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?
CASTROVILLA TEAMS UP WITH THE AVM FOUNDATION!
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, selenecastrovilla.com.
AVM Foundation Mission:
The Mission of The Anthony V. Mannino Foundation is
to financially assist young adults in the age group of 18-28 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.
Grand prize is aKindle Fire + THE GIRL NEXT DOOR ebook (US only), and 10 second prize
winners will receive an ebook copy of THE GIRL NEXT DOOR (International).
presently stand upon this earth as upon a footstool,
out its realm amidst the stars.”
The Girl Next Door is about Jesse and Samantha, a teen couple struggling with
Jesse’s cancer. But like all literature, it addresses a universal theme. The
real question behind GND is: How can someone walk around, function and feel
safe in a world where at any moment disaster might strike? We have no control.
When I was
a teenager I was struck by my inability to guide my own fate. Sure, I could
study and be good, but that didn’t guarantee a happy life – or any existence at
all. I realized this after my first experience with death, when a classmate’s
sister died senselessly. On a dare, she’d climbed a pole to retrieve chuka
sticks dangling on a wire. She was electrocuted. Her name was Debbie De Surrey.
I knew Debbie; I played with her at a summer recreation program. She was always
happy and oh, so vivacious and then – poof! She was gone. How could that
happen? Weren’t we immortal? That smiling, beautiful girl lives on in my
memory, and she is one of the people I dedicated the book to. So, yes, cancer
strikes – but so many other things do, too.Few people wake up and say, “Today I am going to die.”
I live in New York, and 9/11 made
me think about mortality even more. One minute those people were working,
drinking coffee. And the next...so many were gone. Life or death was determined
by luck, and which floor they were on. How tenuous life is.
book, Sam lost her father in 9/11. That’s a result of my experience, peripheral
compared to others’ but still life-altering. That day, it was like the world
was ending. For thousands of people, it did.
The loss of
Sam’s father echoes the theme. His ghost stands in the background, either to
prepare her for further grief or simply to say goodbye. I’ll admit the mentions
of him were Hamlet-induced, though it is for the reader to decide if Sam’s father
truly appears. Real or imagined, it is he who gives Sam this counsel: “Death
cannot rob us of the love we give away.”
So how do
we cope in a world where the people we love can at any moment be stripped from
our lives? I don’t have all the answers, but Sam arrives at her own. All I can
hope is that this book provides solace, and provokes thought.
readers have resonated with a poem Jesse writes for Sam, so I’ll close with it:
That’s how long your love is for
Angel beside me, saving grace
Sunlight shining on your face
The world, my world is what you are
Guiding me, a shining star
A rainbow reigning over me
Brightening the sky, all I see
Passion and goodness, lover and friend
You hold me when my heart descends
The missing piece to my puzzle
The key to unlock my door
I’ll love you from the heavens
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. She lives on Long Island with her two sons. Visit her website
www.SeleneCastrovilla.com for book excerpts and more information!