Originally at The Secret Life of a Bookworm
This is one of those contemporary novels that I've seen everywhere. Every review I've seen for this, people have adored it. So I was really looking forward to diving into this book! I'm pleased to say, that I really loved it too!
It revolves around our main character Samantha who lives next door to the Garrett family. Samantha's mother disapproves of their family because they have 8 kids and their house/garden is always untidy. Samantha, however, has always had a fascination with watching the Garretts', and then she meets Jase.
I really liked Samantha. She doesn't seem to like living in her mother's perfect house bubble, but it isn't until she meets Jase that she starts to change. Meeting Jase was definitely one of the best things to happen to Samantha. She fit in so perfectly to the Garretts' chaotic house, and it was like home to her. She was brilliant with the kids and she just seemed to comfortable in a house surrounded by kids. She was a really nice, helpful and friendly character. However, there were times when I wish she'd grown a spine and told her mother where to shove her 'planned summer'. She's a 17 year old girl and she was still letting her mother call the shots on what she did and how much free time she had. There was also that incident at the end where I was pretty disappointed in her for not coming clean sooner. She knew, she kept it to herself, she did something awful and then eventually made up for it. But, other than that, I really liked her.
I adored Jase. The second he climbed up onto her roof, I fell in love. Jase is so swoon-worthy! He's sweet, funny, adorable, charming, but mostly I loved him for how dedicated he was to his family. He'd learned how to do handiwork which meant everything that broke he could fix for free, and he and his brothers and sisters got on so well! I loved being inside the Garrett household. It was so warm and cost, and full of love. Jase was just the most perfect character ever. If he we real, I'd marry him.
Out of the rest of the Garrett kids, I think George had to be my favourite. He was such a little cutie! Asking is Samantha would marry him - it was so cute! He was always running around telling people facts, and I adored that about him. I loved all of the Garrett kids but, apart from Jase, George is definitely my favourite.
I was slightly iffy on Tim at the start because he was a junkie and an alcoholic, but he changed and I really loved seeing him pulling himself together and starting to become a better guy. It was really nice to see.
Nan (Samantha's BF) on the other hand, I'd quite happily push her off a cliff. I hated her that much. At first it was just the odd comment and I thought nothing of it, but then it started to build up and I realised how much of a cow she actually was. So yes, I'd push her off a cliff and I wouldn't feel bad about it.
I adored the cutsey romance in this book. Samantha and Jace were so adorable <3 I found myself smiling and squealing a lot throughout the book. They were just SO DAMN CUTE! I don't even care that it was kind of insta-love, because I just adore them together so much!
I couldn't honestly believe what had happened near the end of the book to begin with. It was horrible to have to see the Garretts' go through that and I would have loved to punch Samantha's mother and Clay because they were both assholes - mainly Clay, but Samantha's mother wasn't that much better. I just couldn't believe the way Clay and her mother were talking! It was unbelievable. I'm glad that Samantha did what she did. Both of them deserve whatever they get.
I am slightly disappointed that I didn't get to find out what happened to Mr Garrett, see what happened to Clay and Samantha's mother and plus, I wanted more Samantha and Jase and more of the Garretts' because they're awesome! So yeah, I just wish that there had been a bit more.
Overall, this was such a cute and adorable contemporary that had some deeper storylines. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and I think it might end up being one of those books I re-read every year.