The Garretts are everything the Reeds are not. Loud, numerous, messy, affectionate. And every day from her balcony perch, seventeen-year-old Samantha Reed wishes she was one of them…until one summer evening Jase Garrett climbs her trellis and changes everything. As the two fall fiercely in love and stumble through the awkwardness and awesomeness of first romance, Jase's family makes Samantha one of their own—even as she keeps him a secret from her disapproving mother and critical best friend. Then the 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 debut novel about family, friendship, first romance, and how to be true to one person you love without betraying another.
“MY LIFE NEXT DOOR is arguably one of the best young adult novels out there... Once you pick it up, you will not want to put it down”—Teen Reads
“Fitzpatrick perfectly captures the heady joys of first love while still dealing with everyday realities.”—VOYA
“Samantha's not a typical, angst-riddled teenager; she's mature, self-respecting and intelligent, as well as adorably dorky. I loved how the story unfolded and grew, taking on themes like acceptance, loyalty and responsibility in addition to the power of young love. A wonderful, uplifting and beautifully written book”— Kristan Higgins, New York Times Best-selling author, 2 time RITA winner
“The characters are dynamic and realistic. Strong narrative pacing adds to the whole sun-kissed package, which is on par with authors such as Sarah Dessen and Deb Caletti.”—School Library Journal
“Samantha and Jase have chemistry that crackles: it's the novel's tender, awkward, sexy, dizzy-happy portrayal of first love that really makes it soar.”—The Horn Book
When I get home from work the next day, sticky from walking back in the summer heat, my eyes immediately turn to the Garretts'. The house seems unusually quiet. I stand there looking, then see Jase in the driveway, lying on his back, doing some kind of work on a huge black-and-silver motorcycle.
I want to say right here that I am by no means the kind of girl who finds motorcycles and leather jackets appealing. In the least. Michael Kristoff, with his dark turtlenecks and moody poetry, was as close as I've gotten to liking a "bad boy," and he was enough to put me off them for life. We dated almost all spring, till I realized he was less a tortured artist than just a torture. That said, without planning, I walk right to the end of our yard, around my mother's tall "good neighbor" fence—the six-foot stockade she installed a few months after the Garretts moved in—and up the driveway.
"Hi there," I say. Brilliant opener, Samantha.
Jase props himself up on an elbow, looking at me for a minute without saying anything. His face gets an unreadable expression, and I wish I could take back walking over.
Then he observes, "I'm guessing that's a uniform."
Crap. I'd forgotten I was still wearing it. I look down at myself, in my short blue skirt, puffy white sailor blouse, and jaunty red neck scarf.
"Bingo." I'm completely embarrassed.
He nods, then smiles broadly at me. "It didn't quite say Samantha Reed to me somehow. Where on earth do you work?" He clears his throat. "And why there?"
"Breakfast Ahoy. Near the dock. I'm saving up for a car."
"My boss designed it."
Jase scrutinizes me in silence for a minute or two, then says, "He must have a rich fantasy life."
Gwen Castle's Biggest Mistake Ever, Cassidy Somers, is slumming it as a yard boy on her Nantucket-esque island this summer. He's a rich kid from across the bridge in Stony Bay, and she hails from a family of fishermen and housecleaners who keep the island's summer people happy. Gwen worries a life of cleaning houses will be her fate too, but just when it looks like she'll never escape her pastor the island—Gwen's dad gives her some shocking advice. Sparks fly and secret histories unspool as Gwen spends a gorgeous, restless summer struggling to resolve what she thought was true—about the place she lives, the people she loves, and even herself—with what really is.Read a Preview
“Fitzpatrick beautifully portrays a teenager's...dawning awareness of the power of actions and incautiously chosen words... Natural dialogue and authentic characters abound”—Kirkus
“Thoughtful and genuine love story...Evokes the dizzying heights of adolescent passion while remaining down-to-earth”—Publisher’s Weekly, starred review
“An exquisitely drawn portrait of what it means to be balanced on the line between what was and what may come. I was entranced.”—Katja Millay, Author of The Sea of Tranquility
“Utterly luminous. Huntley Fitzpatrick deftly balances the shimmering promise of summer, first love and yearning in an emotionally charged, beautifully written book.”—Kristan Higgins, NYT best-selling author
“What I Thought was True is hauntingly raw, romantic and beautiful.”—Katie McGarry, author of Crash Into You
“You’re the yard boy on island this summer?” I blurt out. “Wouldn’t you be better off—I don’t know, caddying at the country club?”
Cass lifts two fingers to his forehead, saluting sardonically. “This year’s flunky, at your service. I prefer yard man. But apparently I don’t get a choice. My first name has also been changed against my will.”
“Any boy who works on the Island is called Jose by Mrs. Partridge. Unless you’re a girl. Then you’re Maria.”
He folds his arms, leans back slightly, frowning. “Flexible of her.”
I’ve barely spoken a word to Cass since those spring parties. Slipped around him in school, sat far away in classes and assemblies, shrugged off conversations. Easy when he’s part of a crowd—that crowd—striding down the hallways at Stony Bay High like they own it all, or at Castle’s yesterday. Not so simple when it’s only Cass.
He’s squinting at me now, absently rubbing his bottom lip with his thumb. I’m close enough to breathe in the salty ocean-scent of him, the faint trace of chlorine. Suddenly that cold spring day is vivid in my mind, closer than yesterday. Don’t think about it. And definitely not about his lips.
Tim Mason is trying to get it right. Always the ready-for-a-good-time guy, he’s working to put his past behind him, staying in the apartment over his best friend’s parents’ garage, and picking up the pieces of his life. It wouldn’t be smart to fall for Alice, the ambitious, too-savvy sister of that same best friend. But Tim has never been known for making the smart choice. So when the unexpected consequences of his wild days come back to shock him, Tim finds himself in a situation that isn’t all it appears to be—that he never could've predicted... but maybe should have.
Returning to the world of the beloved and critically-acclaimed My Life Next Door comes a story about failing first, trying again, and having to decide whether to risk it all once more