Review - A Short History of the Girl Next Door by Jared Reck @reckj @KnopfBFYR

A Short History of the Girl Next Door by Jared Reck
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: September 26, 2017
Date Read: November 26, 2017
Length: 272 pages
Source: Blogging for Books

Equal parts hilarious and heartbreaking, this unrequited love story will appeal to fans of Jennifer Niven, John Green, and Jesse Andrews.

Seriously, how can you see a person nearly every day of your life and never think a thing of it, then all of a sudden, one day, it’s different? You see that goofy grin a thousand times and just laugh. But goofy grin #1,001 nearly stops your heart?

Right. That sounds like a bad movie already.

Matt Wainwright is constantly sabotaged by the overdramatic movie director in his head. He can’t tell his best friend, Tabby, how he really feels about her, he implodes on the JV basketball 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 pissed-off 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 would fall into his arms. Maybe in the rain.

But that’s not how it works. Matt watches Tabby get swept away by senior basketball star and all-around great guy Liam Branson. Losing Tabby to Branson is bad enough, but screwing up and losing her as a friend is even worse.

After a tragic accident, Matt finds himself left on the sidelines, on the verge of spiraling out of control and 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.
My Review

This book really got to me.  I mean there were tears with this one.  Real tears!  I almost never shed tears over books but this one got through my shield.  I didn't really know a lot about this book going in.  I saw the book offered on Blogging for Books and decided to give it a try without reading any reviews for it.  I ended up really enjoying Matt's story.

Matt and Tabby have always been together.  Tabby lives just across the street from Matt and they have really grown up together.  Matt's mom watched Tabby while her dad worked since she was an infant.  They are really almost like family.  Except they are not family and Matt is not thinking of Tabby like a sister at all. 

Matt doesn't know what to think when Tabby starts handing out with Liam, a cool senior.  Tabby is only a freshman.  Matt really doesn't know how to handle this new development.  Suddenly Tabby has other places to be even though she still makes some time for Matt and his family.

I really liked the characters in this book.  They all felt so very real to me.   Being a teenager is tough and I think that this group of characters did a fantastic job at really illustrating the emotional ups and downs in their lives.  I also liked the adult characters in this book.  I thought that they were very supportive.  Sometimes that support was shown by remaining silent and other times speaking up. 

This book really did put me through a wide range of emotions and it did it well.  I thought some parts were rather comical while others broke my heart.  Some parts made me uncomfortable and other made me fondly remember my own childhood.  This story really packs quite the punch.

I would recommend this book to others.  I would recommend that other readers go into this book as blindly as possible since some spoilers could really lessen the book's impact.  This is Jared Reck's debut novel and I can't wait to see what he comes up with next.

I received a review copy of this book from Knopf Books for Young Readers via Blogging for Books.
About the Author

Jared Reck is a debut author. He received a BA in English from Clemson University, a Master’s in Educational Leadership, and recently completed graduate coursework in McDaniel College’s Writing for Children & Young Adults program. He lives in Hanover, Pennsylvania, where he’s an eighth-grade Language Arts teacher. Learn more about Jared on Twitter at @ReckJ.

Author Links: Website | Goodreads | Twitter | Facebook


  1. I like when a book can make me feel something. This sounds good.

  2. So back when this was first released Jared Reck had a book signing about 20 minutes from where I live and I missed it :( I'm still so sad about that, but anyhow, this one sounds fantastic! I always love when a book's characters feel real so I think that quality of this would really appeal to me. Great review, Carole!

    1. I miss so many book signings. They always seem to happen at a time that I have plans that cannot be changed. This was a great book!

  3. OMG!I'm almost teary-eyed just by reading the sypnosis. I absolutely love a good cry and this one sounds like a perfect read. Added to my TBR

    Vanessa @ Blushing Geek

  4. Hilarious and heartbreaking? Well I do admit that sounds interesting

  5. aww, this sounds like a lovely YA. Love that the author handles so many range of emotion

    1. There was even a few tears and I rarely tear up over anything.

  6. And now I am crying! I am glad you liked this book, because I loved it so much. It really was emotional, but I was happy to have Matt's wonderful family for support.

  7. Unrequited love is tough and losing friends at that age even tougher. I think I could sob over this one, too. Great review, Carole. :)

  8. Wow, it sounds like this one will stick with you for awhile. I've teared up over stories before, so I know how you feel. :) Great review. ~Aleen

  9. I am not in the right mindset for a tear-jerker, but wow this sounds good, I am marking for a later date :)

    1. Sometimes picking the right book at the right time makes all of the difference. I hope you enjoy this one when you do get to the right time to read it.

  10. I wonder how this one would affect me given what a cry baby I can be when it comes to books . . . This sounds really good, Carole. I will definitely have to check it out.

  11. Now this one sounds a bit like a hidden gem that I didn't know about it. Especially if it could get to you emotionally! But I also really like the sound of the adults being well represented and supportive. Sometimes the adult representation in YA is done so poorly.

    1. It was a really emotional read. I haven't seen it around as much as I would have thought I would.


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