Review – A Short History of the Girl Next Door

A Short History of the Girl Next Door

Jared Reck

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5 ★ –   Sweet, Hilarious and Painfully Gorgeous
PUBLISHED BY Knopf Books for Young Readers SEPTEMBER 26, 2017

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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.


A Short History of the Girl Next Door by Jared Reck is a hilarious, sweet, and heart-breaking story that hit me so hard I don’t know what to do with all these FEELS.

This book is SO AMAZING!! The emotional depth is wonderfully executed from beginning to end. The plot is interesting, heartfelt, and utterly beautiful. The writing is also painfully gorgeous and riveting. I should warn you now… be prepared with a box of tissue and maybe some of your favorite comfort food. I thought I knew just how the story would turn out, but Reck surprised me with the most achingly astounding plot twist. I actually went back and reread that one part just to make sure what happened really happened. And it did…and it shattered my heart and made me hurt so much… BUT I LOVED IT!


The characters are absolutely fantastic — well-developed, realistic, and perfectly flawed. At first, I wasn’t quite sure I would like Matt, but by the end, he’s definitely stolen a big chunk of my heart. While he’s a bit awkward, sometimes frustrating, and quite angsty, Matt is also genuine, incredibly sweet, and adorable in every way. I really enjoyed seeing the story unfold through his eyes. His voice is so raw and relatable and my heart just broke for him. I loved Tabby! She’s such a wonderful character — caring, loyal, smart, and beautiful. Tabby also has this amazing lively personality that just makes everyone want to be near her. I could definitely see why Matt fell so hard for her. Even his family members, specially his little brother, Murray, love Tabby. Speaking of Murray, he is so cute and spunky and I just wanted to hug him. The other supporting characters are pretty awesome and adorable — Matt’s grandparents, his parents, his best friend, Tripp, and the wonderful teachers.

This book seriously wrecked me, but in a terribly wonderful way — painful to read, emotional all the way, and so incredibly full of heart. Matt’s unrequited love for Tabby made me feel so many emotions.  It made me smile, laugh, and cry… then cry some more. (cue the waterworks!) I had to stop a few times to breathe and get myself together. My eyes hurt and swelled up from crying so much… but I honestly wouldn’t have it any other way. I loved spending time with Matt, his family, and Tabby, and yeah… I really miss them all.

A Short History of the Girl Next Door is a fantastic story full of heart, friendship, love, loss, and never-ending supply of nerds. It’s beautiful, funny, and sad, but so real in every way. Definitely recommend you pick this up if you’re in the mood for some epic FEELS.

I received an advanced reader copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for a fair review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Thanks for reading and I hope you’ll add this heartwarming story to your TBR! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving Week!

Sincerely Karen Jo

jaredreckAbout the Author 

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 debut novel

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