Title: The Girl Next Door
By: Selene Castrovilla
Publisher: Westside Books
My Copy: Review Copy provided by Publisher
About the book:
In THE GIRL NEXT DOOR, two teens are forced to make some very grown-up decisions when one of them is diagnosed with terminal cancer.
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?
Be prepared to cry your eyes out. It is a tragedy to view something so horrible as this young man struggles with such an aggressive and lethal cancer. Even more intriguing I love that way that the author not only shows the Jesse's progression of cancer and acceptance; but it also the acceptance and emotional progression for Sam. Sam and Jesse have been best friends and drawn to one another since they were toddler, but only once Jesse is diagnosed with Cancer do they realize what they truly mean to one another. The emotion level throughout this entire book is almost palpable, and the readers will feel the travel this emotional journey as if part of the story. The love presented by these two young adults was amazing. Most adult's don't see this level of dedication in a lifetime, but miraculously it was gifted to these two young people that will not even get to cherish it for long. It was crazy to follow alone with a novel that pull my feelings so drastically; it was like if Sam was depressed I felt depressed, and if she had a glimpse of hope I felt that hope. This is a powerful and dramatic read that will touch its readers.