Wednesday, June 24, 2015

The Girl Next Door by Selene Castrovilla Review

Hey readers! Quick post for you guys today. As you guys all remember, I just got home from UtopYA where I picked up an UNHEARD of amount of books. #NoShame. Anyway. For all the books I had already read, I still ended up with a massive pile of review copies that I cannot wait to devour. Last night I sat down and completely devoured my first post-UtopYA read and I am so pumped to share my thoughts with you. I have worked with this author before and fell hard for her writing voice and style. What am I raving abut today? The Girl Next Door by Selene Castrovilla! Here's a bit about the novel and our author:

Seventeen year old Samantha has been best friends with seventeen year old Jesse since she moved into the New York high-rise apartment next door to his thirteen years ago. Jesse is their school's poster child for popularity: good-looking, a star athlete, even Romeo in the school play. On opening night he collapses on stage. That's when doctors discover the unthinkable: a tumor on his spine. His type of cancer is virtually incurable – 97% of those diagnosed die within ten months.

Jesse shuts down, refusing to see most of his friends. He submits to treatments of chemo and radiation, but he doesn't possess hope. Sam is the one person he’ll talk to. He convinces his mom to let her sleep in another bed in his room, saying he's afraid to die alone.

That’s when Jess and Sam make a startling, bittersweet discovery: they’ve been in love all along.

THE GIRL NEXT DOOR addresses the universal question: In an unpredictable world, how can we possibly feel safe?

Selene Castrovilla
Selene Castrovilla is an award-winning teen and children’s author who believes that through all trends, humanity remains at the core of literature. She is the author of Saved By the Music and The Girl Next Door, teen novels originally published by WestSide Books and now available digitally through ASD Publishing. Her third children’s book with Calkins Creek Books, Revolutionary Friends, was released in April 2013. She is also a contributing author to UncommonYA. Selene holds an MFA in creative writing from New School University and a BA in English from New York University. She lives on Long Island with her two sons. Visit her for book excerpts and more information!

Author Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Instagram


My Thoughts:

You guys may remember last fall when I devoured Melt, the heartbreaking story of love and acceptance by Selene. It cut me like a knife, but I wanted more. I was so excited to meet Selene at UtopYA and when I expressed those thoughts, she recommended I check out this novel, and boy, I sure am glad she did. You ever read one of those books that punches you right in the feels, but you love it anyway? This was one of those novels. 

I'll try to keep this one short and sweet, just as the book itself. Clocking in at 240 pages, this book was a quick read for me, I devoured it in one sitting. It's quick paced and very easy to follow along. Just settle in and get ready for a feels-worthy trip down Selene Castrovilla-lane. 

The Girl Next Door follows the tales of best friends Jesse and Samantha who, through years of trials and now terminal cancer, finally discover their love for one another. To say it's touching doesn't even begin to describe it. Castrovilla does a phenomenal job of telling more story than her words let on. The entire novel is full of allegories and reflections on life itself. It's one of those reads that will both cause you to reflect on your own life, and appreciate all the living things just a little bit more. My heart was warmed for the entirety of those 240 pages.

Sam and Jess are amazingly written characters, definitely not without their flaws, but they were great to get to know. I will admit that I couldn't relate too much to their lifestyles, but that was okay, because their struggles were universal. I think that most every reader could find a way to relate their story to that of Sam and Jess'. 

If you are a fan of the work of John Green, I highly recommend you give this novel a try. As Selene pointed out to me, this novel could be compared to TFiOS, but it's so much more than that. Castrovilla makes her mark on the YA contemporary world with this incredible read and I hope she never lets go. 

Every page of this awesome story left me asking for more. The plot was gripping, the characters were well-developed and written to perfection, and the settings and emotionally reflective backdrop to the entire novel made it so memorable. An awesome 4-star read from me. Anyone looking to catch some feels should definitely add this one to your TBR, you will not be disappointed!


Alright folks, that's all I have for you on the topic of The Girl Next Door by Selene Castrovilla. It was an incredible novel that definitely reminded me why i fell in love with Selene's writing last fall. I cannot wait to see more from this incredible author! Add it to your TBR today!

Until next time, Happy Reading!


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