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"One thing my mother never knew, and would disapprove of most of all, was that I watched the Garretts. All the time."
The Garretts are everything the Reeds are not. Loud, messy, affectionate. And every day from her rooftop perch, Samantha Reed wishes she was one of them . . . until one summer evening, Jase Garrett climbs up next to her and changes everything.
As the two fall fiercely for each other, stumbling through the awkwardness and awesomeness of first love, Jase's family embraces Samantha - even as she keeps him a secret from her own. Then something 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?
A transporting debut about family, friendship, first romance, and how to be true to one person you love without betraying another.
Why, thank you book for all these wonderful platitudes. We need to part ways now though, at 35%, but don’t worry, I’ll compile here every amazing moment we shared together.
► Remember when Jase and Sam fell in love over a lemonade at 9%? Because I was there to follow their astounding banter and was deeply moved by the slow burn of their feelings….
“He drains the entire thing in one gulp, then reaches for the other cup.
“That’s mine,” I say.
“Oh, jeez. Of course. Sorry. I am thirsty.”
I extend my arm with the lemonade. “You can have it. There’s always more.”
He shakes his head. “I would never deprive you.”
I feel my stomach do that weird little flip-flop thing you hear about.“
It’s not insta-love guys, because it’s not the first time they talk. Nope. It’s the second time, not to mention that she has stalked him for years. Of course it counts!
► Remember when Jase kept telling Sam such profound and life changing sentences? I swear the guy must be an hidden philosopher gem or something.
“No, thank God. I’d die if I got in trouble.”
Jase looks at me intently, as though what I’ve said is profound” ← SEE?
“No, you wouldn’t, Samantha. You wouldn’t die. You’d just be in trouble and then you’d move on.”
MY GOD. Who needs Sartre when Jase is in the house? I might quote him someday.
► Remember when we met the most oblivious parents of the world? I know teenagers are tricky, but there must be a medal hiding somewhere for Nan and Tim’s ones.
“I know!” she says. “It’s so much worst since he got kicked out of Ellery. He spends all day like this [STONED & DRUNKED AT HOME], and God knows what he does at night. My parents are completely and totally without a clue. Mommy buys all his lies – ‘Oh, that’s catnip in that bag, Ma. Oh, those pills? Aspirin. That white stuff? Just salt.“
… and it’s not finished :
“He’s [the Obvious Dad] even got Tim’s pot plant in with his own plants, giving it Miracle-Gro. What kind of man was young in the eighties and doesn’t recognize marijuana?”
Who indeed? Should we warn someone? Put them on TV or something? Huh? (Not that Nan would tell them, of course. I mean, it’s only her brother’s life for fuck sake. FUCK. FUCK OFF. FUCK. FUCK. ← Tim’s favorite words if any.
► Remember when Sam caught her mum’s boyfriend (probably) cheating and didn’t say a thing?
“How can I say “Uh – Mom – I think he might be seeing someone else too”?
Hmm… Like this? Oh, no? You don’t want to? Okay.
► Remember when Jase thoughtfully listened to Sam’s Earth shattering conversations? I’m pretty sure it’s one of my fave parts. I mean, come on.
“How did you get so good at everything?” I ask Jase as he wipes his greasy hands on a rag from his tool kit.
“At everything,” he repeats thoughtfully.”
I might combust from butterflies each time he opens his thoughtful mouth – and it keeps getting better and better!
► Remember when Sam and me agreed on something? Frankly, it just made my day. Truly. Hope to die and all that shit.
“Jase’s green eyes meet mine, then his lashes lower. “I guess I like things that take time and attention. More worthwhile that way.”
I don’t know what it is about this that makes me blush, but something does.”
You and me on this, girl. Wait – NO! I didn’t blush! What I mean is that I have no clue about why this (wonderfully profound as always) sentence is blush worthy. NOT A FREAKING CLUE (explanations in comments are welcome). That SOMETHING though.
► Remember when …
OH BOY. Can I just forget it? To me My Life Next Door is silly, filled with platitudes and flat dialogues, bland and stereotypical characters I don’t give a shit about (including a perfect snowflake and an absent mum), an instalovish romance with no chemistry whatsoever and – Well, I guess that’s all.