My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick Review

My Life Next Door (My Life Next Door, #1)

My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick

Published Dial Books 2012

Genre: Young Adult Romance

Format: Paperback from the library

b38bc-coollogo_com-221351400“One thing my mother never knew, and would disapprove of most of all, was that I watched the Garretts. All the time.”

The Garretts are everything the Reeds are not. Loud, messy, affectionate. And every day from her rooftop perch, Samantha Reed wishes she was one of them . . . until one summer evening, Jase Garrett climbs up next to her and changes everything.

As the two fall fiercely for each other, stumbling through the awkwardness and awesomeness of first love, Jase’s family embraces Samantha – even as she keeps him a secret from her own. Then something unthinkable happens, and the bottom drops out of Samantha’s world. She’s suddenly faced with an impossible decision. Which perfect family will save her? Or is it time she saved herself?

A transporting debut about family, friendship, first romance, and how to be true to one person you love without betraying another.

029c6-coollogo_com-9181998I really hated this book until the very ending – which strangely is the reverse for most people. After reading all of Stephanie Perkin’s books, I was told that Huntley Fitzpatrick would be a great author for similar books. I started What I Thought Was True around a month ago, and DNFed that one. This book is more popular though, so I decided to give it a try.

My main problem with the book was that Jase had no personality throughout the entire thing. Other than his good looks, work ethic, and dedication to his family, he really has no personality. All of his other family members really outshadow him, all with different quirks and personality types. Jase was just there to serve as the forbidden love for Samantha. I didn’t connect with his character at all. His family really overshadowed him. All of his brothers and sisters had so much life and spunk (although I do wish the girls didn’t have boy’s names. It would make it easier to distinguish).

Samantha and Jase’s relationship was also terrible. It was mostly physical for the first 80% of the book. They start their relationship only a few weeks after meeting, and have sex maybe a month later. While I do appreciate how that was approached in a young adult book, I really did not like how their relationship was so rushed. I understand that the book only took place after one summer, but that doesn’t mean that everything should be sped up in the same manner. We should just be getting a little three month snapshot of their relationship. The pacing was really off through the entire book.

There is a little bit of a twist at the end that some people haven’t really liked, but it was my favorite part. In fact, it gave the book an extra star. It takes the focus away from their relationship and instead focuses on the family aspect of the story, which I really wish we got more of. They both come from very different family situations, so I wished the book focused more on family relationships, rather than their romantic relationship.

Overall, I had some major problems with this book – insta love, too much physical stuff, the pacing, and Jase’s character. While I did enjoy the ending, it didn’t change much of my opinion on the book. I won’t be picking up any more of Huntley Fitzpatrick’s books. They just aren’t for me – but maybe people love them!

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Life of a Blogger: Clothing

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Life of a Blogger is a weekly feature hosted by Novel Heartbeat! This is just a way for my readers to get to know the person behind the book blog a little bit better. This week’s theme is…

Clothing!

I have a very interesting style because it changes so much…

First, I really love dresses! I think they are such an easy way to look cute without having to wear pants or put a matching outfit together. They are my go-to outfit when I am way too tired to think that morning. My favorite stores to buy my dresses from are Mod Cloth and Target.

Since it is almost fall time, my staples for this season are sweaters, baseball tees, and printed jeans! Around here, it gets cold really quickly into the year. I’m already beginning layering for the year! Sweaters, both cardigans and pullovers, are almost all I will be wearing from here until mid-March. Personally, I like how they can add a little bit of color and pattern to an outfit, although they can really be a pain sometimes when they shed everywhere! For my sweaters, I will buy them from Target, Old Navy, or Aeropostale. Baseball tees are becoming a new favorite. I think they are a little bit more casual than sweaters, so I like them more for just hanging out with friends. Most of mine have funny sayings or pictures on them too, always great for adding some personality! I will buy these from random little stores, like Etsy or Human. Printed jeans are also great. I don’t really like super skinny jeans, but I like them to be straight. For those, I typically go to Old Navy or American Eagle.

For more business-y outfits, I really like a good suit! Because – doing anything feels better when doing it in a suit. I like mine to be a little bit fitted, and I really like the pantsuit more than the skirt suit combo. I wear both of them pretty often though. For suits, I will either shop at The Limited or Kohl’s.

And of course – sweatpants and sweatshirts! For basic t-shirts, I just like picking some of those up from college campuses. My favorite sweatpants are from Pink and my favorite sweatshirts are from Aeropostale, although Target has a couple of cute ones right now too!

This all reminds me that I really need to go pick up some new clothes for the fall! Where do you like to shop? What do you typically wear?

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Top Ten Tuesday: Fall TBR List

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by Broke and Bookish! This week is my top ten books on my fall TBR list.

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  1. The Young Elites by Marie Lu – I really loved the Legend trilogy, so I am excited to read another book from Marie Lu! This one has more of a fantasy feeling to it.
  2. A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray – I think this is a fantasy, but the cover sold me!
  3. The Outlander by Diana Gabaldon – There is so much hype around this adult fantasy series. I’ve heard comparisons to Game of Thrones, which I haven’t read yet, but this one is less intimidating!
  4. Onyx by Jennifer L Armentrout – I recently read Obsidian and I can’t wait to see what happens next in this series!
  5. Love In the Time of Global Warming by Francesca Lia Block – This book cover is so pretty and the concept of a retelling of the Odyssey sounds really interesting, especially since I’m rereading that book right now.
  6. Lies We Tell Ourselves by Robin Talley – This is a historical fiction and I need more of that!
  7. Girl of Nightmares by Kendare Blake – I read Anna Dressed in Blood a while ago, but since it’s Halloween season, this book seemed perfect for the time!
  8. The Body Electric by Beth Revis – So excited! I preordered a singed copy of this book (eee!!!). I’m really excited to read more Beth Revis, especially in the same world as Across the Universe.
  9. The Blood of Olympus by Rick Riordan – Another of my most anticipated releases. I am a little sad about leaving Percy Jackson, but I am still very excited to see what happens to him.
  10. Atlantia by Ally Condie – I read a preview of this book and it was so intriguing! I really like the concept and am looking forward to seeing where the story goes.

Those are the books I hope to read this fall! What was on your list?

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Life of a Blogger: Languages

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Life of a Blogger is a weekly feature hosted by Novel Heartbeat! This is just a way for my readers to get to know the person behind the book blog a little bit better. This week’s theme is…

Languages!!

Growing up, I went to elementary school with around 50-50 Japanese/American kids. My first language is English and I’m from the US. My area had a popular program so whole families would come over and live in our neighborhood for around five years. All of my best friends from elementary school were Japanese, and since everyone around me spoke Japanese, I picked it up second hand. I was able to speak some words and figure out enough of what they were saying. As I got into 4th and 5th grades, I started attending Japanese school so I could learn how to write it.

In high school, we were required to take two years of Latin before we could transfer out to another language. It was so much work and suffering, but it actually helped so much in learning other languages! I still can translate pretty well from Latin to English, but not the other way.

After finishing Latin, I started taking Spanish. My first year of Spanish was really bad. Our teacher barely taught us anything the entire year and no one cared about the class. Because of that, I have never really liked Spanish. I am in my second year of Spanish and it hasn’t gotten much better.

I still love language though – even though Spanish just isn’t my fit! I tried learning French for a while, but I found without having to take it for school or some other motivation, I just couldn’t dedicate myself to French. I did find my favorite singer, Stromae, though the language though! I hope one day I’ll return to French with some more dedication.

Right now, in addition to Spanish, I am starting to learn Arabic! I have really found a huge interest in the Middle East and the culture of that region. Arabic is such a beautiful language and I love both writing and speaking in it. So far, I have really found a great connection to Arabic. I am hoping to continue with that in college as well.

What languages do you all speak?

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Take Me On by Katie McGarry Review

Take Me On (Pushing the Limits, #4)

Take Me On by Katie McGarry (Pushing the Limits #4)

Published Harlequin Teen 2014

Genre: Young Adult Romance

Format: Hardback from the library

b38bc-coollogo_com-221351400Acclaimed author Katie McGarry returns with the knockout new story of two high school seniors who are about to learn what winning really means.

Champion kickboxer Haley swore she’d never set foot in the ring again after one tragic night. But then the guy she can’t stop thinking about accepts a mixed martial arts fight in her honor. Suddenly, Haley has to train West Young. All attitude, West is everything Haley promised herself she’d stay away from. Yet he won’t last five seconds in the ring without her help.

West is keeping a big secret from Haley. About who he really is. But helping her-fighting for her-is a shot at redemption. Especially since it’s his fault his family is falling apart. He can’t change the past, but maybe he can change Haley’s future.

Hayley and West have agreed to keep their relationship strictly in the ring. But as an unexpected bond forms between them and attraction mocks their best intentions, they’ll face their darkest fears and discover love is worth fighting for.

029c6-coollogo_com-9181998Katie McGarry has impressed me so far with her first three novels, and I was excited to pick this newest one up.

West, Rachel’s brother from the last book, is introduced to us with some strong opinions. He does not have a very good reputation going into the book. While I enjoyed his character from his own perspective, I was not a huge fan of his character. I really liked Hayley so much more than West. This was probably my own problem with the book. When I don’t like one of the characters in a romance, it is hard to buy into their love that is happening. I never really found a reason to like West, or why Hayley should like him. The whole point of this book is that West wants to fight for Hayley and that she’s worth fighting for. Maybe it’s just the inner feminist in me, but I just kept wanting for Hayley to stand up for herself. She has a really bad past with the physical abuse she suffered from her past boyfriend and I really wanted her to grow from that. It just didn’t happen the way I would have liked it though.

Another big aspect – other than the romance, of course – is the kickboxing aspect. West and Hayley’s ex-boyfriend, Matt, are getting into a kickboxing fight at the end of the book. I am not a huge fan of fighting for sport, or really any kind of fighting, so it was hard for me to connect to that as well. I really wish that Katie McGarry would switch back to the kind of plot set up that happened in Pushing the Limits. There was no extra activity, like cars or fighting and it was just the romance. These types of things really hinder the story for me.

However, I still really enjoyed this book. It broke away from the plot set up found in the first three. They fell for each other differently, had different problems, and physically, did more in their relationship than any of the other couples did. I really liked seeing the diversity in this series, because not all couples are exactly the same. It made the book more unique to stand away from the first three. Also, the writing was great, as usual. I really liked all the research and thought that went into what was happening. West and Hayley come from completely different worlds, with totally different families and home situations, but both of them were written really well.

Overall, I liked this next book (although I am still waiting for Abby’s book!). While I had some problems with the kickboxing aspect and West’s character, Hayley and all of the new situations in this book really saved it for me. I am looking forward to continuing with Noah and Echo’s story in the next book, as well as finishing this companion series.

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WWW Wednesdays (September 17)

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WWW Wednesdays are just three questions, hosted by Should Be Reading! Here’s just a little update with what I am up to:

What are you currently reading?

Take Me On (Pushing the Limits, #4) I have been working on Take Me On by Katie McGarry! So far, I have really been enjoying this series, although it does remind me of the other books in this companion series. Plus, every time I think about it, I always get the song “Take On Me” stuck in my head…

What did you recently finish reading?

Ready Player One Ready Player One by Ernest Cline and – wow, that was so much fun! I loved all the action and world building. I would highly suggest picking this one up!

What do you think you’ll read next?

Nerve Especially since it’s due back to the library soon, Nerve by Jeanne Ryan! I haven’t heard anything yet about this book, so I am excited to see what I think without other reviews getting in the way.

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Top Ten Tuesday: Authors I’ve Only Read One Books From But I NEED To Read More

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by Broke and Bookish! This week, we are talking about books I have only read one book from, but I need to read more! This is a really great topic and I am really excited to discuss this with all of you.

top ten authors

 

  1. Leila Sales (This Song Will Save Your Life) –  I loved her first book and I cannot wait for more of her contemporary! She has another book coming out in 2015, which is one of my most anticipated reads, although it’s crazy we are already anticipating 2015 releases!
  2. Lauren Morrill (Meant To Be) – I only recently read her first book, but she has another one already out that I am looking forward to picking up.
  3. Ellen Hopkins (Rumble) – Her unique, poetic writing style in Rumble really intrigued me, as well as how she handled really hard topics.
  4. David Levithan (Wide Awake) – He has written with so many popular authors on so many topics! I have also heard he has some interesting POVs, which I am a huge fan of in books.
  5. E. Lockhart (We Were Liars) – We Were Liars was a crazy fun ride, and I am hoping the rest of her books have the same, gritty feel to them.
  6. Lois Lowry (The Giver) – Continuing on with this companion series is a must, but she is also such a well known and acclaimed author too.
  7. Tabitha Suzuma (Forbidden) – The first book I read by her covered a pretty intense topic, so I am interested to see what else she can write about.
  8. A.S. King (Reality Boy) – While I wasn’t a huge fan of Reality Boy, her other books have been highly recommended.
  9. Victoria Schwab (The Archived) – Same as A.S. King. I didn’t like the first book I read by her, but I am willing to give some more of them a try!
  10. Ann Aguirre (Enclave) – Other than needing to finish this series, she also has a new YA series and a new adult series (of which I received a copy!)

Those are my top ten authors I really need to read more from! Who was on your list?

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