ARC Review: A Short History of the Girl Next Door by Jared Reck

I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review on MuggleNet’s Book Trolley. My official review can be found here.

My Rating: ★★★★☆

Genre(s): Middle grade; Young Adult

Plot: [Copied from Goodreads] 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.


  • This book was incredibly funny
  • I’ve been on the Tabby end of this type of friendship, and I can say that this was very realistically written
  • I loved that Matt was an athlete, but not a jock; it was refreshing to not have a stereotypical main character
  • The way that Matt deals with his emotions was realistic as well
  • His English teacher was pretty cool
  • Murray was adorable and reminded me of my kids


  • I didn’t quite get the movie-director-in-his-head thing


  • I didn’t write any down but I may come back and add some eventually.

My Thoughts:  Matt Wainright isn’t your stereotypical athlete. He’s got the skills to prove himself on the basketball court, but he lets his attitude get the best of him. He’s incredibly creative, but only knows how to express himself through the quirky assignments in Mr. Ellis’s English class. And, he is hopelessly in love with his best friend, Tabby. When Tabby starts dating Branson, the school’s star basketball player, Matt’s world is thrown onto an emotional roller coaster – while he knows he should be happy that his best friend is happy, he can’t help but be jealous of her new relationship. This drives a wedge between Matt and Tabby – one that he’s not sure even a box of Nerds could fix.

As the story progresses, Matt struggles with his emotions while also trying to prove himself on the basketball court, in class, and to Tabby. Realizing that he is losing focus, he throws himself into practice, into his school work, and into rekindling the most important friendship in his life.

But nothing could have prepared him for what would happen New Years Day.

Going into this book, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I read the blurb and thought maybe I was about to read another story about a jock with a attitude who’s upset because he didn’t get the girl. Boy, was I wrong. This book was emotional, wildly funny, and incredibly real. Comparable to John Green or Jennifer Niven, A Short History of the Girl Next Door will take you for an emotional ride and leave you craving a box of Nerds.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Jared Reck

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