal town. I liked to go around dinnertime, so I could look through the windows I passed and envision the lives of the people inside, imagine whole lives based on the glimpses I'd catch.
I'd speculate about the brightly lit dinner tables: were they as comforting, warm, and familiar as a worn, favorite t-shirt, or did they buzz with invisible tension? I'd wonder if the tall, graceful boy playing basketball in the backyard was as at ease with himself as he seemed, if the two girls sitting compatibly on the porch steps were lifelong friends or had only just met or were growing apart but still held together through years of habit.
I can't remember a time when I didn't make up a story about what I saw from far away, even if I was just watching the stars from outside my bedroom window, dreaming that someone I could or would love would be looking at them too.
Every good book, I believe, like most things that challenge and change us, starts with wondering, "What if?" and "Why?" Questions that make us lean forward and whisper, "And what happened then?"Continue Reading