I wouldn’t have known of this title if it weren’t for the bloggers. Word spreads so fast that eventually, almost everyone is talking about the book. What convinced me more to grab a copy are the praises people have been giving to it. Plus, the premise of the book looks promising and intriguing. I want to find out for myself what happens next.
Here’s the plot description from the back cover of the book:
Life in Samantha Reed’s home is neat and clean and orderly―precisely planned by her local politician mother. Next door, at the Garrett’s, things are loud, messy, and irresistible. And when gorgeous Jase Garrett climbs the trellis outside her bedroom and enters her life, she finds herself falling passionately in love with him and everything he brings with him. The only hitch is, she’s got to hide it from her mother. Then something unthinkable happens, and Samantha is suddenly faced with an impossible decision. Which perfect family will save her? Or is it time she saved herself?
I’m only a few pages in, but I find myself already hooked by the story. Being brought up by her single mother Grace, Samantha Reed lives a perfect, good life – from being an obedient daughter to being a responsible student and child any parent could ask for, as opposed to her sister Tracy. In a way, I guess I understand Tracy’s actions due to their mother’s OC behavior, protectiveness, and eventually, her neglect to take care of them when she runs for a government position. On the other hand, I can relate to Grace as I also tend to be as organized and neat as possible, but not to her extreme.
And then comes the Garretts who live just next door and are the complete opposite of the Reeds. Readers can compare and contrast the lifestyles of these two families and somehow, experience what it’s like to live as a Reed or as a Garrett. There are things you can find in the Reed’s family but cannot be found in the Garrett’s and vice versa. As I am reading through the book, I find myself more sympathetic towards the Garretts. The way Mrs. Garrett handles the situation when surrounded by judgmental people, she never loses her patience and I come to admire her for that.
Huntley Fitzpatrick impresses me in a way that through her characterization, she is able to represent the different possible life paths teenagers could take as they enter adolescence stage. Some characters are likeable and some are not. There are those that I root for and hope to become a better person, and there are those who have surprising outcomes towards the end of the story.
Jase and Samantha’s relationship makes this book more worthwhile to read. Jase is undeniably swoon-worthy and I’m pretty sure girls long to meet guys like him in reality. Jase is, in the readers’ eyes, a perfect boyfriend anyone wishes to have. He’s sweet, down-to-earth, thoughtful, and family-oriented. Huntley Fitzpatrick perfectly captures the rawness of their relationship. There’s nothing awkward about it and I’m truly entertained with their conversations mixed with wit, humor, and sweetness. I become too attached and invested in their relationship that I don’t want them to break up, ever!
But of course, this story is more than just Jase and Samantha’s story. Some issues are also explored in terms of families and making the right choices. The author also succeeds in portraying how politicians and campaigning work behind the scenes and how these things can affect the lives of people involved directly or indirectly.
Overall, this is an enjoyable read, but I feel the ending is a bit rushed. It ends too soon without having closures to some characters which I grew attached to. And I recently found out that there’s going to be a sequel to this book. Either way, this wouldn’t be my last Huntley Fitzpatrick book to read. I’m definitely looking forward to her other books.