Book Review: A Short History of the Girl Next Door by Jared Reck

Summary: The unrequited love of the girl next door is the centerpiece of this fiercely funny, yet heart-breaking debut novel.

Fifteen-year-old Matt Wainwright is in turmoil. He can’t tell his lifelong best friend, Tabby, how he really feels about her; his promising basketball skills are being overshadowed by his attitude on the court, and the only place he feels normal is in English class, where he can express his inner thoughts in quirky poems and essays. Matt is desperately hoping that Tabby will reciprocate his feelings; but then Tabby starts dating Liam Branson, senior basketball star and all-around great guy. Losing Tabby to Branson is bad enough; but, as Matt soon discovers, he’s close to losing everything that matters most to him.

Humorous and heart-wrenching, A Short History of the Girl Next Door is perfect for readers who fell in love with All the Bright Places' Finch or Stargirl’s Leo.

Release Date: September 2017
Age Group: YA, Contemporary
Source: Review Copy from Netgalley
Reviewed By: Nat

Review: I remember spotting this cover and thinking "yes, I need a good contemporary right now" which translates to I need a break from the paranormal. So, like I always do, I didn't read the synopsis and just dove right in... dang. I was not prepared for such an emotional rollercoaster! Darn you Jared Reck.

As a general rule of thumb I don't read self-help books, autobiographies OR books that make me cry. But sometimes I stumble on one that I think is worth the cry and A Short Story of The Girl Next Door is one.

I really loved the plot twits and turns. I honestly thought I had it figured out with sweet Tabby, I just knew who she was going to choose in the end and I even predicted her moment of realization.

I found that I was siding with Matt and fell right into his thinking that he was the only person worthy of heartbreak. The lesson or theme of this book was just beautiful; we can't simply comprehend the value of a single person in the lives of all the people they knew. I tend to be like Matt and want to shout "I FEEL THE WORST PEOPLE" but we know that isn't really fair and we have to share our grief with others.

The innocence of first love, loneliness and loss hit all of us and this is a great story that forces you to accept the unexpected and cherish what you are given. I would recommend this book to both contemporary and YA fans. I even think this is a god fit for high school literature classes because of the themes that it covers and there are several avenues for class discussions.

If you liked these, then you will enjoy A Short Story of the Girl Next Door.

Unlit Star by Lindy Zart
A Walk to Remember by Nicholas Sparks

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