Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Age Group: Teens
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.
I am finally getting back into the groove of things and of course I am going to pick up a book that will rip my heart out. I do not know what it is, but I am just drawn to these books that tend to draw out all your emotions leaving you in a wreck. For Jared Reck, his debut novel has made an impression on me that will leave a lasting mark.
In a story where the girl becomes the best friend you have feelings for the next step would be to tell her how you feel. However, for Matt, that isn't the case and after another boy comes into the scene, it almost seems impossible. What would you do? Would you tell her? What if you never get the chance?
The story was the refreshing read that was brought to life by the simplicity of the entirety. What was really enjoyable was the fact was that it felt real. It didn't feel over the top crazy with these unrealistic characters, these over the top events but something that brought the right emotions making it feel real.
Matt was just this raw protagonist who was in love with his best friend. He had his faults, his successes but most of all he had heart. I could see Matt being a person I went to school with, a person I grew up alongside, a person who I could be friends with. Tabby, on the other hand was this girl with attitude and determination. She is one person I would not want to mess with. But the most important part was her obsession with Nerds. YES!
It is hard not to stop thinking about what happened because it can happen to anyone. It is not something that, like said above, is over the top and happens once in a while. My heart stopped and I swear a tear formed at the bottom of my eyes. In that moment all I could think of was Matt, I am so sorry. The pain, the anger, the emotions that followed flowed with such richness that I felt every one off of every word. It felt real.
Jared Reck is brilliant. I do not know how else to describe the brilliance of this author and the work he has created and is sharing for the world to see. If you are looking the upcoming release that is perfect for allowing you see the many faces of being a teenager, this is the book for you. A book that has the power to make you feel human is the book you need to read and that book is this one.
I give this book 5 souls!