Date Read: November 23 - 26 2012
Release Date: June 12th 2012
Publisher: Dial Books For Young Readers
"A gorgeous debut about family, friendship, first romance, and how to be true to one person you love without betraying another
“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."
The perfect summer read! I loved everything about this book. Despite the serious issues it dealt with concerning family and the much more controversial, morality, I still found it to be a really relaxing, chill and refreshing read.
When I first picked up this book, I thought it would be a light read about summer love - first crushes and small differences in family but this turned out to be something so much bigger. And it was perfect.
Sam's life looks easy and perfect at first - her mother, being a senator, has given Sam and her sister Tracy quite a luxurious life with their immaculate house and private schooling. Sam has good grades, she's pretty and doesn't seem deprived in anyway. I thought I'd get annoyed at her character because she seemed so perfect but I really liked her. Sam has so much strength and it really comes through near the end and I admire her so much for that. From the beginning it's seen she secretly wishes she was one of the Garrett's next door and who can blame her? They're like a real family - where her mother is always away doing campaigns, Mr and Mrs Garrett are always at home for their kids. There's warmth, affection, attention and liveliness the Reeds lack.
Along comes Jase Garrett, the sweet boy next door who pulls Sam into his world. He's not the bad boy I've been accustomed to reading about and fallen in love with lately. Rather, he's kind, caring, the "fixer" of the Garretts and this sweet, honest six foot two of amazing just swept me off my feet. I loved the solidarity of his character; the way him and the rest of the Garretts are raised just ooze this air of goodness! I loved the moment he first appeared:'"Hey," he says again, sitting down next to me as though he knows me well. "Need rescuing?"' Any other boy and it would seem cocky and over-confident the way he just comes up her trellis and plops down next to her, but the way Jase does it, I don't know, it felt so sincere.
And the rest of the Garretts! Love them love them love them. There's something unique about each of them but put them together and there's really this sense of family that comes through when times are hard. Joel with the bad boy image and motorcycle becomes responsible when required; Alice with her ever-changing hair colour and constant flings can turn on her nurse training and mothering on a whim. I really liked that about the older kids - being able to put everything aside for their family as they'd been raised with so much love. And ah the sweet younger kids. My favourite from the moment I met him was 4 year old George. WHAT 4 YEAR OLD TALKS LIKE THIS: "Did you know that in space it's very, very cold? And there's no oxygen? And if an astronaut fell out of a shuttle without his suit he'd die right?" While sucking on a popsicle right after having wet the bed because he dreamed about black holes. YES A 4 YEAR OLD DREAMING ABOUT BLACK HOLES. I thought black holes was something from a kid show but nope, this kid is a walking and talking National Geographic magazine. How adorable is that? -Gushes- I want a kid a like that omg. But yes all the Garretts have something so lovable about them!
Anyway, as I'm reading away assuming this is a chill summer read and thinking I really need a glass of Grace Reed's home made lemonade with lemon zest and mint ice cubes... shit gets real. And I'm like scrambling around going WOAH WHAT DID THAT JUST HAPPEN OHSHIT. I thought I knew right from wrong, left from right, up from down. But not after what happens. And poor Sam is left wondering which choice will leave the most and least impact. Fitzpatrick uses another incident that deals with morals earlier on to foreshadow and ease the reader into this bigger issue which I loved. I could totally understand the seriousness of the issue and how Sam was so confused about the RIGHT thing to do (I mean we think it's right... but heck). I put myself in her shoes and really, my own family versus the family of the boy I loved? It's betrayal either way. The way this was written really conveyed the turmoil Sam faces.
Now, the way this was written. I haven't seen a writing style like this since The Fault in Our Stars. This a lot lighter, but the wit and humour interwoven into serious matters at hand made me fall in love this book from the first page.
Things characters say like "Have you ever wondered what the hair on your toe serves?" or "Where's the baby? In the toolbox?" Had me cracking up throughout the whole book. The little bits of sarcasm made this such an enjoyable read and unparalleled with any book I've ever read.
Everything about this book was perfect - the pace of the romance, the tone/wit/humour/sarcasm and the amazing plot! It really made me question my morals. When we're not the ones facing the issue, we think it's so easy to pick the "right" side. I loved how this book made me feel, laugh, but most of all THINK.
What I didn't like about this book: that it had to end... but all summers end aye?