Review: My Life Next Door

Posted: 11/09/2015 in book reviews, books
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My Life Next Door
My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Content warnings: sex, alcohol use, drunk driving, moral dilemmas, slut shaming, drug use

This book started really slow for me and I wasn’t sure I was ever going to finish it or even enjoy it. But I sure did. I was kind of on the fence with the author’s other book I read but even if the book’s bad I try to at least give an author two tries because sometimes one book might just not be for me but others are. I’m glad I do that. I mean seriously, teenage years are hard. Hormones, new feelings, increased school work load, possibly getting jobs, figuring out how to balance it all…it’s hard work. It’s harder when your parent is in the spotlight. Or single parent home. Or a poor home trying to make ends meet.

This book highlights a lot of those and while being cliché at times, dealt with it really well. Our main character comes from a single parent home. Her mother is a politician and her sister is getting ready to move out for college. She’s never had sex and never really wanted to. Her mother and most of the town slut shame her next door neighbour. Because they have a large family of like 6 (or was it 8?) kids. So because their backyard is never perfectly clean to her specifications they’re “THOSE” people (which is ridiculous classist bullshit). And “THOSE” people remind her of the guy who got her pregnant and then shirked his duties and wasn’t a father or husband to/with her.

The mother makes EVERYTHING about her. Daughter goes through teenage rebellion? It’s about her. Other daughter who is good decides to do things she wants to do as opposed to what mum wants? It’s about her. Daughter dates a guy she doesn’t approve of? It’s about her. Even when it’s not she thinks she is. Not to mention daughter doesn’t really have much privacy from mother despite being a year away from being an adult mother still decides to randomly come in and re-organise her drawers to be colour-coded to her specifications.

Daughter falls for guy next door who is one of “THOSE” people. Mum instantly disapproves. Because she thinks she can control her daughter’s life. Mum gets involved with slimy jerk guy who decides to “help” run her campaign. Mum and guy have too many drinks at dinner. Mum refuses to sign slip for daughter to take drivers ed so when this happens and daughter is with them both she can’t be the sober responsible one driving everyone home. Mum makes HUGE mistake refuses to own up to it because in the words of her and her campaign manager/boyfriend she can do more good in a position of power than owning up to her mistakes.

Things fall apart, daughter has first sexual experience (and gasp! they actually go buy their own condoms AND use them), daughter falls apart with knowledge of what mum has done and refuses to take accountability for, eventually mum comes around in the end.

That’s the entire summary of the book. Oh and best friend to main character is caught cheating by her and confronted and friendship goes down the tubes and winds up helping brother of former friend get clean from drugs and alcohol.

Really, this was handled beautifully. And it is definitely a book I would recommend to teens.

Also the descriptions of sex. I initially got mad. Because it was a lot of comparing to how it happens in the movies but then when it finished with that and was describing how things actually were I got a lot less mad. It was about as awkward as you could imagine. And the fact that he cared enough to try not to hurt her and feel bad that he thought it was going to seriously hurt her was awesome.

Buy it here:

Amazon|Barnes & Noble


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