Monday, June 26, 2017
YA Pick: A Short History of the Girl Next Door
by Jared Reck
Knopf Books for Young Readers
Move over, Sarah Dessen and John Green. Make way for Jared Reck. A Short History of the Girl Next Door is the most promising book of 2017. Reck has captured unique characters who will resonate with readers. Teen voices are pitch perfect, spot on, memorable and lovable.
Matt (Matty) Wainwright grows up with Tabby who seems more like a sister than a neighbor. Tabby's mother walks away from the family leaving Tabby with a working father who can barely deal with himself. Matt's family steps in and raises Tabby as the daughter they never had. Tabby and Matt share every day together for years until high school. Tabby begins to drift away and into the arms of a senior basketball star.
In high school, Matt realizes he has "feelings" for Tabby. She has always been there--his partner in crime--the kid he could always count on. A girl, yes, but most of all a friend. Suddenly, he sees how the light shines off her hair, how the way she moves is like no other girl, how she walks into the room and the atmosphere changes. She is the Halloween Nerds for Matty--"...so good, so amazing, they're not even part of the rankings...You're the Nerds, Tabby," Matt tells her. This line, like the ubiquitous, "You had me at hello," from movie "Jerry Maguire" will be quoted forever. It is the most perfect line of YA prose--capturing both the promise of something indescribably sweet and the youthful innocence of first love.
Besides falling for Tabby, Matt has a fierce love of basketball and his drive to make the varsity team is intense. Teammate and best friend Trip is the perfect sidekick for Matt--bright, hilarious and under it all, deeply caring. All the characters in this YA are so well developed that it is hard to close this book--and readers won't want to!
Make no mistake, this is not a simple love story. It is not a sports story. It transcends both those labels and all others. It is that ONE book you will FEEL long after you finish the last page. A Short History of the Girl Next Door will cause laughter and tears. I wept buckets as I kept turning the pages. Bring your BOX of tissue; you will need the entire box. This YA debut is my early pick for TAYSHAS.
Brilliant cover design and a title that is the best in YA debuts. The marketing department gets kudos for this one!
I see this one as the next big Hollywood teen film! Jared Reck, quit your day job and please write faster! I cannot say it loud enough--this is a MUST READ.
Highly, highly recommended! Put this on your order form NOW. Publishing drop date is September 26, 2017--make sure you reserve your copy!
Grade 9-up. Some language that is "normal" for high school students.
FTC Required Disclaimer: I received the ARC from the publisher. I did not receive monetary compensation for this review.