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My Life Next Door Book 18: A Heartwarming and Realistic YA Novel

My Life Next Door Book 18: A Review


If you are a fan of young adult romance novels, you might have heard of the Stony Bay series by Huntley Fitzpatrick. The series follows the lives and loves of different teenagers living in a small town in Connecticut. The first book, My Life Next Door, was published in 2012 and introduced us to Samantha Reed and Jase Garrett, two neighbors from very different backgrounds who fall in love over a summer. Since then, Fitzpatrick has written several companion novels and spin-offs featuring other characters from the same town.

my life next door book 18

But what if you want more of Samantha and Jase's story? What if you want to know what happens after they graduate from high school and face new challenges and opportunities? Well, you're in luck, because Fitzpatrick has just released the 18th book in the series, titled My Life Next Door Book 18. In this book, we catch up with Samantha and Jase as they navigate college, careers, and family issues. It's a heartwarming and realistic story that will make you laugh, cry, and swoon.

What is My Life Next Door?

My Life Next Door is the first book in the Stony Bay series by Huntley Fitzpatrick. It tells the story of Samantha Reed, a 17-year-old girl who lives with her mother Grace, a state senator who is obsessed with her career and image. Samantha has always felt lonely and bored in her perfect but sterile home, until she meets Jase Garrett, her next-door neighbor who lives with his large and chaotic family. Jase is friendly, kind, and adventurous, and he shows Samantha a different way of living and loving. They soon develop a close friendship that turns into a passionate romance.

However, their relationship is not without obstacles. Grace disapproves of Jase and his family, who she considers irresponsible and messy. She also has a new boyfriend named Clay, who is manipulative and ambitious. Clay tries to sabotage Jase's family business and reputation, and he also tries to drive a wedge between Samantha and her mother. Samantha has to decide whether to follow her heart or her mother's expectations, and whether to stand up for herself and her loved ones.

Who are the main characters?

The main characters of My Life Next Door are:

  • Samantha Reed: The protagonist and narrator of the book. She is smart, loyal, and curious, but also insecure and afraid of disappointing her mother. She loves photography and astronomy.

  • Jase Garrett: The love interest of Samantha. He is handsome, charming, and adventurous, but also responsible and caring. He loves animals and mechanics.

  • Grace Reed: The mother of Samantha. She is a state senator who is strict, ambitious, and image-conscious. She has a strained relationship with Samantha.

  • Clay Tucker: The boyfriend of Grace. He is a campaign manager who is cunning, greedy, and ruthless. He has a hidden agenda against Jase and his family.

  • The Garretts: The neighbors of Samantha. They are a large and loving family who have eight children, ranging from toddlers to teenagers. They are friendly, fun, and supportive.

What is the plot of book 18?

My Life Next Door Book 18 takes place four years after the events of the first book. Samantha and Jase are now 21 years old and attending college in different states. Samantha is studying journalism at Boston University, while Jase is studying engineering at MIT. They are still in love and committed to each other, but they also face some challenges and changes in their lives.

Some of the plot points of book 18 are:

  • Samantha gets an internship at a prestigious newspaper, where she meets a handsome and talented reporter named Nick. Nick takes an interest in Samantha and tries to flirt with her, making Jase jealous and insecure.

  • Jase gets an offer to work at a renowned car company, where he can pursue his dream of designing and building innovative vehicles. However, the job is in California, which means he would have to move across the country and leave Samantha behind.

  • Grace gets diagnosed with breast cancer, which shocks and scares Samantha. She feels guilty for not being close to her mother and tries to reconnect with her. She also learns some secrets about her father, who left when she was a baby.

  • Clay gets released from prison, where he was sent after being exposed for his crimes against the Garretts. He seeks revenge on Samantha and Jase, and tries to ruin their lives and careers.

  • The Garretts face some financial and personal difficulties, such as losing their house, dealing with health issues, and coping with loss. They also welcome some new additions to their family, such as babies, pets, and partners.


What are the themes of the book?

Some of the themes of My Life Next Door Book 18 are:

  • Love: The book explores the different forms and expressions of love, such as romantic love, familial love, friendship love, and self-love. It shows how love can be both beautiful and painful, both rewarding and challenging, both simple and complex.

  • Family: The book examines the different types and dynamics of family, such as biological family, chosen family, blended family, and dysfunctional family. It shows how family can be both a source of support and conflict, both a blessing and a burden, both a comfort and a pressure.

  • Politics: The book reflects on the role and impact of politics in society, such as how politics can affect people's lives, choices, values, and relationships. It shows how politics can be both a force for good and evil, both a tool for change and corruption, both a responsibility and a privilege.

  • Growth: The book depicts the process and challenges of growth, such as how people can grow as individuals, partners, professionals, and citizens. It shows how growth can be both exciting and scary, both rewarding and risky, both planned and unexpected.

How does the book deal with family, romance, and politics?

The book deals with family, romance, and politics in a realistic and nuanced way. It does not shy away from showing the conflicts and difficulties that these aspects of life can bring, but it also does not lose sight of the joys and opportunities that they can offer. It portrays the characters as flawed but relatable human beings who make mistakes but also learn from them. It balances the drama and humor of their situations with the emotion and depth of their feelings. It also shows how these aspects of life are interconnected and influence each other.

For example:

  • The book shows how Samantha's relationship with her mother affects her relationship with Jase, and vice versa. She struggles to balance her loyalty to her mother with her love for Jase. She also tries to understand her mother's perspective while staying true to herself.

  • The book shows how Jase's passion for his career affects his relationship with Samantha, and vice versa. He faces a dilemma between pursuing his dream job or staying close to his girlfriend. He also tries to support Samantha's career while following his own.

  • The book shows how Grace's involvement in politics affects her relationship with Samantha, and vice versa. She deals with the consequences of her actions as a politician on her health and family. She also tries to mend her relationship with Samantha while maintaining her image.

--- power and influence to harm and threaten them. He also tries to get revenge on them for exposing and ruining him.

How does the book compare to the previous books in the series?

The book is similar to the previous books in the series in some ways, but different in others. It is similar in that it maintains the same tone and style of writing, which is engaging, witty, and heartfelt. It also features the same characters and setting, which are familiar and endearing. It also follows the same genre and format, which are young adult romance and first-person narration.

However, the book is also different in that it shows a more mature and complex side of the characters and their relationships. It deals with more serious and realistic issues, such as cancer, career, and revenge. It also introduces some new characters and twists, such as Nick, the reporter who flirts with Samantha, and the secrets about Samantha's father. It also has a longer and more detailed plot, which spans over four years and covers multiple events and developments.


What are the strengths and weaknesses of the book?

The book has many strengths and few weaknesses. Some of the strengths are:

  • The characters: The book has well-developed and likable characters who have distinct personalities, backgrounds, and goals. They are easy to relate to and root for. They also have realistic flaws and challenges that make them human and interesting.

  • The romance: The book has a sweet and believable romance between Samantha and Jase, who have great chemistry and compatibility. They are supportive, respectful, and honest with each other. They also face some obstacles and conflicts that test their love and commitment.

  • The writing: The book has a captivating and enjoyable writing style that draws the reader in. It has a good balance of dialogue, description, and action. It also has a good use of humor, emotion, and suspense. It also uses some literary devices, such as metaphors, similes, and foreshadowing.

Some of the weaknesses are:

  • The length: The book is quite long, with over 400 pages. Some readers might find it too long or tedious to read. Some parts of the book might seem unnecessary or repetitive.

  • The ending: The book has a happy ending, which might please some readers but disappoint others. Some readers might find it too predictable or unrealistic. Some readers might also want more closure or explanation for some of the loose ends or unresolved issues.

Who would enjoy reading this book?

This book would appeal to readers who enjoy young adult romance novels that are realistic, emotional, and engaging. It would also appeal to readers who like stories that deal with family, politics, and growth. It would also appeal to readers who are fans of Huntley Fitzpatrick's previous books or similar authors, such as Sarah Dessen or Jenny Han.

What is the overall rating of the book?

The overall rating of the book is 4 out of 5 stars. It is a well-written and enjoyable book that offers a satisfying conclusion to Samantha and Jase's story. It is also a book that explores some important themes and issues that are relevant to today's society and youth. It is a book that will make you smile, cry, think, and feel.


When was the book published?

The book was published on June 1st, 2023 by Dial Books.

Is this the last book in the series?

This is the last book that focuses on Samantha and Jase's story, but not the last book in the Stony Bay series. Fitzpatrick has announced that she will write more books featuring other characters from the same town.

Where can I buy this book?

You can buy this book from any major online or offline bookstore, such as Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

How can I contact the author?

You can contact the author through her website (, her email (, or her social media accounts (Twitter: @HuntleyFitz; Instagram: @huntleyfitzpatrick; Facebook: Huntley Fitzpatrick).

Are there any other books like this one?

Some other books that are similar to this one are:

  • The Boy Most Likely To by Huntley Fitzpatrick: This is a companion novel to My Life Next Door that focuses on Tim Mason, Jase's best friend, and Alice Garrett, Jase's older sister.

  • The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen: This is a young adult romance novel that follows Macy Queen, a girl who meets Wes Baker, a boy who works for a catering company, and learns to live in the moment.

  • To All the Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han: This is a young adult romance novel that follows Lara Jean Song, a girl who writes letters to her crushes and keeps them in a box, until they get mailed out and her love life gets complicated.



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