Summary: If high school freshman Matt Wainwright’s life were a movie, things would be going a lot more smoothly. He would be able to dedicate more time to the amazingness that is Mr. Ellis’s English class, writing poetry and analyzing fart scenes. He’d be a varsity starter on the school basketball team. He’d be able to confess his true feelings for his best friend, Tabby. But as much as Matt’s mind acts like it’s a film director, Matt’s life is far from a movie in this debut, emotion-filled novel from Jared Reck.
My Rating: 5/5 Stars
Cover Lust?: Yes! I want a print for my wall please!
A Short History of the Girl Next Door was a really refreshing young-adult read for a multitude of reasons. I often don’t read books told from a male point-of-view and I enjoyed Matt’s narration. We get to really know Matt and our other characters before anything too climatic happens. I will say without going into too spoilery of details that there is a tragic turning point within the novel, which caught me off guard. I figured something ‘big’ would happen, as the book’s blurb hints at, but it wasn’t at all what I was expecting- kudos to Jared Reck for leaving me unsuspecting! I alsofound A Short of History of the Girl Next Door to be the perfect length- the finished copy clocks around 270 pages- and by no means would I shorten or extend its length.
A huge reason why I gave A Short History of the Girl Next Door a 5 out of 5 stars is because I had such an incredible experience reading it. I read the book over one weekend, and it felt great to be able to read a book over 2 days—I might’ve ignored some finals prep by doing so, but I haven’t been able to do this since the summer! I just found myself so invested in the story that I didn’t want to put it down. I also received an ARC copy of A Short History of the Girl Next Door at Book Con 2017, and let me tell you, this is one of the nicest ARC/paperback copies I own—the book just feels nice to feel, guys! Anyways….
Overall, I loved A Short History of the Girl Next Door for its incorporation of family, friendship, love, school, sports, everyday life, and tragedy. It’s a lot to unpack and Jared Reck does an amazing job of pulling it off. You really get a feel for the characters and find yourself laughing and crying alongside them. I often don’t cry when I read, but one particular conversation between Matt and Mr. Ellis brought tears to my eyes. A Short History of the Girl Next Door is a book I could easily see being implemented into high school English classes, especially for first-year students. I think it’s a very well written, coming-of-age novel with a lot of great moments for analysis, as well as aspects that young-adults could readily relate to.
Have you read A Short History of the Girl Next Door? Share in the comments!