Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Review: Love & Leftovers by Sarah Tregay

Publisher:  Katherine Tegen Books
Publication Date:  December 27th, 2011

My wish
is to fall
cranium over Converse
in dizzy, daydream-worthy

(If only it were that easy.)

When her parents split, Marcie is dragged from Idaho to a family summerhouse in New Hampshire. She leaves behind her friends, a group of freaks and geeks called the Leftovers, including her emo-rocker boyfriend, and her father. By the time Labor Day rolls around, Marcie suspects this "vacation" has become permanent. She starts at a new school where a cute boy brings her breakfast and a new romance heats up.

But understanding love, especially when you've watched your parents' affections end, is elusive. What does it feel like, really? Can you even know it until you've lost it?
(Courtesy of Goodreads)

This was one of the Winter 2011 books that I had most looked forward to.  I knew nothing about it, but the cover alone had me wanting to get my hands on a copy- it's just too cute.  I got the book when it came out and pretty quickly, forgot that I had it.  A few months later I came across it again, and decided that despite its thickness, I would give it a go.  Upon opening it, I was surprised that it was written in free verse, like Ellen Hopkins's books.  I love Ellen's books (like, really, REALLY love them), and I tend to, probably unfairly, hold all other books written in this style up to her standard, so I immediately lowered my expectations...  Can I tell you?  There was absolutely no need!  Sarah Tregay may not do it quite as well as Ms. Hopkins, but as good as her debut is, I have a feeling she has it in her.  This book was very good!

Told in the form of protagonist, Marcie's diary/poetry journal entries, Love & Leftovers is a coming of age story that stands out from the pack.  Marcie is an interesting character.  She is happy with her life, her friends, her boyfriend (she thinks, maybe...).  Things shake up for her when her mother finds out that her father has been seeing another man on the side, and without thought, takes Marcie to her family lake house for a permanent vacation.  Marcie's mom ends up spending months wallowing in self pity and depression, leaving Marcie to fend for herself.  As she struggles with the fact that she misses her dad, her friends, and (maybe) her boyfriend back home, she also begins a new life at a new school, meets a boy who she finds herself drawn to, and starts to realize that maybe she wasn't as happy as she thought she was before.  Just as she settles into her new life, her mother sends her back to her father, friends, and boyfriend, and things are not the same, and never will be...

I loved the way Sarah Tregay wrote Marcie.  She was so achingly real as she went through the ups and downs of life.  I loved Marcie's voice, and the way she picked things apart in her poems.  He journey along the road of self-discovery was inspirational, and I often found myself getting emotional right along with her.  This book took me back to my high school years, and it made me remember the yin and yang of feeling like an invincible teenager one moment, and an insecure child the next.  There are some questions that don't have answers, or have too many answers, but certainly no right or wrong, and to me, that is what growing up is- the ability to recognize that.  I felt like Tregay really captured that.  

Overall, I would say that this book won't be for everyone.  People will either love it or hate it, and I think there won't be a lot of in-between.  There isn't any heart-stopping action or malice in this book- there is not even really an antagonist.  This book is romantic and emotional, with a touch of humor laced into it.  It's purely a feel-good, warm-fuzzies, coming-of-age story, that will make you smile in the end.

My Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★  

Grade Level Recommendation:  This book has a couple of hot and heavy make-out scenes and a few swears, but is otherwise clean.  Appropriate for 6th grade and up (ages 11+).

**Don't forget to check out my giveaway for a chance to win a hardcover cop of Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry!  Click HERE to enter!  Ends at 12:00am, August 14th, 2012**

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for visiting my blog! I adore comments since they make me feel special and loved, just please don't spam me. I'm not interested in vacation offers, millions of dollars from Nigeria, or anything not book related!

Also, this is an award-free blog. As flattered as I am, I just don't have time. I'm happy if I have time to post all of my reviews on time, and am a momma of three to boot, but I appreciate the thoughts! XO