I had such high hopes for My Life Next Door. It looked like a perfect summer read that would leave my heart fluttering and my cheeks sore from smiling. For the first half of the book, I was pretty happy. It was a little slow, but it was sweet. And then the second half of the book came along.
The first half of this book was cute, even if it felt like it was dragging at times. It was a light, summer read that had me smiling and happy, even when I would wish for something to happen. If Fitzpatrick had just continued on that nice path, this book would have easily been a 4 star, maybe even a 5 star book. The romance was sweet and perfect. Samantha and Jase were refreshing characters to read. They didn’t have one track minds, but they weren’t completely stiff as boards, either. Jase was that perfect high school love almost every girl wishes they had.
And then the second half of the novel hit.
I don’t like drama for drama’s sake. In My Life Next Door, it felt like the drama was only added so the book could be dramatic. The characters didn’t really grow because of the main event. They didn’t come to any life changing conclusions. I spent most of the last half of the book wanting to throw my Kindle against a wall in frustration because Samantha changed from a character I liked, to one I couldn’t stand. Even when she decided to do the right thing, she had already wasted so much time doing the wrong thing I couldn’t look past it. I read the entire novel hoping Samantha would grow a backbone. She was presented with opportunity after opportunity to stand up for herself and what’s right, but when she didn’t do what was right because she didn’t want to stand up for herself, I couldn’t handle her anymore.
There were little things left unresolved that nagged me too. Samantha’s friendship with Nan had been twelve years of their lives and it ended in a five minute conversation. I felt like that was pushed to the side in favor of the large dramatics. And Clay’s sleazeball ways weren’t really addressed, except to say he left. That’s all I got after having to deal with him being one of the most horrible people I’ve ever read?
I think what frustrates me the most about My Life Next Door is that it could have been amazing. It could have been a great read that got across the point that perfect lives are only perfect on the outside while having a great dose of boy swoons to go along with it. Instead, it’s a book with a nice first half, and a second half that completely falls apart. Unfortunately, I won’t be telling my friends and family to read this book. It had so much potential and fell completely flat.