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The Year Nick McGowan Came to Stay

(Rachel Hill 0)

3.65  ·  Rating details ·  1,432 ratings  ·  110 reviews
Seventeen-year-old Rachel Hill is the girl most likely to succeed. And the girl most likely to have everything under control . . . that is, until her dad invites Nick McGowan, the cutest boy at school, to live with them. Rachel worries that this could only be a recipe for disaster, but her best friend Zoe thinks it’s the perfect opportunity for lurve. Sparks start to fly f ...more
Hardcover, 208 pages
Published April 8th 2008 by Knopf Books for Young Readers (first published May 1st 2006)
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3.65  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,432 ratings  ·  110 reviews

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It's always harder for me to talk about books I love, but basically, I was so utterly charmed by this book that I haven't been able to finish a book since. Yes, people, it's that serious.

Nick McGowan was the perfect all-around guy, good looking, popular, and the top of his class. Then something happened over the summer and he dropped his classes and started acting out. Rumors are swirling about what happened, but no one knows the cause. He's a boarder at his school and after his last stunt pulli
“Well, I just asked the Psychic Lettuce what my future holds, and it said, ‘You will live alone with sixty guinea pigs. And they will all be called Peter.’”
“Hang on a second. You asked what? Did you say Psychic Lettuce?”
She puts the fern down.
“It’s a lettuce that predicts your future. I found it at the games arcade next door.”
“Lettuce as in vegetable? As in iceberg and romaine? There’s a lettuce in this shopping center claiming to have psychic abilities?”
Zoë grabs my hand and leads me out th
The Year Nick McGowan Came to Stay by Rebecca Sparrow is set in Brisbane. The year is 1989, Rachel Hill is seventeen years old and is in the final year of high school. She has plans to study hard and win the clown award at her fast food chain job but when her parents offer to take in fellow student, Nick McGowan, her year gets turned upside down.

I've had this on my to-read list ever since I read another of Rebecca’s books, Joel & Cat Set the Story Straight, but I recently read Maggie’s revie
Sep 24, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: aussie, why-the-hype
Rating: 3.5 Stars

I hadn't heard of this novel until I came across Mandee's review of it on Vegan YA Nerds or Maggie's review of it on YA Anonymous, but I knew upon reading both their gushing reviews that I had to get my hands on this one. Luckily enough for me, The Year Nick McGowan Came to Stay was  readily available in the US and I was thrilled beyond measure to be diving into this short, but witty tale. Ultimately though, while this novel was definitely satisfying, it wasn't satisfying enoug
Jennifer Wardrip
May 13, 2008 rated it really liked it
Reviewed by Randstostipher "tallnlankyrn" Nguyen for

What's worse then waking up, having morning breath, and looking your worst? Having the hottest guy in school see you every morning when you just woke up, looking your worst. Rachel Hill has experienced this firsthand, and it is all because of her parents and their kindheartedness.

Nick McGowan (a.k.a. the hottest and most popular guy, a.k.a. every girl's eye candy), has become somewhat of a troublemaker. No one really understan
Mar 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites

Aug 17, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
True I was drinking wine at the time, but I had several moments where I had tears streaming down my face as I was laughing my head off. I enjoyed the previous book (The Girl Most Likely) more, but this one was good too. It was great to see the characters I got familiar with in The Girl Most Likely when they were in high school. It had some great moments.
Aug 13, 2008 rated it liked it
What happens when a gorgeous boy with a mysterious secret comes to live with the family of a driven success-obsessed girl?

I liked this short fresh book. The author didn't take the expected path and the result was a wry and charming book with a lot of nice humor. I listened to the audio and the australian narrator was wonderful.

Zemira (Kylo Ren fangirl) Warner
This book reminds me of Sweethearts.
I am completely tempted to rate this book 5 stars.

Something about it was absolutely pitch-perfect for the mood I was in, and the characters were so authentically heartfelt, and all the little quirks (hello chocolate desserts on the front cover :) were so sweet and real and gosh, I really love this book.

So, because I just finished up Joel and Cat Set the Story Straight, have I mentioned how much I love Rebecca Sparrow's main characters? Because I do. Rachel Hill is frank, genuine, and utterly t
Kelly (Diva Booknerd)
Apr 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: bookgasm, loveozya
4.5 Stars
Funniest. Book. Ever.

This book was one of the biggest surprises I've stumbled across so far. It was funny, heartwarming and funny. Yes, it was just that humorous I felt the need to mention it twice. I was nine years old in 1989 and the pop culture references throughout, helped me form a connection to the storyline and characters. Although some of Rachel's musical tastes are cringe worthy, back in the era, that's what the majority were listening to
Jun 01, 2015 rated it did not like it
Rachel, the main character was boring and quite frankly, rude (especially to Nick).

The story line was poor and could've been developed a lot better.

One thing that I just DIDN'T UNDERSTAND was how quickly Rachel and Nick suddenly became friends, and how one day Rachel hates him (for no reason might I add since she DOESN'T EVEN KNOW HIM) and then the next they spend a walk home talking like old friends.


And Rachel was such a boring character I honestly don't know why Nick liked her
Jul 05, 2008 rated it it was ok
This book was a dissapointment. the first five or so pages were really great, but then it kind of went downhill from there. It took place in 1989 which kind of threw me, as it's a new book.

By the end, I was more interested in the character, but then the book ended with more story to tell, in my opinion.

I do not recommend this one.
Karen Healey
Jul 09, 2009 rated it really liked it
A very funny, brilliantly observed wee book, with a lively Australian setting and a totally charming narrator. I appreciated the ending, too - not idyllic happy ever afters, but a realistic and reasonable happy resolution.
Oct 24, 2012 rated it really liked it
Gotta love a book that mentions the pub where I went on my second date with my husband.


A slightly more comprehensive review will follow soon..
May 03, 2013 rated it did not like it
An ok teen read maybe. i'm a bit above the target age group.A bit light & pathetic for me I'm afraid.
Feb 16, 2018 rated it liked it
I'm really conflicted on what I should rate this one with. For the 99% of the book, I decided that Rebecca Sparrow will be my new favorite author until that 1% which is the ending. It's like the 1% of the germs on cleansing soap ads that seems to be main force driving away the full effectivity of that soap and with this one, it killed the whole entirety of the book.


I love everything about this like love, luurrrvee it. Rachel just nailed the kind of heroine I'd like my book to have. Sassy
Nov 12, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: i-own
This was such a fast read! I finished it in about 3 hours which is great for me, even though it is a small book. I found the main character pretty unlikable and really preferred Nick! I liked how he brought some reality to Rachael since she was acting quite bratty. But other than this I didn't really see the overarching point of the book. I liked the notion of not believing rumours and doing what's right and what you love, for yourself but otherwise I just didn't really love the book. Overall it ...more
Karin Bengtsson
Jun 26, 2018 rated it liked it
Den här tog tusen år att läsa och fick mig att tappa läslusten en del, eftersom Rachel var så förtvivlat pinsam. (Dock helt rimligt tonårsbeteende....)

Det tog sig en del på slutet. Men njä. Och mycket oklart varför den skulle utspela sig på åttiotalet?
Jan 11, 2017 rated it liked it
Charming Language
Oct 10, 2012 rated it liked it
The Year Nick McGowan Came to Stay is essentially a prequel to Sparrow’s 2003 Bridget Jones-esque tale of Rachel Hill - The Girl Most Likely. This time around Sparrow has the hard to define (and harder to please) ‘young adult’ market in her sights, taking the reader back to Hill’s senior year at high school complete with exam pressure, embarrassing parents and unrequited love. When enigmatic tearaway Nick McGowan is invited to board with the Hill family, Rachel’s small, orderly, teenage world co ...more
Jun 25, 2011 rated it really liked it

I love how almost all the Aussie YA's I've read have open endings~ I love the possibility those endings present. The year Nick McGowan Came to Stay is funny, with bits that were positively of embarrasing (particularly for her,) but most of all, it's sweet. Moments were absolutely side splitting; I'd laugh at how out of proportion things looked from her perspective. For one whom I thought to be level headed, she sure came across as a drama queen!

She's in Year twelve and has to focus. She
This is one of those stories set in the "before"-- you know, before Internet and cell phones were widely used and could essentially solve all the problems in 2 pages.

It's funny how modern technology can upset storylines like that. Almost makes you feel like since you do have a smartphone, you shouldn't have any problems (book-worthy problems, at least) because, seriously, just google it.

So to remove the all powerful genie that is the Internet, authors through in things like apocalypses or natu
Sharon Metcalf
Feb 15, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
From the amount I wrote I know it was probably almost 2 years ago that I first read The Girl Most Likely. Funnily enough, within pages of starting this the thought crossed my mind that Rebecca Sparrow has a distinctly Nick Earls feel to her writing and I see that's what I commented on first time around. It's little wonder they successfully co-wrote Joel and Cat set the story straight, alternating chapters in the male and female voice and yet it flowed so well. Enough of that, about The Year Nick ...more
May 20, 2012 rated it liked it
I know I just gave this YA novel 3 stars. But, I will say I did really enjoy this book. Quite a lot actually! It was the fact that the story fizzled out at the end, no climax. And the title of the book was misleading ‘The Year Nick McGowan Came to Stay’, it says a year, yes? Well in the book he’s actually only there for a couple of weeks! Irritating. To be sure.

Besides the fact the ending was crap. I admired Zoe, her fun feisty wicked sense of humour, and Rachel, even though cast as a goody-two
Chantelle Finley
Jun 13, 2012 rated it really liked it
Best Free Feeling: picking up a book you thought would be a brainless, hormone-charged, why-doesn't-he-love-me book from an Australian author you've never heard of, and instead finding a sweet and witty little story you weren't expecting.

I think I have a crush on this book.

It's not sophisticated, not thought provoking or very deep. There was a bit of a mystery, but it wasn't a thriller, a suspense builder or particularly complex. Technically, I could nitpick a bunch of things about this book (s
This wasn't too bad. I wasn't sure I would like as my GF wasn't a huge fan, however I found it quite funny! Zoe talking to her breasts was hilarious! I liked Zoe - she was my favourite character! Very honest and a little crazy! I thought Rachel needed to unclench! Although the washing up scene after the spaghetti dinner was really funny! It's a shame we didn't get to see more of Caitlin, she sounds like she would have been a scream! The real reason Nick has come to stay is just heartbreaking. Go ...more
Whenever something happens - be it good or bad - Rachel's mom always serves something chocolate. Like when Rachel's parents decide to board Nick McGowan in Year 12. Nick is considered THE hottest guy at the private Christian school they attend in...some Australian city whose name I have apologetically forgotten. But see, he's had kind of a breakdown and everyone thinks he's lost his mind, especially after he pulled the fire alarm at the boardinghouse and got kicked out.

This story had so, so much
Pooja (On books!)
Feb 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Originally posted here as a part of my new feature, Two Minute Reviews

The cover is adorable! The Prologue was cute. The Epilogue wraps things up neatly. The middle is light, quirky and engaging all at once! I had so much fun reading this book! The writing was good but more than that, I fell in love with the quirky characters! Nick was awesome but he was kind of overshadowed by goody-goody yet amusing Rachel Hill! I liked how worked up Rachel got when she realised the school's hottie, Nick McGowa
Erin Forson
Dec 09, 2011 rated it really liked it
Okay, two things about The Year Nick McGowan Came to Stay which I absolutely love:
1. It's set in the big-hair stylin', neon wearing, jean's purse totin' days of my youth....the Eighties! Rachel Hill, the main character might as well be me in high school.
2. It's set in Australia. That doesn't make a whole lot of difference of course, unless you have a kickin' Aussie accent that reads to you in your head, or if you listen to it on audio (which I highly recommend), but it helps you to see that A
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Rebecca Sparrow didn’t always want to be a writer. When she was six-years-old she wanted to be the blonde woman out of ABBA, a movie star and Mrs Donny Osmond. And then she discovered Charlie’s Angels. Rebecca spent most of 1980 running around her family’s backyard wearing a bathing suit and her mum’s high heels, armed with a Super-soaker. In her one year reign of terror she arrested her dog, Mac, ...more

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Rachel Hill (2 books)
  • The Girl Most Likely
“For a moment we sit in silence. Eventually, I turn to him and say, "Do you believe in God?"

His eyes narrow for a moment and he stares at me at me for a while. Stares in a rather intense way, like a doctor looking at a troubling X-ray. Then he looks out the and says in a voice like shattered glass, "Only in storms.”
“I just asked the Psychic Lettuce what my future holds, and it said, 'You will live alone with sixty guinea pigs. And they will all be called Peter'.” 3 likes
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