Books

Crush-Worthy Wednesday: Jase Garrett from “My Life Next Door”

Jailene Adorno ‘16 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer

This week’s Crush-Worthy Wednesday is Jason “Jase” Garrett, the charming boy next door from Huntley Fitzpatrick’s YA novel, My Life Next Door. When protagonist, Samantha Reed, first came across the Garretts and their large family, they were moving into the house next door. From that moment on, she became fascinated by them because their lifestyle was vastly different from her own. However, as she got older, there was one Garrett that appealed to her more than the others and that was Jase.

Their friendship started one summer night when Sam was sitting on the rooftop perch of her house, observing the Garrett family from afar. Jase noticed her sitting up on the perch and decided to go up and talk to her. Thus begins their friendship, which then blooms into romance.

"My Life Next Door" Cover. Source: Penguin Young Readers Group
“My Life Next Door” Cover. Source: Penguin Young Readers Group

So what makes Jase Garrett so adorable and lovable? Well, let’s see, for starters he’s really honest and caring. You might expect that with seven brothers and sisters, he might crave attention or want nothing to do with his family. However, he cares for each and every one of his siblings, even his two older siblings, who are basically adults. In fact, if anything, he’s the most responsible of all the Garrett siblings. He always puts others before himself and it’s truly endearing when he does. He really has their best interest at heart.

Jase Garrett’s younger siblings’ ages range anywhere between fourteen and one. Whenever his parents’ hands are full, he’s eager to help whether it’s driving his siblings somewhere, keeping them safe, working at the family-owned hardware store, or just helping out around the house. Even when neighbors and other townspeople make rude comments about his parents and all of the children they decided to have, he doesn’t let that affect him. Instead, he just keeps his head up.

He’s a jack of all trades, really. He’s a swimmer and football player, but he’s also super handy and he knows a lot about cars. Jase is a character who truly understands the value of hard work and persistence. He doesn’t have a car of his own for a good portion of the book and often borrows his sister’s. However, instead of buying a new car, he was resourceful enough to repair an older one instead.

Jase is also a really good boyfriend. He treats Sam as his equal and doesn’t pressure her into anything that she’s not ready for. If anything, he challenges her to be the best that she can be. Although there is a social class divide between their families, Jase never makes Sam feel guilty about having or coming from money. It’s not something that he brings up in conversation; he doesn’t make it a conflict that should be dealt with throughout their relationship. He simply accepts her as she is.

So what makes Jase so lovable? Maybe it’s the fact that he’s really accepting. Or maybe it’s that throughout the entire book, he’s not trying to be anyone else but himself. This not only makes him super authentic, but it also makes him this week’s Literary Crush.

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