Boy does Ms. Fitzpatrick know how to toy with my emotions. I felt the full range. I’m talking about everything from that lovely happy, floaty feeling to sorrow and disgust. And they aren’t the kind of feelings you just think about either, they’re the kind that smack you right in the chest a MAKE you feel them.
Oh, Garrett family, how I love you so. Despite the fact that the kids were loud, messy, and all over the place, I just wanted to visit them and become a part of their family as Samantha did. You might think it’d be impossible to become familiar enough with 10 different characters to love them all, but Fitzpatrick managed to make me care about each and every Garrett. I loved that Patsy’s first word was “boob” and that George spouts facts like an adorable encyclopedia without pants. I love that Alice is fiercely protective of Jase and that Mrs. Garrett has seemingly eternal patience. I could probably go on all day, but seeing as this isn’t an ode to the Garrett family, I probably shouldn’t.
Sam and Jase’s relationship is just so perfect in its realness. It’s lovely and shiny and heart-warming, yes, but it’s also awkward and has its rough moments. I actually laughed out loud several times including the uncomfortable “mutual pleasure” conversation and the awkward condom shopping scene which included the best excuse I’ve ever heard for condom possession: “supplies for a really expensive water balloon fight.”
I love Samantha’s slow descent from the “perfect daughter” to someone who has her own thoughts, opinions, and priorities. It was almost like Fitzpatrick stole a page from my life seeing as I did almost the exact same thing when I first started dating my husband. It wasn’t like she was trying to be some rebellious wild child. The magic of first love simply allowed her to feel the way she always secretly had.
And Tim? Oh, he was such a wild card. I thought he’d just be one of those background throwaway characters, but he so wasn’t. He actually turned out to be my favorite character of all. Yes, even over Jase. I mean, come on, the guy sits there and wipes Sam’s snotty nose when she breaks down in front of him. He’s basically the best friend on the entire planet.
The Nutshell: I could honestly go on and on about My Life Next Door all day but how about we all just do ourselves a favor and go read the book instead?