Publisher: Dial Books for Young Readers
Age Group: Young Adult
“One thing my mother never knew, and would disapprove of most of all, was that I watched the Garretts. All the time.”
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 terrace and changes everything. As the two fall fiercely in love, Jase's family makes Samantha one of their own. Then in an instant, the bottom drops out of her world and she is suddenly faced with an impossible decision. Which perfect family will save her? Or is it time she saved herself?
In all of the books I’ve read, I don’t think there has ever been a family I’ve loved more than the Garretts. From the beginning, even before Samantha really gets to know them, I could definitely see why she spent so much time watching them. Sam lives a very clean and controlled life. Her mother has very specific ways she wants things to be and isn’t very pleased when things go outside of her lines. The Garretts are a big family, full of life and there is always something going on. Jase Garrett introduces himself to Sam one night and it changes everything. The more time she spends with Jase and his family, the more she falls in love with them.
There are a lot of characters in this book and Huntley Fitzpatrick has given them each their own distinctive personality. While reading I felt like I was really getting to know every character, even if I didn’t like what was learning about them. A lot of times the younger sibling characters are sort of generalized in a book and just serve as background to the story, but the younger Garretts were just as fleshed out and some of my favorite characters to date. Especially little George, he was such an awesome kid, I just wanted to hug him.
There is such a contrast between the way Samantha and her family live, and the way the Garretts live. Samantha’s mother is all about appearance and order, she wants things a specific way and expects her daughters to comply. While the Garretts lives are more about doing what makes you happy and living their lives. I really liked how Samantha fit in with Jase’s family so quickly. Considering all of the horrible things her mother had said about them over the years, she might not have been so comfortable in their world, but it was just one more thing to prove that she is her own person and not her mother’s clone.This book tells an amazing story about family, friendship, tragedy, love and finding out who you want to be. I loved every page and I can’t wait to go back and re-read it. I am such a fan and I can’t wait for more books by Huntley Fitzpatrick :0)