Tag: Family

Book Review: My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick

Posted June 28, 2012 by Kimberly in Book Reviews / 2 Comments

Title: My Life Next Door

Author: Huntley Fitzpatrick

Publisher: Dial Books

Publication Date: June 2012

Genre: Young Adult Realistic Fiction

Series or Stand Alone: Stand Alone

Synopsis can be found here.
NetGalley review.

Review:

With her strained and cold family life, Samantha watches the full and crazy life of the Garretts next door from her bedroom window. She feels like she knows them already, that is until Jase Garrett befriends her. Sam realizes there is so much more to know and love.

Fans of Sarah Dessen rejoice! Here is another contemporary realistic fiction book that will have you swooning. Samantha is a privileged teen, but she isn’t annoying or snotty about it. As her mother runs for higher and higher political offices, and her sister gone for the summer, Samantha is surprisingly left on her own. She is surprised to find how much she enjoys spending time with the Garretts. Their hectic lifestyle and full house is very different to the chilly and pristine home she comes from. And who wouldn’t want ot spend time there?

The Garretts are funny, diverse and crazy! I loved every scene Samantha had in their home. Fitzpatrick did a wonderful job conveying the fast paced lifestyle of a large family, the oldest to the youngest and everyone in between. I love George, one of the youngest ones. His personality is endearing and heartwarming. I wanted to hug George!

Yes, I know he’s a fictional character.

Jase is patient, sweet and dreamy. This is an old fashioned romance. Sam and Jase get to know each other slowly, spending lots of time together. It’s easy to see how these two characters grow to love each other.

Nan, Sam’s best friend, is wonderfully complicated. You see where their friendship is headed, like a slow moving train along the wrong tracks. I thought every small dig Nan gave to Sam was cutting even more so because it was under the guise of friendship. Very realistic and high school.
Tim, Nan’s brother is equally loveable. A screw up, a lost soul, and lucky for us not in a love triangle, Tim is trying to redeem himself. And having him fall so far, and grow so much, he is the one to root for. I loved his journey.

Overall, My Life Next Door is positive, sweet and heartwarming. I can’t wait to read what Huntley Fitzpatrick has next!

Rating 8 Cookie Worthy

Posted June 28, 2012 by Kimberly in Book Reviews / 2 Comments


Book Review: The Red House by Mark Haddon

Posted June 18, 2012 by Kimberly in Book Reviews / 2 Comments





Title: The Red House

Author: Mark Haddon

Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group

Publication Date: June 2012

Genre: Adult Fiction

Series or Stand Alone: Stand Alone


Synopsis can be found here.
NetGalley review.

Review:

Richard and his new wife and step daughter, invite his sister Angela, and her family on a weeks vacation in a remote area of the English countryside. There, the families get to know each other, for better or worse, and do what all families do- push, pull and heal.

Being a fan of one of his previous novels, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, I was eager to start this book. Haddon’s writing is unique and beautiful, but it took some time to get used to. The narration switches characters’ every few paragraphs and I wonder if the physical book will make this more clear. I read the ebook format so visually it looked like a continuous stream, but maybe that isn’t the case in the hardcover. It was easy to follow which character’s thoughts, feelings, actions I was reading about and the overall writing style enhanced the close character’s perspectives. But overall, this left me feeling like I didn’t really know any of the characters really well. I certainly don’t think I liked any of them. And a few were so mean spirited and gross as human beings, even when they were

Haddon does a wonderful job portraying the family dynamic, the guilt, the blame, the old grudges. And also the opportunity to heal, to move on. There were many moments in the story where characters make certain decisions and it was heartbreaking to watch/read about. He does a wonderful job describing certain points in the day, some which seem unimportant, but hold a great deal of meaning for the character or the story. And these moments can go either way, the character can choose either path, and the point of no return.

Overall, The Red House is an interesting read. The writing style is different, in a good way, but I felt a real barrier between me and the characters.

Rating 5 Ok, Decent like Diet Coke.

Posted June 18, 2012 by Kimberly in Book Reviews / 2 Comments