Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Blog Tour (Review): A SHORT HISTORY OF THE GIRL NEXT DOOR by Jared Reck (YA)


by Jared Reck
Expected release date: September 26th, 2017
Published by Knopf Books for Young Readers (Random House Teens)
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
Format: Hardcover, eBook, and Audiobook 
Format read: ARC provided by the publisher.


SUMMARY

The unrequited love of the girl next door is the centerpiece of this fiercely funny, yet heartbreaking debut novel.

Matt Wainwright is constantly sabotaged by the over-dramatic movie director in his head. He can't tell his best friend, Tabby, how he really feels about her. He implodes on the basketball court, even though no one cares about the JV team. And the only place he feels normal is in Mr. Ellis's English class, discussing the greatest fart scenes in literature and writing poems about cantankerous candy-cane lumberjacks. 

If this were a movie, everything would work out perfectly. Tabby would discover that Matt's madly in love with her, be overcome with emotion, and fall in his arms. Maybe in the rain.

But that's now how it works. After a tragic accident, Matt finds himself left on the sidelines, spiraling out of control and in danger of losing everything that matters to him. 

From debut author, Jared Reck comes a fiercely funny and heart-wrenching novel about love, longing, and what happens when life as you know it changes in an instant.  

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. 


FAVORITE QUOTES

"I put my bag in the spare bedroom where I always sleep, then start setting the table in the kitchen while Gramma tends to the griddle. Because that's just what you do at Gramma's. You can suck at being a human in your daily life, but at Gramma's you set the table without being asked." - page 223, ARC 


MY REVIEW

I really don't know how to start this review, other than it is everything! And I hope that this book gets the recognition and praise that it deserves! This is an outstanding debut and I am already looking forward to reading more by this author soon... 

A word of caution, be prepared for some major gushing and I apologize ahead of time if some things may not fully make sense -  it's been 2 months since I've read this book, but it feels like I read it yesterday! The love I have for this story is strong... 

Told from a basketball-playing-poetic-big brother-best friend forever-teen boy, Matt's inner monologue is by far the truest psyche and temperament that I have ever seen in a book! Matt knows who he is and how he feels at all times, unfortunately, that doesn't all come out well whenever he tries to put it into words or actions, especially if he's upset or put on the spot. If he could, he would scream out to the world how much he adores his Tabby - his childhood best friend. So imagine how he feels when Tabby starts dating a guy named Liam, the guy that Matt is aspiring to be - the star player on the basketball team. Matt knows that Liam is a good guy, but feels threatened and unworthy and does not know how to deal with this new situation. He feels like he's lost Tabby already when she's clearly still there, but he just doesn't know how to deal with his emotions. But when an unexpected tragedy occurs and Matt's life is flipped upside-down, everything for Matt feels like a lie and unreachable. He doesn't know what to do except to act out and make things worse...  

This book has EVERYTHING you could ever want! The entire cast of characters is so wonderful, heartwarming and real! The author captures everyone's personality and delivers such genuine people - I can't express how wonderful it was to read such authentic personalities. The family dynamic, how they all relate and truly love each other. Matt's relationship with Tabby and Trip, how hard it is to be a teen boy nowadays, his true feelings for Tabby, his family and teachers; and then, how he deals with the shock of loss and finally seeing things in a bigger perspective and accepting that there is more than just what is in front of him... I can't say more or give specifics because I fear I may spoil important parts of the story. Just trust me when I say that every person, moment and feeling in this story is important and palpable! 

The writing is exquisite, insightful, beautiful... divine! 
And Matt's story will melt you and make you think twice about slowing down and appreciating every moment in your life, even the smallest ones. And how differently everyone deals with anger, loss and grief.

I highly recommend this book to anyone looking for a good laugh and a tissue-worthy heartfelt story! 


*I received an ARC copy of this book for a book tour from the publisher and my honest review. All thoughts here are my honest opinion and words.



ABOUT THE AUTHOR - Jared Reck

Jared Reck lives in Hanover, Pennsylvania with his wife and two daughters. 
He teaches 8th grade Language Arts, where he has been reading awesome books and writing alongside his students for the past twelve years. 

A Short History of the Girl Next Door is his first novel. 


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