Title: Girl Next Door
Author: Alyssa Brugman
Genre: Aussie YA
Release Date: February 2009
My Review: I picked this book up by chance at the library, and I'm glad I did. Jenna-Belle's story of misfortune is very relatable in the current financial crisis, I also found their to be plenty of drama and humor to keep you reading and wanting more.
Girl Next Door is Alyssa Brugman's eleventh novel for Young Adults, the first being Finding Grace which has recently been translated into Dutch and shortlisted for many awards.
Jenna-Belle just got comfortable going to a private school, living in a big house and being able to rely on her parents, that all changes when her dad attempts to start an empire, loses it all and leaves the family to pick up the pieces. Jenna has a quirky relationship with the boy-next-door Declan, who initially helps her out but then her mum comes up with a great idea to rent out a room and this provides Jenna-Belle with a make-shift parent to help her out. The unreliable Bryce Cole spends his days betting on horse races and trains Jenna in the art til her mum realises she has been removed from school for non-payment and puts a stop to it so they put Bryce Cole to good use and he shows them how to live on not very much money at all.
Jenna-Belle is very relatable and someone I can imagine being friends with in real life. I loved this book and it's many sub-plots and it helped me to form a new opinion on the homeless and how they get they to be they way. Overall I would recommend this book to teenage girls. I am nineteen years old and thoroughly enjoyed this book.