Because astronauts are really, really careful.”, George gives me a smile, the same dazzling sweet smile as his big brother, although, at this point, with green teeth. It seemed like that at the beginning. Cans of Play-Doh and stuffed animals and boxes of cereal clutter the green Formica counters. It takes her hours.”. And here’s what I’m thinking: You need to be more relatable.”. “It didn’t quite say Samantha Reed to me somehow. I was pretty sure that Jase was the oldest of the three, but did that mean he was the tallest? “What naptime story did you read him?”, “Mom. In heels. Here are a few of my faves…. When I throw the door open, they half stumble, then he braces his hand on the jamb and just keeps kissing away. Insanity.” She shook her head again, rolling her eyes heavenward. My Life Next Door By Kylie Schechtman Works Cited Fitzpatrick, Huntley. “The other lifeguard job is available at the club now that they’re opening the Lagoon pool. “Naptime,” he explains. It was tricky because they all had wavy brown hair, olive skin, and sinewy builds, like a breed all their own. I slide my phone out of my pocket under the table and text Nan: Mom kidnapped by aliens. And Andy, the middle girl, always seemed to be missing, her name called longest to come to the dinner table or pile into the car: “Annnnnnnnndeeeeeeeeee!”. “Yeah, well, I do have to move on. Maybe that will finally teach me to ignore the hype a tad more often. He cuts the engine, then strides over to us. “He says I look like one myself.”. Daniel got his essay in last year and he says it totally helped him ace MIT!!! Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. He stretches out his legs, folding his arms behind his head, oh-so-comfortable in what is oh-so-not his territory. “Do you want a big family?”. This is our second conversation. “No, you wouldn’t, Samantha. Is this going to help her win in Connecticut? Not really a balcony, more like a ledge. Reviewed in the United States on May 10, 2015. “So, Clay,” she continues. I won the Laslo for Literature prize! The Garretts were forbidden from the start. A terrarium with some sort of lizardy-looking thing. Kind of unnecessary to even offer one, since the B&T has had the same Friday night prix fixe dinner menu since dinosaurs roamed the earth in madras and boat shoes. Still, what would Mom think now? He’s still finding his roll fascinating, adding even more butter as he continues to chew. Chapter One. “Who’s this?”, “My ex-girlfriend. Mom? This is my house, my roof.”, “I don’t know. “Those people who walk up to my mom all the time, when she’s with our whole crowd, and say, ‘You know, there are ways to prevent this.’ As if having a big family was like, I don’t know, a forest fire, and they’re Smokey Bear. Columbia, here I come! Before my eyes, she’s turning into Scarlett O’Hara. ’Cause I can take a hint. Oh well a girl can dream! I know he can swim well—he was on the team at Hodges before he got expelled—but…. A pluses in every one. My Life Next Door was described as a ‘summer romance with depth’ by the Boston Globe, and Kirkus Reviews dotes the book ‘an almost perfect summer romance ’. “I’m thirsty too. Since that’s pretty much all she goes to anymore, it hardly narrows things down. And he never pees in it.”. Your Breakfast Ahoy job is how many mornings a week?” She gives the waiter pouring our ice water her charm-the-public smile. I walk closer to take a look. I’m shocked. My Life Next Door is the perfect guilty pleasures read with real emotional depth – and the first in three very collectable YA contemporary romances by Huntley Fitzpatrick. Fact is, I usually do make tea for Mom when she comes in late. When I turn back to Jase, he’s again beaming at me. “The image-cultivation thing has always seemed kind of fake-o and manipulative to me.”. Please try again. “You’re right. by Huntley Fitzpatrick. I look down at myself, in my short blue skirt, puffy white sailor blouse, and jaunty red neck scarf. You know sisters.”. George runs over and attaches himself to his dad’s leg. Don’t you, Samantha?”. I have been trying to read this story for about two weeks now and just can't seem to become invested in any part of it. Mom’s grocery shopping. George’s cries descend into hiccups, then depart altogether under the influence of a lime Popsicle. I do follow. Not good. And she only ever wanted to go to the mall on dates. Guess not, if I’m the big girl. He’s obviously a Garrett, and not Joel, but which one? Five boys and three girls by the time I turned seventeen. “But is she really? “I’m this many,” George holds up four slightly grubby fingers. I blink. Mom says, “You’re going to love Samantha, Clay. Abruptly I hear a loud screaming, wailing, banshee-like sound. That’s just awful, darlin’.”. When I get home from work the next day, sticky from walking back in the summer heat, my eyes immediately turn to the Garretts’. This is teen fiction at its most immersive. He looks at me a long time, again as though considering what to say. So I’m sitting in our vaulted living room, crunching the ice left over from my seltzer, skimming through Tracy’s stack of In Touch magazines. I’ve earned that,” Tracy says, leaning over her plate for her water glass. His face gets an unreadable expression, and I wish I could take back walking over. Samantha, this is my mom. More than once I’ve wanted to punch them.”. Lindy. Not the authoritative “this is how it will be” voice she typically uses at home or the syrup-mixed-with-steel one she wields on the job. It’s Clay Tucker. Now I can’t get it off.”, “She got to be too dangerous,” Jase says. And three people who would rather be somewhere else. “Hey, Mom.”. His hair is wavier when wet, and little drops of water drip onto his shoulders. She’s wearing a pink sunsuit and has one of those little ponytails that make one sprout of hair stick straight up on top, all chubby arms and bowed legs. In the least. Since the day I turned the last page in My Life Next Door I had to know more about Tim! “It’s a good idea to keep your eye on the guys who think they know the one true path,” Jase says reflectively. Even before they came, it was my place to sit and think. You’re seven years old. Chapter One . “Nope. Where on earth do you work?” He clears his throat. Right next door. Mom would sigh, shake her head, and extract the vacuum cleaner from the closet as if it were a Valium. “Seems to me,” he says, “you’re the kind of girl who’d make the coffee herself and let her mama relax.”. He sucks on his Popsicle meditatively for a few minutes, then asks, “Did you know that in space it’s very, very cold? “We-ell,” he responds finally. Not my favorite way to spend an evening, doing time, waiting to get bailed out.”. In addition to the sun-streaked, wavy chestnut hair and even white teeth, Jase Garrett has green eyes, and one of those quirky mouths that look like they are always about to smile. She’s also quite pretty. “If you’re Daniel, Nan’s out with another guy. One of those tropical habitats they have at zoos? Or at least be really careful about the bedtime reading.”, I need to get out of this guy’s room. So’s the rest of the family. If you can give me the names, numbers, and addresses of these girls you’re sharing a house with, and your hours at work.”, “Gracie.” Clay Tucker chuckles, voice low and amused. Instead, she gives that little girlish laugh again, toys with a pearl earring, and says, “I’ll just make coffee.”, She whirls toward the kitchen, but before she can take a step, Clay Tucker comes up to me, putting his hand on my shoulder. Finally: “Pretty quiet around here today.”, I look around again. My Life Next Door is a cute, light summer read. You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition. Even though it wasn’t what I thought it would be, I ended up liking it. Finally I nod, turn, and go to the kitchen. The light in their bedroom, where the baby sleeps, is still on, even though it’s so late. “Mom’s finally found someone who turns her on. A lot. Sorry. I peer in the living room window and see Mr. and Mrs. Garrett. There’s a table big enough for all the Garretts to eat at, but not big enough to contain the piles of newspapers and magazines and socks and snack wrappers and swim goggles, half-eaten apples and banana peels. He raises an eyebrow at me, as though unclear why this would be embarrassing. The other part instantly feels chagrined, the way I do at school when I’ve forgotten to do the extra credit math problem, or at home when I shove my newly laundered clothes into a drawer unfolded. Ever since her rebellious phase resulted in a year of therapy, she feels qualified to hang out her own shingle. “Let her have some free time.”. “I’m so, so sorry,” I whisper to Jase, declining the remaining Popsicle in the box, orange. “And how could I know you were an astrophysicist?”. She’s proud of our house, renovates rooms all the time, tweaking the already perfect. “We hit the three-hour mark at the store with no one coming in.” Mr. Garrett brushes a strand of her hair away from her face, tucking it behind her ear. The 700 Club. She lights up the way I’ve seen girls at school do, sighting their crushes across crowded rooms. And so, because today is a Friday, here we all are, Tracy, Flip, and me, walking through the imposing oak doors behind Mom. I can’t reach my best friend, Nan, who’s been completely distracted by her boyfriend, Daniel, since school ended last week and he graduated. “Apparently soon to be your sister-in-law.” He cocks an eyebrow. Maybe it’s because Tim is a waste and Nan is MIA. Pick up, pick up, I beg the other end of the phone. “We talked astronauts,” I explain, just as the door opens and in comes Mrs. Garrett, staggering under the weight of about fifty grocery bags. My Life Next Door Huntley Fitzpatrick No preview available - 2016. Lucky guy. She played with drugs and drinking, she shoplifted, she slept with too many boys. Blurb definition is - a short publicity notice (as on a book jacket). A gray-and-black furry indistinguishable rodent-like beast. "The Garretts are everything the Reeds are not. She probably knows all about black holes.”, “Well,” I say, “I, um, know that they’re stars that used up all their fuel and then collapsed inward, due to the pull of their own gravity, and, um, that once anything falls into them it disappears from the visible universe.”, Jase scoops him up, bare bottom and all. “Where’s the baby? “Just invites a man to put his feet up after a long hard day.” Mom beams. It’s my turn!” George’s face crumples. More families, young families, are moving into our state all the time. It went downhill from there. Nan sweated over it, and I thought the topic was such a strange choice because I know she hates Catcher in the Rye—“All that swearing. I finally caved in and bought a copy a couple of weeks ago, and I'm so glad I did. “Clay’s worked on national campaigns. There was an error retrieving your Wish Lists. I’m left with George. Mrs. Mason had raised her eyebrows and smiled, then turned away with compressed lips and a baffled shake of her head. 0:28. I briefly dated this guy Charley Tyler last fall too, until we realized that my liking his dimples and him liking my blond hair, or, let’s face it, my boobs, wasn’t enough basis for a relationship. If he can help the campaign, so much the better. He has very white teeth. Joel, Alice, Jase, Andy, Duff, Harry, George, and Patsy. “Relax.” Clay puts his hand on her forearm, squeezes it. So here’s my idea: Grace Reed works hard for your family because family is her focus. “What do I do, then?” A furrow forms between Mom’s eyebrows. “The courts have made it absolutely legal to breast-feed wherever you want. As I measure out coffee grounds, I can hear murmurs and low laughter coming from the living room. She has curly black hair in a ponytail and a serious expression. Mom squints at him as though he’s speaking a foreign language, so maybe not. He walks around slowly, examining the gigantic paintings of landscapes on the white, white walls, taking in the so-puffy-you-can’t-sit-on-it beige couch and the immense armchairs, finally settling into the one in front of the fireplace. And it gives you more room to focus on the campaign.”, Mom scans his face for a moment, then appears to find some invisible signal there. Whereas Jase is from a family than can struggle for … “Reasonable,” Jase tells her. What do you think?”. “She also knows that there are none anywhere near Connecticut. Then I feel a steadying hand on my ankle and hear a rustling sound, as someone, some guy, climbs up the trellis and onto the roof, my own secret place. Then suddenly, I hear a voice, right near me. She’s lucky she’s got Daniel, and that’s pretty fucking sad.”, “Around somewhere,” Tim offers helpfully. Het up? All I need now is for Jase to take off his shirt. I’d forgotten I was still wearing it. “Then you’re golden.”. “Can I speak to her now?”. “My unsafe zone,” I overheard Mrs. Garrett explain one day at the supermarket when Mrs. Mason commented on her burgeoning belly, “is twenty-two months. No. I’m saved from the distinct possibility I’ll lose control and pour Clay’s still-hot coffee from his big ol’ mug onto his lap. This one was just not for me. I love him,” I say. My mom makes good lemonade.” I stand up and start backing away. I pressed my face to the gap in the slats, watching in amazement as two parents and five children spilled from the sedan, like a clown car at the circus. It’s George, now wearing boxer shorts but no shirt. Weaned too early,” Jase says. Instead he answers “Jase Garrett,” reaching for my hand to shake it, as though we’re at a college interview rather than randomly sitting together on my roof at night. There’s nothing on TV I want to see, no place in town I feel like going. I imagine Tim sitting in that lifeguard chair and wince.

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