{Blog Tour} Review + Giveaway: The Girl Next Door by Selene Castrovilla

Monday, September 16, 2013

The Girl Next Door
Title: The Girl Next Door
Author: Selene Castrovilla
Publisher: ASD Publishing, LLC
Date of Publication: May 24, 2013

Two teens are forced to make some very grown-up decisions when one of them is diagnosed with terminal cancer, twisting them into an unpredictable nightmare. Best friends since toddlerhood, Samantha and Jesse grapple with the realization that they are actually in love. What now? Beautifully written while handling a very heavy topic, Castrovilla addresses the universal question: In a world where the worst can strike at any time, how can we ever feel safe?

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My Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Thank you to Jennifer of A Book and A Latte - PR and Selene for the review copy. This in no way affected my views of the novel.

Beware that this is an emotionally draining novel. Sam and Jesse have been best friends since they were toddlers. Jesse is then diagnosed with a terminal cancer now that they're seventeen. Jesse's a senior and he's popular, dates the prettiest and most popular girls, star of the football team. He has everything until his life turned upside down as he was told he had only months to live. Sam, who've always loved Jesse, stands by him through all of his ordeals. With a ticking bomb looming over them, Jesse realizes that he has always loved Sam. The novel now tackles Jesse's impending death and how the both of them will deal with it.

See? This is a sobfest. This is like every Korean and Japanese sob movie ever. But even if you might consider this a cliche set-up, I still suggest you read this novel. It was beautifully written, with so many quotable passages and dialogues and actions that will grip and squeeze your heart. It will extract all of your emotions, put it in a platter and play with it. I love best friends-to-love romance so much that it pains me that they don't have forever.

With Jesse getting weaker and weaker and their love getting stronger, issues arise. How Sam deals with it, how Jesse deals with it, how Sam's family deals with it and how Jesse's family deals with it. There were heart-wrenching moments and scenes where family love shone through, especially scenes with Jesse and his estranged mom, Gwen. That's the thing I love the most about The Girl Next Door. Love overflows in every single page in this novel. Even with just Sam holding Jesse's hand, you can feel the love. When Maria, Jesse's housekeeper, cleans his room, her love for him is palpable. It's saddening that it takes a sickness for you to see things in a different light but like they say, it's better late than never.

I did have some issues about how convenient some parts were or how rash but I guess I haven't loved someone as much yet so I don't understand. Sam and Jesse also felt like real teenagers, which was a great accomplishment of the author for me. They were facing such a serious conflict but they're on the cusp of maturity and it showed that they're not kids but not yet adults. Moreover, I love Maria and Sam's family so much. I actually even like Gwen.

While incredibly heartbreaking, Sam and Jesse did made my heart flutter from the sweetness as well. I guess when you're dying and the person you love is dying, every moment is gold and everything is heightened. While they also deal with jealousy and Sam feeling worthless and guilty, they eventually got through with it together and even closer.

The Girl Next Door is a lyrically melancholic novel about two teens loving and making the best out of their short time together. It will make your heart hurt and it will also make you smile and you will feel like you've been through so much hardship after reading this book. The Girl Next Door shows us how sometimes, it takes death to wake people up for them to truly see and appreciate their surroundings and to fully realize who they love.

About 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. 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.


Selene is pleased to team with the Anthony V. Mannino Foundation helping young adults in their fight against cancer. She will donate $1 for each book ordered during THE GIRL NEXT DOOR's Blog Tour!

Selene will send a free autographed copy of THE GIRL NEXT DOOR to anyone who donates $25 or more to the foundation (click here to donate!). For your purchase to count and/or to show proof of donation, just send a screenshot or receipt of your order or donation, along with your shipping address if necessary, through "Drop me a line" in the "Latest News" section of her website,

The AVM Foundation Mission

The Mission of The Anthony V. Mannino Foundation is to financially assist young adults in the age group of 18-26 while they are undergoing their cancer treatment. We also want to help development support programs to aid this unique age group, with their special needs, as they battle cancer.

We found that Anthony's age group of 18 plus, doesn't have the emotional or financial support that other age groups do. We are also aware of the unique situations that this age group faces and want to help those adolescents and their families.


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The Girl Next Door Tour


  1. Ahhh, I keep seeing this book everywhere and now your review makes me want to read it so bad!

    1. Go read it, Kayla! Especially if you're in for a heartwrenchingly sweet tale. Thanks for dropping by!

  2. I am looking forward to read this book, I liked reading your review, Thank you for the chance to win!

    1. Aaaaww, thanks, Claudia! Hope you get to read it soon.

  3. This was the first time i've heard of this book on this blog and I looked into after reading the review. It's looks like a really good interesting book!

    1. I'm so glad you found out about this book on my blog. Hope you get to read it, Cassandra!


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