A Short History of the Girl Next Door

Author: Jared Reck

Publication Date: September 26th, 2017

Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers

Synopsis: 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.


I love love stories, and deep down, I really find myself drawn to stories in which there is unrequited love that one of the characters tries to come up with ways to tell the other person how they feel, and try to make them fall in love so there can be a happily ever after.

A Short History of the Girl Next Door is the kind of book that is a great story in that kind of category – there is plenty of humor here, along with a great story that you can’t help but love and find yourself rooting for the main character every step of the way.

Matt’s character is helplessly in love with his next door neighbor, and she doesn’t know it.  So Matt sets off to try and get her to see that his feelings are there, and spends his time in English class writing cute poems and essays where he feels like he can be himself and let all of his feelings out.

I loved Matt’s character – he’s full of humor and that teen angst (and love for the girl next door) that you really find yourself able to connect to in YA.  His character was such a breath of fresh air – he was lighthearted and fun, and made me really want to keep reading.

The plot of the book itself might seem like it’s been done before, but it’s still so much fun and I honestly found myself drawn into the story from the very beginning.

This book was such a fun read, especially if you usually a read a lot of issue driven YA or those with a darker feel.  I’ve been reading a lot of those and a lot of fantasy lately so this was definitely something a little different, and I was really able to enjoy it.  I actually finished reading this in a single afternoon.

Note:  I received a copy of this book from the publisher via the Blogging for Books program in exchange for an honest review.

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