Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Girl Next Door” as Want to Read:
The Girl Next Door
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Girl Next Door

3.96  ·  Rating Details  ·  589 Ratings  ·  105 Reviews
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 sta
Hardcover, 239 pages
Published April 25th 2010 by West Side Books (first published April 1st 2010)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
The Fault in Our Stars by John GreenMy Sister's Keeper by Jodi PicoultBefore I Die by Jenny DownhamThe Probability of Miracles by Wendy WunderA Walk to Remember by Nicholas Sparks
YA Fiction About Cancer
10th out of 79 books — 247 voters
Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay AsherBefore I Fall by Lauren OliverIf I Stay by Gayle FormanThe Fault in Our Stars by John GreenThe Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold
YA Death & Dying Books
26th out of 150 books — 271 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,855)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Katie (Kitkatscanread)
(Received from the author in exchange for an honest review)

What a beautiful, amazing emotional story of dealing with cancer and loss.
The characters were so amazing, and the bonds between Jesse and Sam were so strong, it felt real.
You could see the love they have for each other.
It was very gripping and I loved it.
I was emotionally tied and I completely recommend this book.
This is another book that's made me cry.

Full review:
Books and Literature for Teens
Though the concept of the story in The Girl Next Door was genuine and heartwarming, I did not enjoy reading it. There was something that was blocking my metal capacity to even concentrate on what was going on. Even when I did finally pay attention, the plot was–to put it bluntly–boring and uneventful.
Sam, the main character and narrator of the book, is trying to "save" her friend (and later more) from dying. Although Jessie might have accepted his future, Sam is unwilling to give him up. It was
Jen Halligan
May 22, 2013 Jen Halligan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Girl Next Door is a story about two best friends that grew up living next door to each other, Samantha and Jesse. Their story is about love and loss, and learning to let go. They’re forced to pack in a lifetime of love and experiences into a short period of months, as they face cancer, together.

I admit I wouldn’t have picked up The Girl Next Door on my own. I tend to shy away from books that I know will make me sad. Though I definitely shed some tears while reading, by the ending I felt hope
Alba  BookPics
Sep 04, 2011 Alba BookPics rated it it was amazing
Shelves: owned
~"Death can never rob us of the love we give away"~

If that first quote there doesn't strike to your heart and doesn't even twitch your heart then nothing ever will...

Grace girl! again can't thank you enough for encouraging me to read this book.

And just so you know... this is the second book of Selene I read AND a signed one so...yeap I'm in heaven allright!

I read earlier in another book how someone thought how it was so much better to feel angry, anger, resentment,etc. Instead of sadness and pai
Stephanie A.
June 14, 2015: Third read in four years, must be something special. The review below holds up, but the older I get, the less I mind their physical relationship because it's ultimately such a powerful love story. Sam and Jesse make me cry every time over how they become each other's whole world, and they keep me coming back to their story like few other book couples can. I have to upgrade it from 4 to 5 stars for that.

May 20, 2012: I hate how their romantic relationship starts, because consideri
Dec 14, 2010 Dafina added it
Shelves: 11th-grade
This book was so good and so sad!!!!! It was about a girl named Samantha and a guy Jess who had cancer and only limited time until he would die. They had been best friends ever since, but Sam always had a thing for Jess, and she stayed by him the whole time he was sick with cancer. And that's when Jess realized that he has always loved Sam also, but just didn't realize it until now. So even though he had limited time only they started going out, and made the best out of it. Although something do ...more
Maggie Desmond-O'Brien
Sometimes an author captures me with their style without quite capturing me with their story...which is pretty much what happened here. To be honest? I thought that this novel wasn't fleshed out enough, was too whiny in tone, too singular in its focus, and not very believable. But the concept and prose held a LOT of potential, and I'll definitely be picking this author's work up in the future.

Sam annoyed me right off the bat. First of all, I couldn't get a handle on what was going on in her head

A tale of love and loss, pain and healing, The Girl Next Door is an arresting read that carries its own black cloud. Launching right into the pain aspect of the story, the book opens after Jesse’s cancer has ravaged his body. Enduring another round of chemo, Sam wakes up to hear him throwing up- again. The situation set up in this book is highly distinctive, as Sam stays with Jesse every night despite his mother’s disapproval to ensure Jesse doesn’t die alone.

Sam’s character changes dramatically
Brandi Kosiner (Brandi Breathes Books)
This is a type of story that I love and devour. The main characters Sam and Jesse are well written, and the plot is well paced. I am able to understand where Sam is coming from and it is an adventure to watch how they deal with these life altering circumstances.
Their relationship is touching and though I would only recommend this for older teens and adults because of sexual references and action (which seems a bit excessive to me at times which is why I deducted a star), it is feasible that i
Princess Bookie
Jun 03, 2010 Princess Bookie rated it really liked it
Shelves: read2010
My Thoughts: I always tend to like these kind of stories. When I first saw this one in people's mailbox posts, I automatically knew I had to read this. It reminded me a bit of His Eyes by Renee Carter which I really loved. We meet Jesse and Sam. They grew up with each other and have been best friends since they were little kids. Jesse had another friend Pete and a girlfriend Cindy. Than he got sick and things went downhill fast. He was diagnosed with cancer and the only one he could stand to be ...more
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Jaglvr for

Are you a fan of Lurlene McDaniel? If so, then don't hesitate to pick up THE GIRL NEXT DOOR by Selene Castrovilla. This is a heart-wrenching novel of young love.

Sam(antha) and Jesse live next door to each other in a New York City apartment. They've lived next door ever since they were toddlers. They're best friends. And now, Jesse is battling a rare, terminal form of lymphoma. His prognosis for a cure is an optimistic 4%.

Sam has always been in love with Jes
Dec 29, 2010 Nicole rated it really liked it
This book was so sad, one of the most morbid YA books I've ever read... I couldn't put it down, and I wanted Jesse to live, so that he and Sam could have their happily ever after. It doesn't always turn out like you expected.

I thought it was funny that one of the first things Sam wanted to do for Jesse when he found out he was more than likely going to die was to have sex with him. To take his virgin card and give him hers, so that he didn't die a virgin and she could fill out some
Lori Calabrese
Sep 03, 2010 Lori Calabrese rated it it was amazing
Make sure you have a box of tissues handy for this one! The Girl Next Door by Selene Castrovilla is an endearing tale that follows two teenagers as they struggle to understand the effects of cancer, relationships, and themselves.

Sam is the girl next door, you know the cultural stereotype--wholesome, average, not your girly-girl type! But when 17-year old Sam is right there every step of the way for her best friend, Jesse, he begins to see her in a different light. Only thing is--he has a rare, t
Mar 08, 2012 Cheryl-Lynn rated it did not like it
I felt like the characters fell flat. The content issues (particularly teenage sex but also the language) were a big turn off. I felt like in this book it was like someone saying "what would you do if you had only 6...or 10 months left to live." The answer being ignore and shut out all my old friends and sleep with my next door neighbor. I get that Jesse felt awful from the chemo a lot of the time but really? Shouldn't some parents have been dealing a bit more with the deep issues going one here ...more
Ethan Gregory
Jun 24, 2015 Ethan Gregory rated it really liked it
Full review and more available at: http://oneguysguidetogoodreads.blogsp...


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 wa
Reading Bifrost
“Is it better to be numb, to feel none of the pain we’re in? Would I want to live like that, if I could? Would that be living? Or is it better to just stop walking?”

Honestly, this book fell completely flat and broke its own spine, the poor dear. The story starts with Samantha already sleeping over at Jesse’s house as his cancer progresses. Samantha is Jesse’s neighbor and friend since they were toddlers (really, apparently Samantha remembers meeting Jesse in his stroller *eyeroll*). Her pers
Aug 20, 2014 Keke rated it it was ok
This book sorta Irritated me. I was trying to Grin and bear the small things but as soon as I hit Chapter 6 it was time that I skim through it just to see how Jessie's death played out.

With this book... I don't know why but I found myself taking an awful lot of breaks, for no-parent reason I would play games on my phone, go brush my teeth, play with my cat... You know just other stuff. I couldn't stay seated to read it at all like I would normally do for other books.

This story is about a boy who
Aug 23, 2015 Wendy rated it really liked it
Shelves: teachers-write
This is not a book about death. Even though Jesse, one of the main characters has been given a death sentence, the book is not about him dying. It’s about how his best friend/girlfriend, Sam, helps him to live. It’s about how Sam suffers through pain, guilt, jealousy, and loss, but still manages to love with her whole heart. However, it’s also a book about learning to depend on others to guide us through our darkest times. In this way, The Girl Next Door by Selene Castrovilla serves as a message ...more
Apr 04, 2011 Robyn marked it as to-read
This one just moved to the top of my I-simply-must-have-this-book-or-else list based on the description alone. It sounds moving and heartbreaking and wonderful, and I WANT IT NOW!!! Please. (:
Jessica Micocci
Sep 25, 2010 Jessica Micocci rated it it was amazing
Wow... It's been a really long time since I have been so into a book that it has made me emotional. This one is a sweet story but it's a tear jerker! Great read, and a definite recommend!
Ashley Lauren
Feb 26, 2014 Ashley Lauren rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya-books
Going into this book, you know what’s going to happen. I had not a single ounce of doubt how this story would end – but I won’t tell you if I’m an optimistic person or a pessimistic person. Just know that I was right.

Regardless, this isn’t a book to pick up if you’re already feeling down. There’s a lot of emotion running around here. This book follows the story of Sam as she deals with her best friend’s diagnosis with cancer. It’s certainly not the first time this idea has been written but what
Joana Arteaga
May 03, 2014 Joana Arteaga rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Samantha and Jesse have been best friends for about 15 years when Jesse is diagnosed with cancer and their lives change. Samantha wants to be with Jesse all the time and soon they both realize that they are in love. Jesse and Samantha deal with his cancer in their own way but they do it together. This story is very sweet and romantic and very very emotional. The story is sad but beautiful at the same time. I loved this book so much and I'm sure most people will also love this book especially bec ...more
Jan 12, 2015 UPTOPIA-WENDY(Milly599) rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites
A touching novel, indeed.
Shameeka Alexis
Sam, the novel’s narrator, was warm and strong and real.
I liked her from the beginning.
The other characters, though less dynamic than Sam, were also believable, if a touch clichéd. The writing was good about 95% of the time, with just a few spots that made me cringe a little.

This is both Sam's and Jesse's story.
Jesse is the sick one, and time is given to his feelings.
But I would say that more emphasis is placed on Sam and her struggle to deal with Jesse’s illness.
I am thankful never to have
The BookWhisperer
May 25, 2011 The BookWhisperer rated it it was amazing
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 diagnosised with Cancer do they realize what they truly mea ...more
Gayle Krause
Sep 17, 2013 Gayle Krause rated it really liked it
The Girl Next Door

Ms. Castovilla’s story finds hope in a hopeless situation. Self-doubt, a dreaded disease and family all play dynamic roles in this heartfelt depiction of young love.
Friends since a very young age, Jesse and Samantha have always been there for each other, as friends at home in their apartment building, but at school they were on different social strata. Jesse was Junior Class President, star of the baseball team, editor of the newspaper and a hottie that all the girls dreamed of
Full review originally posted on TotalTeenFiction as part of The Girl Next Door Blog Tour.

Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book from A Book and a Latte PR in exchange for an honest review as part of the blog tour.

The Girl Next Door tells the story of Sam, whose best friend Jesse is dying of cancer. With time ticking away, the two of them must tackle their feelings for each other and make the best of the time they have together.

Now I'll admit, I love a sad book. I know some people can b
Sep 20, 2013 CCAM&GZM rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When I saw the title "The Girl Next Door" (have been a while since I signed up for the tour and I forgot the book’s subject) I said to myself that’s OK, I was in the mood for something light, perhaps funny, because, isn’t it, usually this kind of title makes you think about that. How wrong I was! If somehow you’ll skip the dedication, the first lines will remove any doubt.

"Jesse’s dying. The doctors are 96 percent sure of it. They even have a time line: seven months."

Ops! I wondered if I really
Nov 10, 2011 Valorie rated it it was amazing
There are some books that are written so beautifully they immediately grab you and take you on an emotional roller coaster. That is the only way I can describe this story. This book was so intense I was wrapped up into the plot from the first page. The characters grew to be like friends.

There are books out there that deal with death, but this book did something more. It dealt with acceptance of one’s own possible death and acceptance of a loved one’s illness. In this book the main character has
Jun 28, 2011 Val rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorite
Originally Posted on:

There are some books that are written so beautifully they immediately grab you and take you on an emotional roller coaster. That is the only way I can describe this story. This book was so intense I was wrapped up into the plot from the first page. The characters grew to be like friends.

There are books out there that deal with death, but this book did something more. It dealt with acceptance of one’s own possible death and acceptance
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 95 96 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
What was your favourite part of the book? 2 7 Oct 16, 2012 08:33PM  
  • Change of Heart
  • Tweet Heart
  • Kiss It
  • Luminaire (Florence Waverley, #2)
  • Arson (Arson, #1)
  • Dark Water
  • The Princess of Las Pulgas
  • This Gorgeous Game
  • Flash
  • Amelia O'Donohue Is So Not a Virgin
  • Trance
  • Edges
  • Her and Me and You
  • Crash Test Love
  • Friend Is Not a Verb
  • So Many Boys (The Naughty List, #2)
  • Salvaged (Salvaged, #1)
  • You Are Not Here
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 the contemporary YA novel Melt , a brutal love story based on true events. She is also the author of Saved By the Music and The Girl Next Door, teen novels originally published by WestSide Books and now available digitally through ...more
More about Selene Castrovilla...

Share This Book

“Everyone leaves, Sam, in one way or another.But death can never rob us of the love we give away.Love stays with us-- it never dies.You carry my love with you.Let go and feel it,Sam.Death is only an end if you see it as one” 13 likes
“Just in case i forgot to mention it. Jesse said "I love you Sam" "Somethings can never be overstated".” 9 likes
More quotes…