A Short History of the Girl Next Door by Jared Reck (ARC Review)

19623309_302582186818672_5611316961964195840_n(1)A Short History of the Girl Next Door by Jared Reck

Release Date: September 26, 2017

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes and Noble

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.

Well, I cried, so well done, book, well done. You made a non book crier shed a few tears because you hit so ridiculously hard in the feels.

Only issue I had with this book: the slow beginning. Had I not known that there was going to a bit kind of twist that had me laughing one minute to crying to another, this book might have been another kind of rating. Don’t get me wrong: the beginning was enjoyable, and it is the perfect way to set up the story. However, it felt…well, a little too contemporary at times, meaning just too much everyday. And I was feeling eh. However, that is literally the only complaint I have about the book.

What I did enjoy was a lot more of this book. There were so many different categories where it wins, but where it shines the most is emotional depth, characterization, and its realness. Jared Reck has a bright and promising career in YA fiction if this is just his debut work, because I’ll certainly be picking up any of his next few books.

Let’s talk about the characters, first. I loved Matt and Tripp and Tabby. I even loved the secondary characters. Grampa and Murray killed me, and even the lovable teachers and Matt’s parents were amazingly done. I’ve not had a cast of characters this richly developed in a long time. The best part: while they interesting and different, they were also wonderfully real. They were so realistic that they felt that they could be people I know and not just these imaginary people that an author made up for fun. Matt was such an amazing character. He was heartfelt, had his share of flaws, and honest in his hurt, jealousy, and more. More than several times, I sat there and said, I would totally react that way. So relatable. And it’s so easy to see how Matt fell in love with Tabby. Such a sweetheart.

The plot was interesting. Obviously, we’re getting a few different things. We’re getting Matt in love with his best friend, trying to adjust to life as a rising basketball star, and a newcomer in his relationship with Tabby. Then comes along a giant twist that took this book in a whole different reaction. I had a few guesses at what the plot would eventually be, but things still took me by surprise, and I found myself absolutely astounded at where Reck took it. It was brilliant (even though I had misty eyes for a ridiculously long time – thanks there, Mr. Reck D:).

anna
Hi Tabby! Wait…I mean, Anna.

Obviously, emotional depth was key to this story, and Reck does it well. I don’t cry in books. I’ve read books that people said that they’ve sobbed over, and I sat there as dried eyes as the desert. This book…this book gave me some majorly watery eyes, and I kind of hate it a bit because it ruined my heartless book reading skills. Wow, this packed an emotional punch, and it ruined my feels for a bit because it totally killed them.

Overall, this was a wonderfully done book that was skilled in so many ways. It has so much heart and emotion that I can’t even deal. Its characters are brilliant and real, and it twists and turns on you. The only issue was the slow beginning, but once you get past that, it’s wonderful. Four brilliant stars for this book (so, so close to being a 4.5), and an Anna rating for the laughs and Tabby’s red hair (and because I totally pictured Tabby as Anna, just saying)!

four-stars

36 thoughts on “A Short History of the Girl Next Door by Jared Reck (ARC Review)

  1. Wasn’t this book just amazing!! I do tend to cry pretty easily at books, but this one took it to a whole new level. I straight up sobbed through the second half.
    I agree with pretty much everything you said here. The emotional depth that Reck created in this book was amazing, and all of the characters were relatable in one way or another (especially Matt… even though I have very little in common with him irl).
    Great review!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh my goodness! This definitely sounds like a book I NEEEEEED to read! I’ve been waiting for you to post this review, and it was wonderful. It definitely sounds like it hit you hard in the feels. I’m so excited to get to this one now. Hopefully soon!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. AHHHHHHHHHHHH that is fantastic to hear, Krysti!! I’m so glad that you’ll have some time to read a bunch of books that you have wanted to get to and not feel the super stress. I’ve been trying to request less and read a lot more on my physical TBR so it should be interesting for me, too, since it will be wide open. XD

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Woot woot! 😀 Is…is this the book restraint that we thought was mythical? It is super hard, but at least you will have a little break for the next few months. 😀 Super excited for you, though, because I know how hard it is. 😀

        Liked by 1 person

      1. Still going strong on the not requesting. I think I enjoy books more after they are released, and I can take my time with them. There are still specific ARCs that I definitely NEED to try to acquire, but I want to try to stick with just those. How are you doing?

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yayyyyyyy! I’m very much getting to that point, too. But that is such a brilliant point. Instead of just trying to rush and get them to just review them, you can actually enjoy and take your time with it all. But ooooh yes. And good! I’m finding myself having a struggle with ebooks lately, so I’m kind of lucky in that regard. XD And physical arcs, I’m failing in that regard. But I’m really enjoying tackling the physical TBR.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. YES. My friend and I were discussing it the other day, and she’s like, but you don’t actually get to savor anything? She’s like, you’re reading everything so fast, and you don’t get to absorb everything. The 100 book pace really allows you to do it more. Is it the obligations part or do you feel the pressure for the content?

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Yes! That’s exactly it! I’ve definitely got myself into a whole with ARCs I’ve requested, so that’s mostly my fault. I just need to not do that anymore, or at least only do it when it’s a book I’m truly dying to read. I mainly stick with blog tours for content anymore. What about you?

        Liked by 1 person

      5. Oh no! But yes! That works out, though. And that will let you have more book sanity in the long run. It’s so tempting, though. But I’m thinking it’s the pressure right now. Like, I’m really trying to do the whole don’t request unless it really sounds like something I’m going to really enjoy and not be like, OOOH BOOK, I’mma request. Because I think I got myself into a few super intense reading slumps like that.

        Liked by 1 person

      6. I’m doing wonderful! I’m just about the same. The other day I was like, oh, I should go on Netgalley and I’m like ehhhhhhhhhhhh, never mind. I’m staying so strong. We’re going to kill it, Krysti! Do you have a lot mores ARCS you have to read for the rest of the year or can you kind of keeping going like this?

        Liked by 1 person

      7. Way to go, lady! I feel like we have achieved our book chill! I’m so proud of us! I’m on some mailing lists for physical ARCs from publishers, so I’ll still have those, but I usually only need to read a few per month, so it isn’t too much really. 🙂 I’m having a lot of fun getting in more pleasure reading now. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      8. Okay, that is good! They don’t send out as many as the egalleys and send them out far enough in advance so I think the book chill will continue on. 😉 But yes! You don’t realize how much you miss it until you’re doing it again?

        Liked by 1 person

  3. You say you are not a crier and you cried, so then I will be a puddle, because I cry from the news, songs, TV shows, you name it. I had this one on my TBR for this week, but it will probably be read next week. So I guess I should get my tissues ready. Great review.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I thought this book was SO good, and the plot so unexpected! One of my favorite things about the book was all the of the characters as well. I loved Grampa and Mr. Ellis, along with just about everyone else. Great review!

    Like

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