A Short History of the Girl Next Door

Jared Reck. Knopf, $17.99 (272p) ISBN 978-1-5247-1607-3
Reck debuts with a moving story about a sensitive and talented basketball player. High school freshman Matt Wainwright has been in love with his neighbor and longtime friend Tabby for years, but he can’t work up the guts to tell her, especially now that she has caught the eye of the most popular senior on his basketball team. Through Matt’s funny and reflective narration, the story builds to become a powerful novel about first love, the intimacy of childhood friendships, and moving forward from loss, after unexpected tragedy strikes. In the same way that Matt tamps down his feelings for Tabby, Reck writes subtly about Matt’s surging emotions, keeping them just below the surface but strongly felt (during a car ride together, “We don’t talk. A few times I see her typing in her phone, and I wonder how she can share two different experiences at the same time with such ease”). Reck’s novel is sure to provoke reflection about finding meaning amid life’s unforeseeable tragedies. Ages 12–up. Agent: Laura Crocket, Triada U.S. Literary. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 07/03/2017
Release date: 09/26/2017
Book - 978-1-5247-1609-7
Library Binding - 272 pages - 978-1-5247-1608-0
Other - 978-0-525-54443-2
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Audio book sample courtesy of Penguin Random House Audio

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