***I received this book for free in exchange for my honest review! As always my opinions are my own and I give honest reviews no matter what!***
Title: A Short History of the Girl Next Door
Author: Jared Reck
Publisher: Random House
Genre: YA contemporary
Page count: 272
Synopsis from Goodreads:
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 didn’t know what to expect with this book because I do not normally read contemporaries but I really genuinely enjoyed it! It has been a long time since a book has made me laugh out loud and then cry hysterically in the mere span of a few short chapters.
The writing style in this book is really fun and very light hearted. I really believed a 15 year old boy was narrating this story. And I must say, it was refreshing to see a male lead in a contemporary novel. I love getting a male perspective every now and again and I really loved and felt for the character of Matthew.
The rest of the characters in this book were really well rounded and well written characters. A part from the two main characters Matt and Taby, I particularly enjoyed the 9th grade English teacher and Matt’s grandparents. They were so relatable and so well written that you couldn’t help but love them.
The plot bounces around a bit but towards the end you sort of get why. At one part in the book, Matt’s English teacher instructs them to pin point certain memories that had significant impact on their life to compose into a memoir and Matt struggles with the assignment. But by the time the reader finishes the novel, one is left with the sense that the entire book IS Matt’s completed memoir and the result is beautiful.
It’s a beautiful, heartwrenching story that I am glad I got to read and would recommend to others (but only if you’re in the mood for a great laugh and a big cry!)