Skip to main content

Spotlight New Release: The Short History of the Girl Next Door

Hello, everyone! Today I have a very special early look at A Short History of The Girl Next Door  by Jared Reck for you. I'm so excited that I had the chance to read this awesome book early thanks to Random House and NetGalley. It's available for preorder now, and it officially comes out on September 26.





A Short History of the Girl Next Door by Jared Reck
Overview: Matt is starting his freshman year of high school with his sights set on two things: working his butt off at basketball to make it on varsity for his sophomore year and possibly developing his lifelong friendship with his neighbor Tabby into something more. As the world of high school starts to pull them further apart, Matt and Tabby always have each other to return to even when Tabby starts dating senior, Liam Branson, and Matt starts to put up defensive walls. That is, until, they don't, and Matt must grapple with grief and putting a world that has become miserably blurry back in focus. Overall: 5 

General Thoughts: When I read the synopsis of this book, something in me said that I had to get my hands on this book, and I was right. While I know very little and care very little about basketball, there was something about this book that made me fall for it. Reck drew me in and made me deeply care about things that I had otherwise no attachment to. He created an impactful depth that made this book so special. I also loved the chapter titles. They are all so Matt and so hilarious.
 I love seeing books with great male protagonists, which we don't see enough of in YA, and it also showed a more balanced portrayal of real life by including Matt's family so much in the plot.

Characters: 5 Matt is a great character, and one that made a great narrator. Through the ups and down life throws at him, he stays an authentic character who has strong motivation and justification for his actions. I also love that Matt is a freshman. I find that most YA books are centered on the senior year of high school. This sets it apart from other books as the perspective is slightly different without sacrificing the seriousness or level of the writing. I loved getting to read about Matt and greatly enjoyed his sarcasm and grounded self-deprecation.
Tabby is the other main character of the story and really the catalyst for almost every action in the book, though never in a cheesy, worn out YA cliche way. She is a bright, shining light in Matt's life, and, aside from Trip, one of his few friends. She's known him all his life, and even though they've drifted apart in high school, his constant. This does create conflict where Tabby seems to view their relationship as brother/sister like with his little brother Murray instead of romantic like Matt hopes  it will become. I did wonder, though, about Tabby and what else went on in her life and in her head, as we only get to see her through Matt's perspective. I would definitely read this book again from Tabby's perspective.

Plot: 5 The plot is telling the story of a piece of Matt's life, and it does that very well. It encoumpaces all the different facets that make up Matt and is engaging. While I never found anything terribly suspenseful, I enjoyed experiencing their world so much that it prodded me to continue reading. Even over the course of normal actions, there is no dull moment, no filler.

Writing: Reck does a great job with this story. The writing invites the reader into the world and Matt's head, letting him walk around in their shoes without interruption. I found the writing style to feel much like Jennifer Niven's where it is unobstructive, and the beauty come from this story they've managed to create in your mind. This is a strong storytelling method as it is so immersive for the reader. It allowed me to fully understand Matt and his motivations. I also loved how Reck portrayed the stages of grief. It never seemed stilted or like he was following a chart of how people should respond. Numbness spilled into anger then resignation in a beautifully heartbreaking and organic way. I can't wait to see more of what Reck writes in the future.

If You Liked This Book:
I would recommend Eleanor and Park, especially if you loved Tabby's character. You can learn more about this book here http://www.readingwritingandme.com/2017/05/weekly-reviews-and-recommendations-week.html


If you liked this article, please share it with your friends and check out our other articles ranging from book reviews to poetry and short stories to editorials. To get updates about new posts and extras, please follow us on Instagram (@readingwritingandme), Twitter (@readwriteandme), and Facebook or sign up for email alerts by clicking the subscribe button at the top of the sight. Also, please leave comments or email us (readingwritingandme@gmail.com) with your thoughts or review requests. 

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Swimming Lessons By Lili Reinhart Poetry Review

Swimming Lessons by Lili Reinhart Overall: 5This is the first poetry book I've ever read in its entirety outside of Shel Silverstein, so I've checked off one of my reading goals for the year with this one. I've now read a graphic novel and a book of poetry. I've been anticipating Swimming Lessons so long that I can't believe it's actually in my hands. I've been a fan of Lili since Riverdale, and I've continued to be a fan of hers even when the show got a bit too ridiculous for me to keep watching every week. I've been excited for the chance to get to see something completely created a controlled by Lili. I'm not sure what I expected from Swimming Lessons. I think I had almost no idea what it would be like or the topics it would cover. After the first couple poems, I was completely hooked. In the intro, Lili prefaces the collection by noting that poetry has always given her solace in knowing other people felt the same specific emotions that she d…

This Is All Your Fault Blog Tour Stop

Hi, everybody! Today, I'm a part of a book tour for Turn the Pages Tours letting you know about Aminah Mae Safi's book, This Is All Your Fault. If you've always dreamed about working in a bookstore, this new book will be perfect for you. It's about a group of teen booksellers who have to band together to help save the store. Check out the full description down below to get to know the book and learn more about Aminah through her author bio and the links to her social media! If you want to pick up the book right now, I'll leave a link to the book on Bookshop here which helps support the blog because it's an affiliate link, which means the blog might get a small commission from your purchase at no extra cost to you. It's a great way to support the blog while shopping for books! If you'd rather not shop at Bookshop, here's the general purchase linkDescription: Set over the course of one day, Aminah Mae Safi's This Is All Your Fault is a smart and…

How It All Blew Up: YA Book Review

How It All Blew Up by Arvin AhmadiOverview: Amir left before graduation. He just drove out of town and got on a plane to New York and then another on to Italy. Instead of paying the blackmail money or facing his conservative, Iranian family's reaction to him being outed as gay, he runs. In Rome, he stumbles into a found family of gay guys, many American, who take him under their wing. With these new friends in Rome, Amir feels like he can truly be himself for once in his life. With the money from editing Wikipedia pages, he wonders if he can just stay in Italy forever. But when he can't ignore his family's calls and drama starts up in the friend group, Amir realizes that you can't keep running forever. Overall: 4Characters: 4 Amir is well developed, and I enjoyed living in his brain. He's lost and constantly scared, but he also has a fearless streak that gets him to Rome in the first place. Most of all, he's confused. He feels like his identities contradict eac…

Fear of Missing Out

Fear of Missing Out by Kate McGovern 
Overview: Astrid has a form of brain cancer called astrocytoma that causes a star shaped tumor to form near her brainstem. Though she was in remission, two years later, the cancer comes back, and Astrid becomes convinced that she won't beat the disease. She starts to pursue options that will allow her to have a life in the future, namely, cryopreservation. After essentially freezing her body, she hopes to wake up when there's a cure for her cancer so she can rejoin the world and see some of the milestones she fears missing.
On the road trip to tour the Arizona facility, though, Astrid makes other realizations about her life and eventual death that alters how she sees her original plan. Overall: 4 

Characters: 4 Astrid is relatable. She has a touch of dry, witty humor that makes her relatable. She loves her friends and family deeply, but she also has a conviction to follow what feels best for her. I appreciated how she always tried to stay ho…

September 2020 Wrap Up

I've honestly been stuck on what to write for this wrap up. I guess I'm surprised that September is finally over? It's been another boringly eventful month. I've been much busier trying to balance two blogs, YouTube, and college. I feel like I'm managing everything okay, but it's still a lot to process on some days when you factor in everything else going on in the world. I'm in a weird place of feeling totally lost and stagnant and also like I'm making some major strides towards getting where I want to go. It's hard to remember that it takes a long time build something up, and the process is something to enjoy too. I'm trying not to dwell on what's out of my control. Reflecting back on the month, I've accomplished a lot more than I felt like I did when I sat down to write this. A lot of what I'm most proud of myself, I'm not going to talk about in a ton of detail yet because I'm super superstitious about talking about things…

Books I'm Looking Forward To: October 2020

October means fall, Halloween, and some brand new books! This is a short list this time with a couple books I've had my eyes on for a while. As always, if you want to preorder a copy of any of these books (it helps authors a ton), I have preorder links to Bookshop through my affiliate page. That means shopping these links might give me a small commission at no cost to you! It's a great way to support the blog. Let me know in the comments which books you're looking forward to most in October. Also, I'd love YA thriller recommendations. I'm looking forward to doing another Halloween post like two years ago featuring some newer thrillers/creepy books. Let me know if you have a favorite. Also, don't forget to check out my September Favorites YouTube VideoOne Way or Another by Kara McDowellOctober 6Get a CopyI'm in the middle of reading this one now! In just a couple days, Kara will be releasing a brand new book. Paige has an impossible choice. Go with her lon…

Clap When You Land: YA Book Review

Clap When You Land by Elizabeth AcevedoTW: sex trafficking, sexual assault, grief, loss of a parentClick Here To Get a Copy! Overview: Camino and Yahaira are sisters, but they don't know it yet. Camino's dad spends most of the year in NYC making money to send back to the Dominican Republic. Yaharia's father always spent the summers away doing business in the Dominican Republic. They don't know that when their dad is gone, he's really visiting the other daughter until his plane crashes into the Atlantic Ocean. The aftermath and grieving process bring them together. While the grief and loss leaves a giant hole, it also opens new possibilities. Overall: 4Characters: 5 Yahaira and Camino are both super relatable. Their voices are so similar yet distinct, and you can see how growing up in two different cultures, yet still heavily influenced by each other, developed their points of view. Camino has a lot of assumptions about her American sister, assuming their rich and t…

Grown: YA Book Reviews

Grown by Tiffany D. JacksonTW: (from the title page of the book) sexual abuse, rape, assault, child abuse, kidnapping, and addiction to opioids Overview: Enchanted just wants to be a singer. Living in the suburbs, she doesn't know how this will happen until she gets noticed by Korey Fields at an audition. She doesn't make the show, but she gets taken under his wing. She just wants a career, and she wants to be loved, and she wants to be told she's beautiful. Korey does all that and more. He also has money and power- more things Enchanted lacks. She wants to be an adult and take life on, but she's fallen into the hands of an abuser and master manipulator. Coming out the other side leaves Korey dead and Enchanted trying to find her footing. Overall: 5Characters: 5 All of these characters are extremely vivid. Enchanted is such a good main character. She has confidence and is so smart. But you can see her little vulnerabilities that Korey expertly exploits. It's clear …

Into YA with Kristina Forest

I'm super excited to bring you another edition of Into YA, this time with one of my new favorite YA authors, Kristina Forest. While I'm sure you've already heard about Now That I've Found You, you can get caught up by reading my review here. Thank you to Kristina for taking the time to chat with me, and I hope you enjoy our conversation. If you want to help support the blog, please consider grabbing a copy through my Bookshop affiliate link here1. In Now That I Found You, all of your main characters are famous. Evie and her family are huge in the film industry, and love interest, Milo, is on the rise with his band. Did that require extra research to write about for either the music or film industries?
It didn’t require much research. I’ve always been interested in old Hollywood and I’m a big fan of movies and music, and I’ve watched dozens of documentaries and/or biopics so I felt pretty prepared to write the story without having to do additional research.
2. Once Ev…

Books I'm Looking Forward To: November 2020 (5 YA Books and Poetry!)

Sorry I've been gone so much this month! It's hard to keep up my regular reading schedule with school. The last two weeks, I've been dealing with midterms and finals for different classes, so there's been plenty of extra work. I'm working on getting back to reading so I can share some more reviews with you very soon, but I should be back to regular posting this week.  Since it's almost a new month, I figured it's a good time to get excited about the brand new books that are coming in November and get some last minute preordering done to support these books! This month is a little bit different because I'm including a broader range of titles. I have a couple I've preordered already, some suggested to me on Twitter, a fantasy book I'm considering reading, and a book of poetry that I have wanted for months and months. I can't believe Halsey's book is finally out. In each book feature, there's a preorder button you can click to preorder th…