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

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.

Humorous and heart-wrenching, A Short History of the Girl Next Door is perfect for readers who fell in love with All the Bright Places’ Finch or Stargirl’s Leo.




It’s been a while since I got a book hangover as big as this one I’m carrying around today. I wanted to stay in bed hugging this book to my chest and re-reading my favorite chapters and occasionally shedding a tear or two—or enough to soak my pillow. But it is my job (not actually a job, but you know what I mean) to tell you what this book made me feel so you can pick it up and experience the amazingness that is reading Jared Reck’s words.


Matt Wainwright has a quiet mouth but an incredibly loud mind. He is quirky, hilarious, creative and a bit of an idiot when he’s hurting. He’s also a victim of unrequited love. He went from loving Tabby as a best friend to loving Tabby in a I-want-to-marry-you-and-be-together-forever kind of way.
Tabby Laughlin lives across the street from Matt. She’s quirky and hilarious like Matt. But she is not a victim of unrequited love. Actually, her love life is doing pretty freaking amazing because she’s dating the lovely, the senior, Liam Branson.
But as I mentioned, Matt a bit of an idiot when he’s hurting and seeing the girl you love with another guy… that hurts a lot.


I cannot believe I found the male version of myself inside a book. I’ve never felt so related to a character until yesterday when I started and finished reading this story. I wish I could jump inside this book and give Matt the biggest, warmest hug because I was him a few years back. Matt is every single one of us who’ve been victims of unrequited love.
Matt’s character is my Nerds (book reference, read it so you know what I’m talking about) when it comes to book characters. Just like Finch from All The Bright Places is someone’s Nerds. Or Ari and Dante from Aristotle and Dante Discover The Secret of the Universe are someone else’s Nerds.


The storyline is like nothing I’ve ever read. It is incredibly unique and Jared’s voice is just unbelievable. I can’t wait for him to publish more books, I’m sure the next ones will be as fantastic as this one.

Jared Reck’s amazing writing makes you feel every single word in the deepest, darkest corners of your soul. I lived inside this book going through every little thing Matt felt. I laughed out loud, I screamed, I cried until I got a headache and my eyes couldn’t stay open any longer. It is one of those stories that once you read them there’s no going back, you will never ever be able to escape this book. You’ll remember it forever because your heart and mind and soul will never let it go.

I recommend this book to everyone. Because everyone has been a victim of unrequited love at some point. And everyone’s been a Matt.

Just make sure you have a million boxes of tissues, you will need them.





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