Samantha lives a seemingly perfect life. She’s a beautiful teenage girl, lives in a big house, and gets good grades. But family life at home is lacking, to say the least. Samantha only has her mother, an always busy state senator, and older sister. For years, Samantha has watched the Garretts next door; the loud, messy, family with way too many kids that her mother can’t stand. But Sam loves seeing how close the family is, and daydreams about being one of them.
She gets the chance to after getting to know Jase, one of the Garrett kids. At first, she fights her attraction to him, knowing that her mother would completely disapprove of any sort of relationship between them. However, she eventually gives in to her feelings, and the two start dating. As Sam gets to know the Garrett family, she begins to feel at home with them. But when her mom becomes involved in a hit-and-run accident that hurts the Garretts, she is at a crossroads. Should she do the right thing and come out with the truth to help the family she has grown to care about, or should she stay quiet to protect the mother she loves?
There are several things I enjoyed about My Life Next Door. First, there’s not a lot of that cliché teenage drama you tend to see in young adult books. The book also highlights a struggle many individuals face: Should I do the right thing, even if it hurts my family? After much consideration, Samantha decides on a course of action, which leads me to the major criticism I have for this novel: I felt like the ending was too convenient for everyone involved. Nevertheless, I really enjoyed My Life Next Door, and if you like endings where everything works out, so will you.