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My life next door /

When Samantha, the seventeen-year-old daugher of a wealthy, perfectionistic, Republican state senator, falls in love with the boy next door, whose family is large, boisterous, and just making ends meet, she discovers a different way to live, but when her mother is involved in a hit-and-run... Full description

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Format: Book
Language: English
Published: [Penguin], 2012
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A gorgeous debut about family, friendship, first romance, and how to be true to one person you love without betraying another

"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, 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 terrace and changes everything. As the two fall fiercely in love, Jase's family makes Samantha one of their own. Then in an instant, the bottom drops out of her world and she is suddenly faced with an impossible decision. Which perfect family will save her? Or is it time she saved herself?

A dreamy summer read, full of characters who stay with you long after the story is over.

Review by Publisher's Weekly Review

Although they've been neighbors for 10 years, Samantha Reed and Jase Garrett are worlds apart. Rich, beautiful Samantha has led a privileged life, strictly dictated by her state senator mother. Jase, part of a large, boisterous family that's despised by Samantha's mother, has to work hard for what he gets. As fate would have it, the two teens fall in love despite-or perhaps because of-their different backgrounds. But the summer romance turns into a nightmarish moral dilemma as Samantha becomes aware of a secret, hidden by her mother's unscrupulous campaign aide, which could destroy Jase's family or ruin her mother's political career. As Samantha wrestles with what to do, she risks losing her comfortable lifestyle, her mother's trust, and the boy she most admires. Fitzpatrick's excellent first novel movingly captures the intensity of first love, the corrupting forces of power, and the losses suffered by innocent victims caught in a web of political deceit. As the lines between villains and heroes shift, readers will be reminded how "right" and "wrong" choices are rarely crystal clear. Ages 12-up. Agent: Christina Hogrebe, Jane Rotrosen Agency. (June) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Review by School Library Journal Review

Gr 9 Up-Summer romance fun with substance describes not only this novel but also its scrumptious male lead. More than just a handsome face attached to a football player's physique, Jase Garrett is thoughtful, able, and kind. His eight-kid, boisterous, loving family has fascinated 17-year-old Samantha Reed since she was seven. She watches her neighbors from afar until the summer evening Jase climbs onto her roof with an offer to rescue her-and he does. With their unkempt yard, noise, and mess, the Garretts have always been a thorn in the side of Samantha's perfectionist mother so it's no surprise that as Samantha falls under Jase's spell and enters the wonderful and wacky world of the Garrett clan, she doesn't tell her mother, who is busy with her own bid to win reelection to the Connecticut state senate and is enthralled with a gung-ho new political advisor. Samantha juggles lifeguarding at the tennis club with waitressing, but she still has plenty of time to discover with Jase what all those love songs are about, including the decisions about whether or not to act on their heady chemistry. Mr. Garrett's struggling hardware store means Jase needs a football scholarship. It also means that when tragedy strikes, everything about Samantha's nearly perfect relationship becomes uncertain. 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.-Suzanne Gordon, Peachtree Ridge High School, Suwanee, GA (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Huntley Fitzpatrick lives in South Dartmouth, Massachusetts.

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