My Life Next Door questions whether family loyalty is more important than doing the right thing or even if morality is necessary for a clear conscience. It follows 17 year old Samantha Reed, who befriends her next door neighbours the Garretts, all 10 of them, in particularly athlete Jase one long summer, against her controlling mother’s expressed wishes.
‘If Jase knocked on the window again and told me we were going to take a motorcycle trip to California right now, I’d go. What’s the use of being the me I’ve always been when my mother is hardly recognizable?’
When Grace, Samantha’s mother accidently runs over Jack, Jase’s father one dark night she choose to runaway rather than stay at the scene of the crime because she had had several glasses of wine. As public knowledge of this would hurt her re-election campaign to be Connecticuts senator, leaving the Garrets struggling as he is unable to run the family hardware store increasing their level of financial difficulty, especially as the parents did not have medical insurance.
What I thought was True is set on an affluent island where Gwen Castle works as a cleaner and waitress at her dad’s fast food restaurant during the school holidays. One summer her biggest romantic mistake, blue-eyed Cassidy Somers returns to be a yard boy for the summer.
‘We did know each other. We were always at the beach or on the boat or doing those crazy scavenger hunts. I didn’t, um, look at you and just see your body. I sure as hell didn’t sleep with you because Spence told me to. That had nothing to do with anything but you and me. I asked you to the party because I liked you.’
18 year-old Nic, Gwen’s cousin is desperately trying to make Captain on the swim team, while juggling his relationship with Vivien, Gwen’s best friend. This means that it is often left up to Gwen to look after Emory, her younger brother who has additional needs while her parents work. When Emory nearly drowns it is decided that Cass should teach him how to swim, bringing Cass further into Gwen’s life.
The Boy Most Likely To is the sequel to my life next door this time following 19 year-old trainee nurse Alice Garret and Tim Mason, Jase’s best friend. The Garret’s are still struggling as Jack is still in hospital after the car crash, so the bills keep coming in giving Alice a lot of responsibilty as the oldest still living at home. Joel the Garret’s eldest child has recently moved out of their garage apartment to live with his girlfriend, leaving this semi-independent and private bedroom free.
‘Like he’s home when he’s with me. Or fuckin’ scarier still, I’m home with him. And Alice. And that’s the thing…you let people in …. they’re there. They’re goddamn part of you. Except that at any time – soon, in Cal’s case – anytime, in Alice’s – they could chip right off and float away.
After being given an ultimatum by his cold and distant father, Tim a recovering addict needs a place to stay. This brings him in even closer contact with Alice, especially when a surprise from 9 months ago arrives at the garage door, which Tim needs help dealing with.