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Author: Huntley Fitzpatrick Published: June 14th 2012 Publisher: Dial Books...

Author: Huntley Fitzpatrick
Published: June 14th 2012
Publisher: Dial Books For Young Readers
Categories: Contemporary, Realistic Fiction

Samantha’s life is dull compared to her loud and chaotic neighbor—the Garrett. Her mom is hell-bent on cleanliness and organization. She’s also a politician and reputation matters to her. Her mom won’t allow her to be friend the family next door. So Sam only admires the family from a distance. But Jase became her friend and eventually her boyfriend.

The Garrett was the real star of the book. I loved this family. Jase younger siblings Patsy the baby, and his 4-year old brother George were funny. Alice, his sister was really a strong girl who knows her medical jargon. And the leather jacket, bike riding older brother Joel was nice too, although not much seen in the book. I also liked the other kids: Duff, Andy, Harry. But of course, Jase was our main guy here. For his age he is responsible, he works for their family business and also training hard for football. He want to get a scholarship because a family as big as his, money for education is tough.

Unlike the Garrett’s, Samantha’s family member are just her, her older sister Tracy, and her mother. She didn’t know where her dad was. Her mom was uptight. Too uptight. It’s all about rules in their house. One time, she went home 10 minutes past her curfew and she almost grounded her. And she’s re-electing so they need to remain her good name. So I guess she found ironically a sanctuary in the Garrett’s household. Plus, Jase was there and she liked him a lot.

She described the feeling being there like Dorothy from Wizard of Oz: walking out of black and white and into technicolor . It was loud, messy home. But it was a real home. She can see there’s a real family there. I liked that she realized what was missing on hers. Before she was just watching them, now she was also in there. And I loved every minute she was with them. I was enjoying it until the accident happened. And it sucked the fun out.

I don’t find Jase’s father accident unnecessary. Of course, it’s not going to be a smooth sailing story until I reach the last page. I expect some complications. But it was really…complicated. And what a disgrace Sam’s mom did. And up until the end she blamed the Garrett (I mean WTF woman?!). But if were Sam I would have said it to Jase. It was his right to know. It was his father’s (and his entire family) life on the line. So I was thoroughly upset that instead of reaching to someone. She isolated herself and kept the truth from them. If it wasn’t for Tim, she wouldn’t get into her senses.

Speaking of Tim, I liked him. Is it me, or Tim was more a best friend to her than Nan was. I know that they have problems. The thing with Samantha she kept everything to herself. But I get why she was that. She was independent. With her mom high regards to her, it molded her to what she was.

As I was saying, Tim was character that left huge impression on me. He almost ruined his life with drugs, alcohol. He couldn’t keep simple part-time jobs. But when he became a member of her mother’s campaign group and became Jase’s friend; he was slowly changing for the better. In fact, I liked when he babysits the kids and especially the part when he helped Sam made the right decision. Who could have thought? It was him out of all people. Everybody deserves a second chance. 😉

It’s cute and fun story and I truly enjoyed it. The only reason I’m giving a four stars is because of the ‘problem’ happened in the last 20% of the book. It ruined the fun atmosphere it has from the start.

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