on June 13th 2013
Genres: Young Adult, Romance
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“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?
A dreamy summer read, full of characters who stay with you long after the story is over.
This was on its way to being a 5 plus star read…until the end because there really wasn’t one, or at least not one that satisfied me. I only detracted a half a star, because the rest of the book is amazing. I enjoyed the comparisons and stereotypes of two completely different families.
Samantha is a sweet, determined young woman who is showcased like an object by her mother and at the same time sheltered. After many years of observing the family next door, she finally meets Jase, the third oldest in the Garrett clan. He approaches her as she’s sitting on the roof ledge by her window observing the life going on next door, so different from the one she lives. This loving, loud, energetic family embraces and welcomes her into the fold and Sam thrives on it. She falls in love with them and Jase. He is the type of boy parents dream that their daughter will bring home, but Samantha’s mother can’t see past the image of the large family with the unkempt yard and their somewhat chaotic life. She can’t see how good and loving these people are because her mind is clouded by the stereotype; messy yard plus large brood equates to trailer trash! WRONG, WRONG, WRONG!! Fortunately, Sam is a better person than her mother could ever dream to be and sees the Garrett’s for what they really are; a messy yard, large brood, chaotic life and an overabundance of LOVE for each other and living!
It is basically a clean romance, however, Jase and Sam do explore their sexual desires. The author was very responsible by making them responsible. Jase and Sam take their time with this life-changing event, and the author injected some humor to lighten the mood. The condom conversation was priceless! The intimacy they experience with each other is vaguely descriptive, very sweet and not overly sexual.
A heart-rending, devastating event occurs in the story that impacts both families. I don’t really want to say too much, other than I felt like someone punched me in the stomach, it was so painful to read about! Here’s where I had a problem, not with the tragic circumstances, but with the ending. I was so mesmerized by these two families and the author captivated me with her storytelling and then tragedy strikes! It changes everything and poor Sam is torn as to where her loyalties lie, it becomes the focal point of the story. So much is addressed but the outcome isn’t…not in respect to the individual it affected the most and not enough to satisfy this reader. I have no doubt that others will feel the same. I felt slightly cheated and anxious after turning the last page. There was also a matter that arose between Sam and her best friend Nan that was not resolved. A chapter or two more and it would have changed my entire view on the book and made it a solid 5 star read!
Even with that being said, for a debut book, it’s terrific, and the author is very talented. Jase’s younger brother George is one of the most memorable characters I ever had the pleasure to read about, and I adored him, as I did the entire Garrett brood. Tim, Nan’s brother is my hero. He went from loser to savior; I would love to read a book about him!
Even though I was somewhat bewildered with the way this story wrapped up, I would still recommend this book, there is so much good it’s well worth reading. Jase and Sam get their HEA, but so many questions remained unanswered and I’m hoping they might be addressed in a follow-up book.