The Year Nick McGowan Came to Stay

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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 for all the wrong reasons. Nick finds Rachel spoiled and uptight and Rachel dismisses Nick as lazy and directionless. But a secret from Nick’s ...
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Year Nick McGowan Came to Stay

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Overview

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 for all the wrong reasons. Nick finds Rachel spoiled and uptight and Rachel dismisses Nick as lazy and directionless. But a secret from Nick’s past draws them together and makes the year Nick McGowan came to stay one that Rachel will never forget.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“[A] richly creative tale full of humor and funny situations related with a touch of reminiscence.”–Daily Telegraph (Australia)
KLIATT
AGERANGE: Ages 12 to 18.

The year in the title is 1989, just to get that out of the way, and most of the pop culture and fashion references are 20 years old; that ancient history and the not very attractive cover art may be unfortunate hurdles for YAs. The best selling point of the story is the madcap humor that accompanies a good basic YA plot. The narrator, Rachel, is a conscientious person. Her life is given over to careful study habits and a clean slate in the detention department. Here’s the good plot: said narrator’s life abruptly changes when her parents take in a troubled fellow student, the cutest, coolest guy at their school. Nick McGowan cuts school, smokes outside by the family pool, and teases Rachel whenever he can, sort of like a friendly brother. There is a secret here. Why is Nick, who once was a top student, now behaving so irresponsibly? There are phone calls for him at all hours from someone named Sam. Rachel snoops around, of course, but doesn’t get the whole story until Nick feels comfortable enough to tell her the truth about why he has changed so radically. His truth helps her put her life into perspective as well. The setting is Australia, and Nick and Rachel’s school is one with uniforms, strict regulations, and year 10 and year 11 references, so it may seem somewhat exotic to YAs in the US. Rachel’s bumbling efforts to maintain her dignity at home with Nick suddenly sharing her family life are generally hilarious. This is something most YAs can immediately understand. Reviewer: Claire Rosser
March 2008 (Vol. 42, No.2)

School Library Journal

Gr 8-10- Aussie teen Rachel Hill is devastated when her parents inform her that Nick McGowan, who was suspended from boarding school for setting off all the fire alarms in the boy's dormitory, is coming to stay with them. Nick, the hottest guy in Year 11, is going to be living in her bedroom, in her house, where he will bear witness to all of her parents' embarrassing behaviors and her collection of Huey Lewis cassettes. Initially there is no love lost between the two, but before long they are confiding in one another, and their friendship is bound to be one that will survive the years. This book is full of laugh-out-loud moments, particularly when Rachel's friend Zoë is involved, but also has its serious side as Rachel learns what caused Nick to go from stellar student to one who has lost all interest in school. The story is set in 1989, seemingly for no reason as it could take place in the present day. Perhaps the author has a fondness for Huey Lewis and Kirk Cameron jokes. Sparrow is adept at accurately portraying her teenage characters and placing them in realistic scenarios that most readers will find pertinent.-Robyn Zaneski, New York Public Library

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780375845703
  • Publisher: Random House Children's Books
  • Publication date: 4/8/2008
  • Pages: 208
  • Age range: 12 years
  • Lexile: 760L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.80 (w) x 8.48 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Rebecca Sparrow lives in Townsville, Australia. This is her first book for young adults.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 14 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(4)

4 Star

(5)

3 Star

(1)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(4)

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 15 of 14 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 10, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Um...what?!

    OK. This book was, yes, "entertaining", but so, SO flawed. Here are some of my problems with the story:

    1. WHY is it set in 1989?! Like, is there a POINT to it being set in this time period?? The cover and description mislead me to thinking it was modern, and even though they mentioned at the start it was the late eighties, I kept on imagining it being modern day. There was no historical significance or really any significance at all for it taking place in 1989. So kind of pointless and really annoying.
    2. The protagonist and her best friend, and really most of the characters, were disgusting and dirty. Really, I am just sick of all of these teen book author being obsessed with sex and drugs and alcohol. Shame on them.

    This book is a perfect example of how today's humour and what we think is "normal" is twisted and perverted. Other Good Examples are Gossip Girl and Pretty Little Lairs. It's revolting.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 24, 2011

    I Love This Book!

    i loved it its my faveorate book!

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  • Posted November 19, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Reviewed by Randstostipher "tallnlankyrn" Nguyen for TeensReadToo.com

    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. <BR/><BR/>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 understands why, but of course rumors take care of that. Most of them evolve around drugs. The school's PTA calls a little meeting and, in no time, Rachel's parents agree to let him stay with them, since he does need a little guidance. Of course, Rachel isn't too happy about this, since not only is she not the prettiest or most popular girl in school, but she doesn't want him to see how dorky her life is. Like having to use an egg timer keep track of how long she can talk on the phone, all because she accidentally created a generous amount of charges on the phone bill because she made a long distance call to her sister. <BR/><BR/>Rachel tries everything to convince her parents that this is a very bad idea, especially having two hormonal teenagers under the same roof. But since her parents won't budge, Rachel slowly sees that this could be the perfect opportunity to make Nick fall in love with her. <BR/><BR/>Of course, this little arrangement doesn't go so well in the beginning, since Nick thinks Rachel is a little diva while Rachel finds him to be a complete jerk who can't do anything for himself. Not only that, but in the heat of the moment, Rachel created her very own fake boyfriend just to impress him. <BR/><BR/>As the days go by, though, both begin to see a different side of each other and secrets that have kept them wondering will open up a whole new friendship that they never thought was possible. <BR/><BR/>A hilarious novel, THE YEAR NICK MCGOWAN CAME TO STAY will be on everyone's mind. Taking place in 1989, Rebecca Sparrow lets us see what the teen angst and drama was like almost two decades ago. Rachel will be the girl who everyone wants to be since she got to live with Nick McGowan!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 24, 2007

    A reviewer

    This is one of the best books I have read in a while. It is about this girl who is 'most likely to succeed' and a guy from her school who comes to live with her. He makes her life horrible and in the end teaches her to live her life in the present and not worry so much about the future. It was a great read, fast and easy too. All around, a geat book!

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    Posted July 15, 2010

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    Posted January 19, 2011

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    Posted May 28, 2011

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