What I’m Reading: My Life Next Door

While this book might not be new, it was definitely one that I will hold on to for a while. I read this at the suggestion of another librarian and honestly, I let it sit on my nightstand for about a month before I opened it. The jacket had been removed from the book and it was just a plain yellow cover. I would like to say that I don’t judge a book by its cover, but clearly I do if this book kept being shoved to the bottom of my stack.

It took an uncomfortable sick day before I pulled this book out of the heap. It was such an easy and joyful read that I finished it in one day. When reviewing a book, my gut always goes to how the book made me feel when I was right in the middle of it and honestly this book made me really happy. It was a beautiful Romeo and Juliet story in a modern setting that I think many teenagers can relate to. While the average teen might not see the complete contrast in family dynamics that Sam and Jase see, they do tend to know a thing or two about parents who don’t love their loves.

Now every sweet has a little sour. About half way through the book I hit this moment where I was waiting for something climactic to happen and it just … didn’t. I think that it took a really long time to get to the major conflict of the book. However, books that I love are usually all wrapped up in the characters. I want to feel like I know them personally and I feel like Fitzpatrick did a great job of creating characters that you want to get to know. I struggled with understanding Nan and felt like her character could have been a bit deeper. I don’t know that the average girl can toss a lifelong friendship aside that easily.

Disclaimer: This is a YA romance novel and I would not let middle school students read it without consulting a parent first. The book does deal heavily with teenage sex and there is one heavy sex scene that might raise concerns with some parents. There is not an abstinence theme coming from any character, adult or teenager, within the book.

All-in-all, I would recommend this book to readers who love YA romance. I liked it and I look forward to reading more work by Fitzpatrick.




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